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Questions tagged [cassette-tape]

For questions regarding data storage on magnetic tape in a cassette tape format.

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What is the format of the packets on an Altair 8K BASIC 3.2 Tape?

I successfully digitized a vintage (1976) cassette tape of Altair 8k BASIC V3.2 to a .wav file. Using an audio editor the waveforms look very clean, and minimodem seems to have successfully decoded ...
scm's user avatar
  • 1,049
8 votes
1 answer
249 views

Are there recommended procedures to prepare a vintage software cassette tape before attempting to digitize it

I'm about to attempt to archive a 1976 copy of Altair 8k basic to a digital audio file. My concern is this probably already was well used back then, and it may not survive the playback process. Are ...
scm's user avatar
  • 1,049
3 votes
2 answers
388 views

Can anyone tell me more about flippy games?

I remember having a number of Mastertronic tape games for the Amstrad CPC 464 that could be used on a Spectrum too by using the other side of the tape. These were called flippys I believe. Was this ...
Robbie Dee's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
392 views

What is the correct power supply for this SD card/cassette reader for Sinclair computers?

I bought this some time ago, but I did not keep the power supply with it. It does not have any product name on it, and I can't locate the correct information. What is the correct power supply and what ...
Zhro's user avatar
  • 283
14 votes
3 answers
2k views

Were cassette tapes designed to be adjusted by pencils? [closed]

Back in my ZX Spectrum days, it was normal to do manual fine adjustment of a cassette tape position using a hexagonal pencil or a cheap Biro pen. It's almost like the hub is designed to be twiddled ...
SusanW's user avatar
  • 251
27 votes
3 answers
4k views

How did ZX Spectrum games loaders prevent the use of MERGE?

The MERGE command could be used on early games to load the first BASIC program block without it auto-running, but in later games, the use of MERGE caused the machine to hang. How was this achieved?
Paul Markham's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
420 views

How do I change the cassette tape data (baud) rate on MSX machines?

The MSX Resource Center Wiki mentions that MSX machines can save and load at either 1200 or 2400 bps or baud. But it doesn't mention how to change this setting. So how do I change that rate? Is it ...
cjs's user avatar
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24 votes
8 answers
7k views

What did it sound like when you played a cassette tape with programs on it?

As a medium of storing large data, cassette tapes were used just like the following: I wonder what it would sound like if one put the tape in a cassette player and played it as if it were a regular ...
Namudon'tdie's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
461 views

Interpreting TRS-80 model 1/2 tape cassette audio

I got interested in writing my own code to parse tape cassette formats for a few platforms. I did OK with both Spectrum and Apple 2 tapes based on info I could find online. Speccy and Apple 2 seem to ...
hippietrail's user avatar
  • 6,684
2 votes
2 answers
292 views

How do I save data from a program with CC65 [closed]

I wanted to have a calculator program be able to save a set of answers on a floppy disk or tape but I have no idea what I should do. I am aware that the "cbm.h" library can be used to load ...
Mr Buddyboi's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
220 views

Can MAME save to cassette tape formats other than WAV? [closed]

MAME seems to be extremely unintuitive to use and extremely poorly documented. But it supports a ton of machines, some of which I haven't found other emulators for, so I've been persevering with it ...
hippietrail's user avatar
  • 6,684
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

Can you load machine code programs for cassette tape on a TRS-80 model 1 level 1?

I'm trying out TRS-80 model I/III emulators. I know there was Level 1 and Level 2. I think this refers both to the ROM and the BASIC on the model I. Level 2 ROMs were a common upgrade to the model I ...
hippietrail's user avatar
  • 6,684
10 votes
2 answers
1k views

What tape format did the Nintendo Famicom Data Recorder use?

I just learned from a YouTube video that in Japan there was an add-on for the original Nintendo Famicom console that included a keyboard (HVC-007) and compact cassette tape player & recorder (HVC-...
hippietrail's user avatar
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26 votes
2 answers
5k views

Which software was the first to use copy protection?

While researching early magnetic storage around 1980, I've come to ponder if we know of the first piece of software on removable media that employed copy protection? The Wikipedia article mentions ...
Micropolis's user avatar
20 votes
6 answers
3k views

Does lossy audio compression damage datasette data?

I grew up with the C64 and had software on cassette tapes. These days, you can find "backups" of this software all over the internet, even in mp3 format (by recording the audio signal with a ...
Jeroen Jacobs's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
411 views

What is the effect of direct exposure of the magnetic disk of a floppy to ultraviolet (UV) light?

I was thinking of the mold issue of floppies and UV light (UV-C) came to mind. As ultraviolet (UV) is a form of electromagnetic radiation and floppies use a magnetic disk for storage and I vaguely ...
Bob Ortiz's user avatar
  • 1,662
5 votes
3 answers
563 views

Definitive list of music bands/groups that included computer programs on their analogue audio music physical media releases (LPs, singles)

Is there a definitive list of music pop/rock bands/groups that included computer programs as part of their physical analogue audio music releases? (vinyl LPs, EPs, singles) etc? For this to be ...
therobyouknow's user avatar
18 votes
3 answers
5k views

How did the Commodore 64 show a picture while reading cassette?

I was watching this video just now https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0YmJluYb6Q&ab_channel=NostalgiaNerd on things that early home computers displayed on the screen while reading cassettes, and ...
rwallace's user avatar
  • 62.8k
5 votes
1 answer
339 views

Audio cassettes on TI-99

One of the features of the Atari machines was that the left audio channel on the cassette was connected through to the television speaker. This was used to produce things like "Conversational ...
Maury Markowitz's user avatar
9 votes
4 answers
2k views

Why Kansas City Standard (KCS/CUTS) differs from Bell 103/202/212 modem protocol?

While both were data transfer protocols serving streams at 300/1200 baud, why did they choose different frequencies, marks, modulation, and anything else? I understand that they serve different ...
Schezuk's user avatar
  • 3,754
13 votes
5 answers
2k views

Compression techniques used in old ZX Spectrum tapes

Many ZX Spectrum games* (and demos) would improve loading time and save space in the tape using rudimentary compression. During decompression, the game would display "decrunching" for ...
forest's user avatar
  • 2,029
5 votes
1 answer
475 views

How did games written for tape-based BBC micro, get officially and unofficially ported to disk, bearing in mind extra workspace needed by DFS ROM?

If I recall, PAGE = &E00 for a BBC Model B system with cassette tape based storage. On installation of Acorn DFS ROM (with 8271 Floppy disc controller), the ROM allocated more memory, increasing ...
therobyouknow's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
1k views

Did the Apple 1 cassette interface card have its own ROM?

According to this page, the Apple 1 monitor program was located in addresses $F000-$FFFF, a ROM program to use the optional cassette interface card was at addresses $C100-$C1FF, and the peripheral ...
DrSheldon's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
331 views

Identifying and recovering programs from tapes

A couple of days ago, I was given some old tapes with programs written on them. However, I am having some trouble with them. I do not know what computer they were programed for. After recognising the ...
user3141592's user avatar
11 votes
4 answers
1k views

Did the Commodore datasette interface provide greater reliability?

Cassette, being cheaper than a floppy disk drive, was a popular storage medium in the 8-bit era. Some computers such as the Sinclair Spectrum, just provided a port to plug in an existing cassette deck....
rwallace's user avatar
  • 62.8k
4 votes
1 answer
349 views

From what errors could Commodore's tape loader recover

The Commodore PET/VIC-20/C64 tape routines write out the leader for each file twice, and then write the data twice. While it would seem that this should allow data to be loaded more reliably, ...
supercat's user avatar
  • 37.2k
34 votes
17 answers
17k views

Did computer games for Commodore 64 really take "25 minutes" to load "if everything went alright"?

In the Swedish-language song "Nostalgi" by Markoolio from 2003, some of the lyrics go: My first computer had 64 kB you surfed on the water, and that's that The computer games were loaded ...
Kommendåre 64's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
308 views

Upping the speed of the VIC-20 tape drive: aftermarket hardware for the expansion port with "rabbit" in the name?

EDIT: I realize from reading the comments that I was bit loose in my use of the word "speed" as a property of the tape drive. What I had in mind was the speed of the data transfer, not the ...
user19267's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
721 views

ZX Spectrum red stripes during loading

When we load any game on ZX Spectrum from cassette player... Should red stripes move smoothly for better result or they should be static for perfect result? What is the theory?
Staglaitor's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
545 views

Loading a Tandy CoCo or a Dragon 32 machine code program from cassette with multiple "name blocks"

For the Dragon 32 and the TRS-80 Color Computer I've found two documents describing how loading from cassette tape works:Dragon 32 doc, CoCo doc. They both say that a standard program consists of a ...
hippietrail's user avatar
  • 6,684
5 votes
1 answer
156 views

Length of leader block in Coco and Dragon cassette tape header and .cas tape image file format

I've been looking into the format of .cas files for Tandy Color Computer and Dragon32 emulators. These files are almost exactly byte for byte representations of the data/audio/bit pattern of the ...
hippietrail's user avatar
  • 6,684
66 votes
1 answer
5k views

How do I extract the program from the Radiohead "Nude" tribute by James Houston?

One of my favorite videos ever is a tribute to Radiohead "Nude" by James Houston. I have never seen the program in the video available to download, so I've just made an attempt to extract it ...
terrorrussia-keeps-killing's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
1k views

Teddy Ruxpin Animation Coding "Language"?

I've recently become interested in the original Teddy Ruxpin that operated by playing 8-track cassette tapes. The 8 channels on the tape were used in a creative way to ensure that Teddy's animation ...
ribs2spare's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
265 views

Checking Old Tapes

How do I check old ZX spectrum cassettes work - the tapes are after all quite old? I am fairly computer savvy (my life is a continual strand from that Speccy to this here Thinkpad - and many stations ...
NickM's user avatar
  • 49
2 votes
0 answers
165 views

Commodore tape drive performance specs

Over the years during which Commodore sold tape drives, there have been a few different versions of the drive with different analog electronics. I'm interested in experimenting with "turbo" tape ...
supercat's user avatar
  • 37.2k
8 votes
4 answers
1k views

Cassette formats using ECC?

The Commodore systems famously wrote everything to the Datasette twice as a form of error correction. Most other formats I've looked at - Atari, CUTS and CoCo - lack any form of correction. Is anyone ...
Maury Markowitz's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
451 views

What home computers offered an adjustable tape baud rate

By the title I mean a built in option rather than a software or hardware add on and saving / loading to regular domestic audio cassette tape. We should exclude all third party type loaders from this ...
AndyF's user avatar
  • 584
2 votes
1 answer
226 views

Vic-20 tape I/O dependence on CPU speed?

As I understand it, the Vic-20 reads and writes the cassette deck by the low-tech expedient of just using the CPU to bit-bang a one-bit serial line. This presumably means that for a given code ...
rwallace's user avatar
  • 62.8k
4 votes
1 answer
576 views

Did BBC Micro and Electron games use custom tape loaders?

Back in the day, I owned a Commodore 64, and I noticed that essentially all games on tape, provided their own code for reading the tape, instead of using the code provided in ROM. This had two ...
rwallace's user avatar
  • 62.8k
19 votes
4 answers
6k views

Why did some Spectrum games need LOAD "" CODE?

Most ZX Spectrum games were loaded from tape, and the traditional way of starting the loading process (at least in the 48K era) was to type LOAD "" and then start the tape. This would normally load ...
KenD's user avatar
  • 1,901
6 votes
0 answers
270 views

PET LOAD command and the < key

I remember reading (probably in some issue of the newsletter of the PET Benelux Exchange (PBE)) about a strange effect during tape loading of a PET program. Back in the day, I tried it and it worked. ...
Rhialto supports Monica's user avatar
18 votes
7 answers
6k views

What should be the waveform for ZX Spectrum tapes?

I am digitizing about 40 tapes with programs for the ZX Spectrum. I am somewhat puzzled by the waveform after digitization. The signal of most cassettes is meander-shaped. One of the cassettes can ...
A. Rumlin's user avatar
  • 391
17 votes
2 answers
3k views

How to decode an audio file which contains an MSX BASIC program? [closed]

I have an audio file in WAV format, which supposedly comes from a cassette sound file. Moreover, it contains a BASIC program, but I don't know how to decode it. I have tried to convert the wav file to ...
Josemi 's user avatar
  • 271
6 votes
1 answer
305 views

Exact tape recording format for SVI-318/328 computers

I'm looking for the exact tape data format of old SVI-318/328 computers, some kind of whitepapers explaining it. I've obtained several information from a real tape, but I don't known if the infered ...
NataliaPC's user avatar
  • 533
6 votes
4 answers
2k views

Are there standard DIN pinouts for cassette and video ports on early Japanese 8-bit computers?

I have several different Japanese 8-bit computers, and they use similar DIN connectors for video and cassette I/O: Composite video: 180° 5-pin DIN: Fujitsu FM-7, NEC PC-8001mkII Color TTL (digital) ...
cjs's user avatar
  • 26.7k
20 votes
6 answers
13k views

How much data could a home computer store on an audio cassette?

The use of audio cassettes for storing data for home computers was a great example of repurposing an existing invention. Cassettes were sold in a variety of capacities, and labelled with their audio ...
Kaz's user avatar
  • 8,176
8 votes
1 answer
1k views

How did the C64 interface tape drives?

How did the C64 interface tape drives? I'm aware that the external interface was basically a audio input - but how was this audio converted into digital data, and how was it loaded into RAM and ...
vidarlo's user avatar
  • 298
5 votes
2 answers
4k views

When and why did tape recorders acquire a "remote" input?

This entirely-typical-of-the-era (other than mysteriously missing its EAR socket) tape recorder from 1984 was the "standard" type of tape deck for home computer data storage in the UK. They could be ...
hexwab's user avatar
  • 323
18 votes
2 answers
2k views

Cassette tape storage formats

I just came across this excellent article on cassette tape storage formats. One thing confuses me though... in the "all digital" examples, like Figure 1C, what exactly ends up on the tape? That is, ...
Maury Markowitz's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
496 views

How significant/pioneering was the TV Typewriter?

How significant and pioneering was the TV Typewriter, in light of things like calculators with CRT's from 1964 and various other things? I recently read that the TV Typewriter established the standard ...
typingcomputers's user avatar