Questions tagged [cassette-tape]

For questions about audio cassette tape, as used for computer data storage.

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12
votes
4answers
826 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....
3
votes
1answer
157 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, ...
29
votes
10answers
9k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
189 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
249 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?
3
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1answer
148 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
56 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 ...
59
votes
1answer
4k 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 myself. ...
4
votes
0answers
186 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
206 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
105 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
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 ...
7
votes
3answers
318 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
146 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
397 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
178 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. ...
13
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
203 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
615 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) ...
14
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
583 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
1k 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, ...
3
votes
2answers
378 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

Copying tapes “back in the day”

Back when I had a ZX Spectrum 48K, I had a friend that had a 128K and we would swap games for the weekend from time to time. We did try and make duplicates of the tapes (yes, I know, but we were ten ...
4
votes
4answers
455 views

Cassettes that used stereo?

One of the tricks many of the early machines allowed was the ability to record an audio track on one of the tape channels, and then turn it on or off using the deck control. I believe the Ataris may ...
6
votes
1answer
402 views

What's the difference between Kansas City tape standard and CUTS?

A number of a different computer systems use a tape encoding based on either the Kansas City or CUTS standards. There's a very brief overview on Wikipedia, but it's not clear what the difference ...
14
votes
2answers
701 views

Using a modern PC or other digital audio recording device as a cassette recorder replacement

I'm having a hell of a time getting this to work. I've got a Casio fx-720p + FA-3 cassette interface, a TRS-80 PC-3 with its cassette interface and printer dock, and a Tandy 102 with a cassette cable. ...
14
votes
8answers
2k views

Developing an application in the era of cassette tapes (audio-tapes)

My colleague and I have just had a conversation and we were wondering how the process of developing an application was done in the era of cassette tapes. Today we have HDDs, backup HDDs, FTPs, ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Daisy-chained cassette drive?

Early microcomputers sometimes supported several peripherals in a 'daisy chained' arrangement, i.e. instead of the computer having several ports, one per peripheral, it had a single port, which each ...
4
votes
1answer
426 views

Use of PSK for storage of data on audio tape

Most home computers of the 70s and early 80s were able to save and load data on audio cassettes. Typically, in order to do this they encoded the data using frequency shift keying (FSK), i.e. for a '1'...
10
votes
8answers
937 views

CP/M without floppy drive

I remember reading (at the time when it was current) in a hobbyist magazine about a ZX Spectrum modification to map RAM into ROM (not unusual), and implementing CP/M for it. The author ended the ...
2
votes
3answers
868 views

Using VHS/MiniDV/CompactCassette as digital data storage? [closed]

How can VHS cassettes. MiniDV cassettes. Compact audio cassettes be used as digital data storage? Can the error correction strength be adjusted?
8
votes
4answers
975 views

Overclocking an 8-bit computer

I've been thinking about the possibility of overclocking 8-bit computers of the late seventies and early eighties, and it seems to me that the things most likely to break, would be: Cassette save and ...
24
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does waggling the joystick of a C64 cause errors loading from tape?

When loading a game from the tape drive on a C64, if you wiggle the joystick around too much the program will not load correctly. Is there an explanation for this? EDIT: Perhaps someone can try to ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Early Apple assemblers, getting hold of them

The apple ][ history site https://apple2history.org/history/ah17/#05 has a section on assemblers with these interesting snippets: TED/ASM: Developed at Apple and smuggled out the doors around May ...
11
votes
2answers
322 views

What format was used for Exidy Sorcerer cassette tapes?

The Exidy Sorcerer personal computer could use audio cassette tapes for program storage. In what format were programs (and data?) stored on tape? What was the data rate? I seem to remember the tape ...
22
votes
2answers
3k views

Blue and yellow stripes on the screen when loading from tape on ZX Spectrum

When loading a program from tape on ZX Spectrum you could see those blue and yellow stripes around the splash screen. I might be mistaken but I believe those were even sometimes used for quite ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the maximum BAUD rate for ZX Spectrum tapes?

I've played with various BAUD rate programs that allow you to save most of the RAM into a cassette tape up to around 9600 BAUD. Has anyone written or have a way to write the ram to tape (not ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Why did the ZX Spectrum use edges for its tape storage routines?

Why did the Sinclair ZX-Spectrum use edges for its standard tape storage routines? I can see that frequency modulation was likely necessary in order to account for the inaccurate timings when running ...
25
votes
4answers
2k views

Why did the Atari 8-bit computers make beeping noises while accessing the disk and cassette drives?

If you've ever used an actual Atari 8-bit computer with either a cassette or disk drive, you would have noticed that it made a variety of "beeping" noises while accessing the devices. Specifically, ...
32
votes
2answers
2k views

Rescuing data from old audio cassettes

In my recent expeditions to the darkest corners of my garage, I've found a load (there's a pun in there somewhere) of old audio tapes containing Sinclair Spectrum code. These aren't commercial titles, ...
4
votes
3answers
127 views

Memac Obj files for running and making Tape Format

We are using MEMAC system and this device is using 30 years old Tape Casettes. The company non-exist anymore but they sent me 8" floppy disks so I can have chance to retrieve the files inside and make ...
10
votes
1answer
589 views

Why CPC464 display is less stable while reading from cassette?

Context The Amstrad CPC 464 has a very stable RGB video output. By "stable" I mean that the image on the CRT monitor does not move, wiggle, shake in any way. The electron beam draws every pixel ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it possible to use a TI-99/4A cassette cable with Digital Audio devices?

I would like to save and load BASIC programs with my TI-99/4A. The TI-99/4A can be connected to a cassette recorder for this purpose. Buying a cassette recorder and cassette tapes seems unnecessary ...
10
votes
1answer
377 views

Is there any existing hardware mod for C64 to decouple tape drive from IEC (1581 drive collision)?

Commodore 64 has a known bug which doesn't allow to use tape drive together with a 1581 drive. Basically, in C64 the SRQ (Serial ReQuest) line is connected between IEC bus, CIA chip and the tape ...
38
votes
4answers
21k views

Loading ZX Spectrum tape audio in a post-cassette world

My ZX Spectrum 48k seems very resistant to working with audio input. I no longer have any cassette players, so am relying on audio files from digital players. I have been able to save and verify a ...
5
votes
1answer
267 views

Magnetic tape data preservation format

What 'virtual tape' image format is most suited for data preservation i.e. can store metadata like density and media type of original tape, presence of data past EOT marker, parity/ECC bits etc.?