Questions tagged [cassette-tape]

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

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62
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. ...
38
votes
4answers
24k 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 ...
33
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, ...
32
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12answers
12k 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 ...
26
votes
4answers
3k 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, ...
24
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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 ...
23
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2answers
4k 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 ...
21
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3answers
2k views

How did "full memory" Spectrum tape copiers work?

There are some tape copiers, such as LERM that claim to be able to copy tapes which contain software that takes the full 48kbyte of RAM. However, this seems impossible on a Spectrum, when the whole ...
17
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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 ...
16
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
16
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6answers
6k 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 ...
15
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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, ...
15
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6answers
739 views

Did any microcomputers back in the day accellerate standard-cassette performance

Many commonplace cassette recorders in the 1970s and 1980s were capable of reading or writing two tracks at once (stereo). While that wasn't universal (portable cassette recorders were often monaural,...
15
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4answers
3k 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 ...
15
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1answer
533 views

What format is used for CoCo cassette tapes?

Color Computer machines initially used audio cassette tapes for storage. How was the data stored? What was the maximum bit rate?
15
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3answers
974 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. ...
13
votes
1answer
554 views

How to use virtual cassettes with Matthew Reed's TRS-80 Model III emulator? (TRS32)

I'm fooling around with Matthew Reed's TRS-80 Model 1/III/4 emulator for Windows (TRS32) and am have trouble using virtual cassettes. I am using it to emulate a Model III with Level II BASIC. I have ...
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 ...
12
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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 ...
12
votes
4answers
937 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....
12
votes
1answer
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 ...
12
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2answers
2k views

What format is used for Apple II cassette tapes?

Apple II computers initially used audio cassette tapes for storage. How was the data stored? What was the maximum bit rate?
12
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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, ...
12
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3answers
2k views

How did Atari cassette "turbo without hardware mods" work?

There were some cassette copying programs for 8-bit Atari, that boasted saving the games in a way that would load it at up to 1800baud - versus the standard 600baud, which was a significant ...
11
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2answers
346 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
8answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
216 views

What to replace the belt in the cassette drive of an Epson HX-20 with?

I am the owner of an Epson HX-20 laptop computer. It runs well except for the builtin cassette drive which doesn't seem to work reliably. After carefully disassembling it I found that the belt seems ...
10
votes
1answer
689 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
415 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
456 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
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 ...
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
1answer
637 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
365 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 ...
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 ...
6
votes
4answers
916 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) ...
6
votes
1answer
576 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
212 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
215 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
87 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
279 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.?
5
votes
1answer
223 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
188 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. ...
4
votes
4answers
471 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
445 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
136 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 ...