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Share Your Experience: Take the 2024 Developer Survey
116 votes
Accepted

How was copying prevented when the first CD-ROM games were introduced?

When CD-ROM games were first introduced, game developers didn’t take any measures to prevent users from copying them, for two main reasons: CD-ROMs could contain more data than most hard drives at ...
Stephen Kitt's user avatar
72 votes
Accepted

How does the CD audio connector work?

The audio outputs connect to a corresponding input on sound cards (or motherboards); see for example the “CD IN” connector at the top of this Sound Blaster Pro and the “CD_SPDIF” connector at the top ...
Stephen Kitt's user avatar
51 votes

How was copying prevented when the first CD-ROM games were introduced?

We had some software delivered on a CD in which the vendor purposely put a defect on a specific track. If that defect wasn't there, the software could say it wasn't an original CD. Since defects are ...
RodH's user avatar
  • 519
46 votes

Has there ever been a pressed optical disc containing a computer virus?

Yes, for 'software'. The first hit on a search for 'cd-ro shipped with virus' (typo mine) got me this: MS Solution Provider CD Microsoft (MSFT) has shipped CD-ROMs infected with a little-known virus ...
dave's user avatar
  • 35.7k
41 votes
Accepted

What is the massive CD drive used in the movie "Licence to Kill"?

As far as I remember, this wasn't a CD, but (supposed to be) a Laserdisc, and he was using a Philips player (the movie contained several Philips machines). Laserdiscs were available in different sizes ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 224k
41 votes

How did it come that SATA HDDs use ATA while SATA CD drives use SCSI as protocol?

Let’s start by addressing a few misconceptions. I have a new external Western Digital USB HDD here and I saw in Wireshark that it uses SCSI. That’s because storage over USB uses SCSI-style protocols....
Stephen Kitt's user avatar
40 votes

Has there ever been a pressed optical disc containing a computer virus?

Yes, it happened quite a few times. Software added as covermount to computer magazines may sometimes not be secure. A fast-spreading medium, computer magazines can output over 10,000 discs in a ...
g.kertesz's user avatar
  • 501
39 votes
Accepted

How did the Sega CD decompress video?

We used to have to write our own video playback system, so each game did it differently. I worked on Microcosm for the SegaCD and if I recall we used a 16 colour palette for the video playback and had ...
Martin Linklater's user avatar
37 votes

What were the incentives behind WinWord.Concept computer virus?

I mean no offense to OP, but the question is an anachronism for two reasons that are likely not obvious to typical computer users today: Prior to ubiquitous wide-area networking of personal computers,...
Brian H's user avatar
  • 60.8k
34 votes

Were CD-ROM-based games able to "hide" audio tracks inside the "data track"?

The various CD specifications dictate how specific types of tracks can be laid out on disc, but they don’t say that all audio must come from an audio CD track. There are other considerations however, ...
Stephen Kitt's user avatar
32 votes

Was "One-Winged Angel" an actual CD track, or generated by the PlayStation's sound chip with a few samples (SFX) added on top?

suppose it's possible that the PlayStation audio format does have the required instruments, and then they added the few repeated audio samples on top of that in the game engine There are no ...
hobbs's user avatar
  • 5,093
25 votes

How was copying prevented when the first CD-ROM games were introduced?

(preface: While Stephen's answer already covers the basic points, I would like to put a different emphasis here - and merge in some private history :)) Short answer: It was the game's size and the ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 224k
22 votes

What innovation helped CD-ROM speeds increase exponentially?

While reading a CD, the main head assembly will simply move slowly from the inside of the disk outward, but unless the disk is absolutely perfectly centered--something that usually doesn't happen--the ...
supercat's user avatar
  • 36.6k
22 votes

How does the CD audio connector work?

Just wanted to add a little color and clarity for those that weren't here in the late 80s / early 90s, or weren't (that) into computers: There's a big distinction to make between a CD-ROM drive that ...
SirNickity's user avatar
19 votes
Accepted

What happens when PS1's "Fearful Harmony" is triggered?

Just a disclaimer: Most of this is based on observation and assumptions from experience and should be taken with a grain of salt. From what I've seen with this glitch, the audio being played is ...
TheAdmiester's user avatar
19 votes

How did the Sega CD decompress video?

Playback of compressed digital video is handled entirely in software on the Sega CD which is why FMV games on it play with the video taking less than the full screen and at relatively low frames per ...
mnem's user avatar
  • 4,545
18 votes
Accepted

Zip drive eject "tool"

The problem is almost certainly the quality of the dollar store paperclip. If you buy a box of paperclips from a stationary store, you are more likely to get paperclips made from thicker and stronger ...
Wayne Conrad's user avatar
  • 2,736
17 votes

What is the massive CD drive used in the movie "Licence to Kill"?

That is a Philips VP415 LV-ROM player.
Justme's user avatar
  • 33k
17 votes

What were the incentives behind WinWord.Concept computer virus?

Adding to the existing answer, I remember reading about the circumstances at the time. No anti-virus software looked for Word macro viruses at that point, and the creators of the CD believed they'd ...
John Dallman's user avatar
  • 13.3k
17 votes

Were CD-ROM-based games able to "hide" audio tracks inside the "data track"?

You can't direct a CD player to play audio directly from a data track, because the formats are different. You can read CD-quality audio from the data track and play it through the speakers, but that ...
fadden's user avatar
  • 9,050
17 votes
Accepted

Why didn't the CD come with a caddy by default?

When the CD first released back in the early 80's (or is it late 70's?) First shown 1981 in Berlin, introduced worldwide 1982. why did Sony and Philips even allow the disk itself to be "naked&...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 224k
14 votes

Zip drive eject "tool"

A very thin Allen key. I've got a .05" one in my toolkit which was originally there for aligning Shugart floppy discs and by now is used almost entirely for misbehaving DVD drives etc. I'd ...
Mark Morgan Lloyd's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

How to make bootable CD with multiple games for CDTV

Well, a few users are creating compilation of games for the CD32 and the CDTV. The most prolific is AmigaJay. For instance here he released several compilations for CDTV including a lot of titles: ...
Jean-François Fabre's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

Could early nineties PCs access raw CD bitstream?

TL;DR; Yes and yes, but. CD-ROM Mode 2 offers all 2336 bytes of a CD-ROM block for user data. By default all CD-ROM drives can read Mode 2 disks as well Mode 2 CD-ROM have been produced, but it never ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 224k
13 votes

How was copying prevented when the first CD-ROM games were introduced?

It's probably not exact but Sony back in the day had a really cool way of Protection against pirates: Simply said they changed the CD itself... and made it "Wobble" in a certain way in the ...
Michael Tsimmerman's user avatar
13 votes

Was "One-Winged Angel" an actual CD track, or generated by the PlayStation's sound chip with a few samples (SFX) added on top?

It's a PSF (Portable Sound Format, see Wikipedia) music file, the PlayStation equivalent of the Amiga's module (.mod) format, where sound samples and replay data sequences are stored inside one file, ...
Lorenzo's user avatar
  • 131
12 votes

How did Sony, Panasonic and Mitsumi CD-ROM drives differ from the later ATAPI standard?

Physically, the Panasonic and Mitsumi interfaces are identical to unkeyed ATA interfaces, and 40-pin unkeyed IDE cables can be used to connect Panasonic and Mitsumi drives to a compatible controller. ...
Stephen Kitt's user avatar
11 votes

How do I attach and use a CD-ROM drive to an Amiga?

Hardware-wise, you can get HiSoft's Surf Squirrel PCMCIA-to-SCSI adapter and attach an external SCSI CD-ROM drive. For this, you don't need to open up the A1200, but then you can't use the PCMCIA for ...
snips-n-snails's user avatar

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