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114 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 ...
70 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 ...
48 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 ...
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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 ...
  • 30.5k
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 ...
  • 191k
40 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....
39 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 ...
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38 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 ...
36 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,...
  • 58.9k
32 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, ...
31 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 ...
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23 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 ...
  • 191k
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 ...
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 ...
18 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 ...
  • 4,332
18 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 ...
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17 votes

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

That is a Philips VP415 LV-ROM player.
  • 23.4k
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 ...
  • 8,200
16 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 ...
  • 8,693
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: ...
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 ...
  • 191k
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 ...
12 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, ...
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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 ...
11 votes

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

In addition to Stephen Kitt's answer: Copy protection existed long before CDs; most of these techniques could be applied to CD-ROMs too. Many games that were shipped on floppies had copy protection - ...
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11 votes

Attaching a CD-rom drive for Amiga 500

A stock Amiga 500 doesn't come with any expansion port that would take a standard CD ROM drive (or hard disk) directly. Storage extension is limited to external floppy drives. The option of the day ...
  • 29.9k
11 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. ...
11 votes

How does the CD audio connector work?

Some more background: Back when IDE (or pre-IDE, which also frequently had audio connectors) CDROM drives were introduced, Audio CD players were NOT a ridiculously cheap commodity that you can also ...

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