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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 ...
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 ...
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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 ...
  • 491
39 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....
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,...
  • 58.8k
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, ...
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 ...
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 ...
  • 32.1k
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
11 votes

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

But I have a new external Western Digital USB HDD here and I saw in Wireshark that it uses SCSI. Yes, because (most) USB storage devices are using SCSI commands over top of USB. This is done either ...
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 ...
10 votes
Accepted

How did Ridge Racer the arcade game store its music?

Quick googling for the Ridge Racer arcade machine specs finds the Namco System 22, with Sound Sound CPU: System 22: 2× Namco C74 (16-bit Mitsubishi M37702) @ 16.4 MHz Super System 22: Mitsubishi ...
  • 23.6k
10 votes

What were the incentives behind WinWord.Concept computer virus?

The important part to know about Concept is that it was a self-replicating virus: When an infected document is opened, Concept [...] copies its macros to the template [NORMAL.DOT]. [...] Once NORMAL....
  • 201
10 votes

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

I am sure there is a historical reason why SATA HDDs and SSDs use ATA and not SCSI. One interesting aspect about early ATA is that it is almost directly compatible with ISA bus. For the slow speed ...
  • 1,396
7 votes

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

I don't think any current answers highlight that the PCs of the day, didn't have the processing power to read a PCM file (or compressed file), decode them, and play them through the sound card ...
  • 520
6 votes

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

CDs were designed for audio, and when they created the CD-ROM standard, they shoehorned the data storage into the existing audio CD format, essentially disguising the data as audio (which would play ...
  • 1,528
6 votes

Why did old CD ROM drives spin super fast if they couldn't read the disk?

Unlike some kinds of tape or disk drives, or for that matter analog record players, whose motors are designed to always run at some particular speed, CD players and CD-ROM drives are designed to spin ...
  • 32.1k
4 votes

Are rainbow books the only CD standards?

The GD-ROM disks used in the Sega Dreamcast console did not follow CD-ROM standards. The proprietary format developed for Sega by Yamaha packed bits on the disk more tightly than a standard CD-ROM, ...
4 votes

Are rainbow books the only CD standards?

(This is to be taken as extension to Alan's Answer) Anything not following the standard is not a CD and can not be read on a CD drive. What you may be thinking of are different formats. Only the RED ...
  • 191k
4 votes
Accepted

Are rainbow books the only CD standards?

The Rainbow Books only define the CD stadards. Any other disc standards defined elsewhere are therefore not CDs and not defined by the Rainbow Books. So any other disc format, or even a copy protected ...
  • 23.4k
4 votes

Are rainbow books the only CD standards?

There are some semantics involved. If the 'CD' does not follow the rainbow book standards then it is strictly speaking not a CD and not eligible for the trade mark logo etc. There are non standard CD ...
  • 766
4 votes
Accepted

How to make an audio CD for a(n emulated) Playstation?

One-step procedure (command line) Since no tool to do what I'm asking (audio cdr in .bin + .cue format from input media source) seemed to exist I have written one myself, mkaudiocdrimg(AUR). $ ...
3 votes

What were the incentives behind WinWord.Concept computer virus?

I believe the motive was just to show it could be done. The following is all just by memory from news coverage at the time: There was a text string in the code somewhere saying something like "...
3 votes

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

I recommend reading this answer by Warren Young over on the Unix SE site. The question is different than yours, but the first part of his post answers your question as well. The short version is that ...
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2 votes

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

Sega Dreamcast game "Atelier Marie" was a video game served as GD-ROM. It contained, however some extras as a screensaver which were meant to be read by a PC. The developers weren't careful ...
2 votes

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

Stephen Kitt has already given you a comprehensive answer as to how CDs work. I'll answer one question you didn't ask: is there a way to have "CD-audio quality music on a CD-ROM not as an audio ...
2 votes

What were the incentives behind WinWord.Concept computer virus?

Hacking and hackers used to have different definitions. It used to be about breaking technological boundaries, gaining computer science, and doing ever-increasingly impressive feats, sometimes ...
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