In the early personal computer days, recording artists included hidden computer programs on vinyl records -- you recorded the LP to tape, then put the tape in your computer's cassette drive. Here's a nice history of the practice, with screenshots of the programs in action and links to emulated versions.
A gigantic step up from encoded text files were actual games included in the grooves of records. In 1984, The Thompson Twins released 'The Thompson Twins Adventure Game' in both regular vinyl and flexi disc formats.
This one has survived the ravages of time and is available for download online. You can play it in your web browser by clicking this link. The game is a bizarre text-based adventure in which you guide the Thompson Twins around a land of beaches and caves. If you didn't grow up playing these games, in which you have to keep a map on paper and guess which key verbs the programmers used for certain actions, you may find it a bit frustrating. I poked around a little, but I haven't played it enough to see how it ends. If you go north from the first screen, the Thompson Twins drown en masse. As always, the British say it best:
"And, what a surprise, having deafened my family recording it onto tape on our dodgy stereo, when the game finally worked, it was crap. Bloody stupid Eighties floppy haired innumerate Chesterfield talentless ponces."
The bad news is that, due to the sheer tininess of certain components, iPhones are particularly vulnerable to going haywire in the presence of helium. The good news is that helium just isn’t a problem you run into often. Sure enough, Apple’s user guide for the iPhone and Apple watch admits this is a problem: […]
A single smut-addicted official at the US Geological Survey led to an IT crisis there, according to an official report, with visits to more than 9000 porny URLs resulting in a malware infestation. The recommendations? Filter the web, and plug those damned USB ports. Correction: More than 9000 sites, not 9000 infections.
Social network Gab was the online sanctuary of Robert Bowers, the antisemitic killer of 11 Jewish people in Pittsburgh. Gab lost its payment processors Paypal and Stripe over the weekend. On Tuesday, it loses its webhost, Joyent. Godaddy, its domain name registrar, gave it the boot on Sunday. Gab co-founder Ekrem Büyükkaya, who once wrote […]
What do you get for the techie who has everything? How about giving them a Raspberry Pi and letting them make pretty much anything. Or better yet, do it for yourself with the Ultimate Raspberry Pi eBook Bundle. This trove of ideas and education unlocks the unlimited potential of this mini-computer, whose affordability and versatility […]
Note-taking just caught up to the digital age. For most of us, writing freehand is quicker and more convenient than pecking away on a tablet, but what to do when you need those scribbles on file? Grab a Rocketbook Everlast Reusable Notebook, which seamlessly fuses analog and digital notes. Just jot down your thoughts, journals […]
Remember the cartoons of your youth? There’s a good reason. Nothing sparks the imagination like well-done animation. And whether you need a logo in motion or just want to bring your own imagination to life, CrazyTalk Animator 3 Pro is the tool that can take you there. Easy enough for casual users but with all […]