Booting DOS from vinyl

Jozef Bogin, master engineer, boots DOS from a vinyl record. And why not?

The turntable spins an analog recording of a small bootable read-only RAM drive, which is 64K in size. This contains a FreeDOS kernel, modified by me to cram it into the memory constraint, a micro variant of COMMAND.COM and a patched version of INTERLNK, that allows file transfer through a printer cable, modified to be runnable on FreeDOS. The bootloader reads the disk image from the audio recording through the cassette modem, loads it to memory and boots the system on it. Simple huh?

The weird part is that I'm from the generation that booted games (if not operating systems) off cassette tapes. They were often unreliable. Vinyl is clearly a better medium for data, but the size and the media and the turntable makes it seem comically inappropriate.

If you like screeching noises, here's a rather unpleasant video of it in action.

See also RCA SelectaVision, a video-on-vinyl standard (240p, 60 minutes a side) that the company sat on until it was too late and as a result never took off.