This has to be the maddest way to download a game EVER

Look at us, with our fancy DLC and digital downloads conveniently siphoned direct into our consoles with a minimum of fuss. It's easy. Sometimes time consuming. But easy. Well, rewind selector back to the 80s and behold what must be the most mental way to download a game ever invented: by recording noises from a record made of vinyl onto a cassette made of tape which is then played to a computer made of electronics. I shit you not.

While not exactly a widespread analogue embracing of the future, some bands in the 80s actually released records that had game data recorded in their grooves. This data noise - the iconic loading sounds - could be transferred to tape and loaded to a computer, most commonly the ZX Spectrum. If this very lo-fi process worked, users would have a fully working game (or a message from the band or something) as a reward for their effort.

In picture form the downloading operation would look something like this:

Truly amazing. Having never experienced a vinyl to cassette based download, I feel like I've missed out on something special.

If you want to learn more about this bizarre retro computing curiosity, go check out a big oldarticle about it on Kempa.com. It's fascinating stuff.

May 27, 2010