Floppy Drive Plays GoT Theme



I like Game of Thrones. I am also a bit of a computer nerd. My son showed me this video yesterday that brought both of those worlds together. Who would have thought that old computer hardware could be repurposed to play music?


Well actually, I heard something like this before in person. I worked for TRW Transportations Systems back in the early 1970’s. I remember in our computer room at the Clear Lake office there was a minicomputer equipped with a IBM 2315 compatible disk drive (A drive unit that accepted 14 inch 1MB removable disk cartridges in a plastic container as pictured above). One of the creative programmers had written a program that would play  “She’s Coming Around the Mountain” by controlling the arm with the read/write heads.

The arm had to traverse between 5 and 6 inches quickly to access the tracks containing the data. To achieve this a large voice coil actuator would move the arm with the heads to a designated track on the disk. This required a considerable force to move the heads quickly enough. The movement made enough noise that a ‘tune’ could be played. The unit was mounted in a standard five foot tall 19 inch rack and if the song was played, the force would be enough to visibly shake the rack containing the drive and minicomputer.

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