Altair32 Emulator "Easter Egg" idea

John Foust jfoust at threedee.com
Fri Mar 4 10:34:09 CST 2005


At 10:18 AM 3/4/2005, Vintage Computer Festival wrote:
>On Thu, 3 Mar 2005, John Foust wrote:
>> Might there be a clever way to emulate the AM sound of the emulated code,
>> generating the radio sound directly through the PC's audio system?
>
>Very cool idea.  This should be possible.  I have no suggestions,
>unfortunately.

I would guess that the answer to "What generates the AM tone?"
might differ between systems.  One answer lies in disassembling the
code that makes the sound.  Each program might have its own unique
method.  Is it mem-copy loops, on-chip or off-chip execution loops, 
I/O pokes, patterns in bus access?  Another answer might come from 
measuring the intensity of the radiated interference at various 
parts of the machine.  So far, it all sounds like something that 
could be emulated.  

I've always thought that emulators should come with much more familiar
sound effects, like the sounds of keyboards, disk drive doors
opening and closing, floppy steppers engaging, fans, tapes turning, etc.  
That's all part of the memory we're savoring and preserving, no?

I'll stop at smell-o-vision - although I have nasal memories of
particular computer parts, too, like blowtorching 74xx chips off
scrap boards as a teen, or the particular melange of out-gassing
or baking of plastics.

- John




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