Restoring data from computer data cassette formats #VintageComputing
Herb Johnson has compiled a comprehensive page on Computer Data Cassette Formats.
Audio tape cassettes of the 1960’s (developed by Phillips) were used with the first microcomputers of the mid-1970’s to store and reload programs. Several digital standards and circuits and programs were developed in the period. Personal portable cassette recorders were inexpensive, reliable, available; the circuits needed on the microcomputers were simple.
Into the 1980’s personal computers in mass-production continued to use cassettes, because of their cost advantage and simple digital hardware over floppy diskettes and drives.
Decades later, vintage computer owners and museums of computing technology are recovering the binary (and audio) content from these decade-old tapes. Many of these programs are games, and there is particular interest today by gamers in vintage computing.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.