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.
Ed. note: Even the original IBM PC had a cassette port, although few people used it as it was for ROM BASIC only and not PC-DOS. More on Wikipedia.
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
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.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.