TIL that in 1984, British new wave pop group Thompson Twins released a video game on a vinyl record. Players had to copy the game from the vinyl disc to a cassette tape, which could then be played on a ZX Spectrum or Commodore 64 computer.

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When the “FREE GAME!” advertised on the front of a magazine turned out to be three pages of code that you had to manually type in then save to tape. Not a bad thing. After a while you got to learn code and could change the game for infinite lives etc.


Now THAT’s something worth learning! As the proud owner of a VIC 20 the Commodore 64 was out of my reach, but I would totally have recorded that record to a cassette and popped it into my external cassette drive! (Fond memory: editing the dictionary for the Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing program to add dirty words – you did it too, just admit it!)


And you think blowing on a cartridge was annoying.


This is an unusual kluge and seems unlikely to have worked well. Cassette interfaces were notoriously finicky, and you’d have to experiment until you found just the right volume level for every tape. Write it on the cassette label! This one is about 2.3. This one needs 3.2. The fun of getting *close* to the right volume was, the program would spend minutes loading and then… boom! Checksum error! Restart the computer, rewind the tape, and adjust the volume ever so slightly. Floppies were so much of an improvement. Hard drives were better. SSDs are so fine, I almost want to cry. I still have the capacity to use old media going back decades but, these days, I’ll just let the computer slurp the software straight off the internet. It’s digit-licking good.


My mom threw away my commodore with all kinds of extras one day because she thought it was junk… I told her how much it was worth and she was like oh well