Apple I Basic plucked from vintage cassette tape, turned into MP3


They very first piece of commercial Apple software — a primordial flavor of BASIC originally released in 1976 that took thirty seconds to load — has been perfectly and authoritatively extracted from a yellowing audio tape and converted into a 38 second MP3, playable in iTunes. Plucky, hyper-intelligent beardos are now dissecting the file and learning its secrets, but their findings are a bit above my head. You can read them in full at the link below. All I feel worthy of commenting upon is the song itself, which is rather catchy — a Music to Make Love To Your Old Lady By as interpreted by antediluvian 70s cyborgs.

1200 Baud Archeology: Reconstructing Apple BASIC from a Cassette Tape [Pagetable via Crunchgear]

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  1. i just played the mp3 and my screen suddenly went monochrome with a single flashing cursor. i had to write a web browser in basic to send this message.

  2. Man! That first change (~17) is bad ass! And just when you start rocking on it, it hits the break down(~27).. yknow that little metally fill , awesome!
    The endings a little weak though.

  3. if you enjoy the sounds of apple basic I, you should check out databending: the creative misuse of data. a number of electronic musicians have used these types of sounds; i personally released a 12″ record of songs composed entirely of sounds i got from sonifying raw data on my hard drive.

  4. *sigh* 1200 baud. I haven’t heard that in years

    Happy days as a youngster loading games into the C64 from tapes that got as long as 5 minutes, some of which had to be turned over and played on the reverse side, too.

    Then we got a disc drive, and it was as big as the entire computer, but man did that make life easier…

  5. Back in the day someone wrote a freeware command line MS-DOS app, called simply “play”. It would play any type of audio file and would convert data files to screaming glitchy blasts of sound. I always thought it would be rad to make music with. Too bad they killed MS-DOS.

  6. sounds very much like “luke i am your father”
    only backwards, slowed down, and ran through a compositor
    with extra sprinkles of “ha ha”

    I’ll add this to my collection of binaural beats, see if I get any energy from it.

  7. Listening to that made me thing I was logging on to a phone line BBS again.

    We’re all cracked, aren’t we?

  8. @4

    Where? Oh, you mean FreeBSD? otherwise people wouldn’t buy OS X they would download it.

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