How old school cassette tape drives worked

25 jun 2016
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In this episode we take an in depth look at what life was like using cassette drives for storage on computers during the 1970's and 1980's.

  • The Tape drive of the Philips P2000 could random access and search files on its own. It used a Tape like a Disk Drive.

    Rainer WeningerRainer Weninger3 dagar sedan
  • I worked at Bonniers as a printer operator in 1990. The data normaly came on reel tapes. They also had a "Hard Disk" station about 3 feet high 2 feet wide and 3 feet deep. I don't remember exactly how much it could store but I think it was 10-20 MB. It had a direct line from the city to the suburb where I worked (about 10 miles of cable) and I can't imagine it was cheap. I was printing invoice forms and such. The printers had 150 hammers and then the alphabet and all other characters 3 times on a metal band turning around at high speed. It could print 1200 rows per minute, insane speed. We had three of these printers and two tape stations and the disk station. Sometimes all three printers were hammering away at the same time. They cost 500.000 SEK each in 1990, 876.000 SEK in today's money $101.600.

    DrProctor 180DrProctor 1807 dagar sedan
  • I had plenty of experience with cassette data storage, first with the TI-99/4a and then the Atari 800XL. With the TI you can at least use your own cassette player although it was so finicky about volume you're more likely to receive an "Error: No Data Found" or "Error Detected in Data" message than it is to successfully load the program. With the Atari 8-bit it was painfully slow to load a program, not to mention you can only use the player available by Atari but it had no volume. For example I owned a cassette to a game called Zombies (which was the original version of Realm of Impossibility) and it literally took a half hour to load. Luckily for the Atari I had a disk drive which was so much faster and I almost always saved programs I typed in BASIC from computer magazines (like Family Computing, Compute! and Antic) onto blank disk.

    Ben MilerBen Miler7 dagar sedan
  • 6:33 literally every PC today has that! Cool they didn't remove that.

    Kale KitchenKale Kitchen8 dagar sedan
  • I was born in 1987. First video game I ever played was Tetris in that old tetris handheld. First time I played on a PC was the 1989 Prince of Persia in 1998. Now that I'm an avid gamer with a high end gaming PC that I've built, I really appreciate the struggle you guys went through to play video games back in the day. It's really fascinating.

    DarklanovDarklanov9 dagar sedan
  • Why the title of video is in Spanish and the video is in English?

    Josafat Fernando SJosafat Fernando S10 dagar sedan
  • Imagine all those hardware now fits on an FULL ATX case

    Banished From DeathBanished From Death15 dagar sedan
  • Ah Killer Comet. I remember having that listing and many more in a small book for my vic20 back in early 80s. About 50 games or something and a few were requiring +3k etc. My mum looked into expansion cartridges at the time in Australia but were getting hard to find, ended up getting a c64 then instead.

    Shane Van IngenShane Van Ingen16 dagar sedan
  • Que educativa forma de volver al pasado, muchas gracias

    Ismael Vega RavanalIsmael Vega Ravanal22 dagar sedan

    Lilhyz ExploreLilhyz Explore27 dagar sedan
  • What is ironic is that this video is about cassetes and he used a Datasette for the intro

    Vinnie alVinnie alMånad sedan
  • Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeepraccacc

    Home alone boy ytHome alone boy ytMånad sedan
  • Yeh that was fun back then, I think I'm the only one in my Computer class to remember all the Commodore keyboard shortcuts

    Chris 5949Chris 5949Månad sedan
  • Non ci sono i sottotitoli in italiano

    naxil81naxil81Månad sedan
  • I started with 5 1/4" floppies, but we did have a tape drive. By that point we never used it, of course, since disks were far better. My dad once showed me, though, and we described the experience as: "Start loading the game, have lunch, then come back and it _might_ be done."

    OstsolOstsolMånad sedan
  • It's fantastic how technology was. As far as I remember, in my country the personal computer became a thing after 1995 when floppy disks where really a thing

    Bogdan54Bogdan54Månad sedan
  • This might be How Cortana Or Siri Started

    Pinoy Music StationPinoy Music StationMånad sedan
  • People are amazed to find out that magnetic tape storage is still used today, in research/archives especially. It's: energy efficient, cheaper per tb, long term reliable and secure.

    riothero313riothero313Månad sedan
  • 10:31 I have that exact stereo. LOL

    Jacqui SandersonJacqui SandersonMånad sedan
  • Why does the casette drive on the left look too much like an SNES cartridge?

    X86fanboyX86fanboyMånad sedan
  • Fast Loaders for Tapes didnt exist in the early days. Games on the C64 didn't have flashing borders and static screens when loading from Tape until later in the Computers life. Tape Games such as Hover Bover, Monty on the Run and Loco took up to 20 minutes to load. I remember my original Tape copy of River Raid took 28 minutes to load. Sometimes not playing because the Tape Heads or mechanism was getting old. Fast Loaders sped up loading to a couple of minutes, sometimes faster than the 1541 Disk Drives 3 minutes load times. Eventually Epyx Fast Loader and Mach 5 Carts gave us overall peripheral speeds worth cheering about. Also Tape Copier Adapters (Hacks) allowed Two Datasettes to be connected and copy a Game to the second tape unit as it loaded.

    Paul JanekPaul JanekMånad sedan
  • UFO ..... yeaaaaaahhhh ;)

    Franz HegerFranz HegerMånad sedan

    Ocean BlazeOcean BlazeMånad sedan
  • All your tapes are belong to us

    Ryan CourtRyan CourtMånad sedan
  • I read that modern tapes can hold over 10TB and are much cheaper than other forms of backup storage, and then I see that a modern tape drive costs a large amount of money even though the tapes themselves are cheap as hell for their size. :(

    DeathlordUSADeathlordUSAMånad sedan
    • @Bogdan54 Well yeah, it's just for backing up large quantities of data long term. Stuff that doesn't need to be read or written to for a while but needs to be stored regardless.

      DeathlordUSADeathlordUSAMånad sedan
    • Yeah, they are cheaper then other forms of storage but look at the price of equipment needed for that. I mean what the hell, do I really need to pay so much? And it isn't as relevant for reading or writing data on it compared to a hdd or an SSD.

      Bogdan54Bogdan54Månad sedan
  • Oh my God this video starts with a horror nightmarish story 😂😂😂

    Julien CKJMJulien CKJMMånad sedan
  • what is that game website?

    Ronen BarenboimRonen BarenboimMånad sedan
  • We need to access Wally's memory from when he was a proud engineer @The8-BitGuy

    Wil WardWil WardMånad sedan
  • 8:23.. theres no such word as supposably

    rob brob bMånad sedan
  • old school ??? i use these every day for my speccy and acorn electron.

    rob brob bMånad sedan
  • As a kid in the '80s I tried programming about 4 times: a couple of times in Basic and partially succesful in Assembler. In Assembler the purpose was to let a stickfigure walk across the screen, sadly by some error it looked as he was hopping after one leg stayed backward :-D Now we're 2020, I'm in my 40s and learning to programme on my VIC-20 is relaxing! :-)

    pr0wl3r666pr0wl3r666Månad sedan
  • In elementary school I tried writing programs on the VIC20 that basically turned it into a graphical calculator (just a few years before those things actually became a reality), but the 8 KB RAM was massively prohibiting for doing graphics, so I had to learn how to use the sequential search and load feature of the datasette. Basically means you write the program so it loads and run the initial part of it, in my case a menu, which is then coded so it will search through the tape and load only the part it needs to do what you want it to. It was a pain in the ass to program and in itself actually took up a lot of RAM, and of course you had to manually rewind the tape which was a really dumb part of the datasette, but that really was the only way to make really big programs work with so little RAM. Of course with the C64 floppy disks became far more normal and random seek and load much easier to code.

    SteelRodentSteelRodent2 månader sedan
  • I remember calling my friend on the phone, who lived about 10 minutes walk from me, so that he starts loading the game we wanted to play, because it took 150 turns on the cassette tape for the game to load. :D

    Sir GalahardSir Galahard2 månader sedan
  • i still have my zx spectrum +2 +3 +2a and all my tapes and disks. the +3 has a 3inch drive on where we could copy the tapes to the disk and make them load in faster and i have a floppy vynil record with codemaster games on and while my tapes and disks are stored away i can us the worldofspectrum website to play my old games also magazines called ace which had games on for cbm amstrad c64 spectrum amiga

    GordonGordon2 månader sedan
  • I remember buying books of games, wich had the code and you had to type it. Spain, late 80's

    Roberto bertoRoberto berto2 månader sedan
  • Excellent video and awesome content as usual. You have explained the technical aspect. I have a question. We all know that c64/ Atari games came as cartridges, discs, and tapes. However, the tape drive to load the cassette games was incredibly unreliable. I have heard of a trick that you can covert cassette games into floppy disc drives. Is there a way to dedicate an episode or a video of how to convert cassette games into disc drives? Thanks Zack

    Mr.Logic23Mr.Logic232 månader sedan

    IwoStrikerASDIwoStrikerASD2 månader sedan
  • Stealth Fighter on original tape took forever!

    Rutger MangerRutger Manger2 månader sedan
  • 2:19 What happen when you put game cassette in tape player

    Janice AlejoJanice Alejo2 månader sedan
  • In England in the late eighties tapes were still king. Computer magazines lost their listings and were just enough paper to support the cassette taped to the cover. 9 times out of 10 you'd have to put a tiny screwdriver into a small hole in the door to adjust the head azimuth because they were horrible cheap flimsy shells that you could crush like a coke can after the 37th time of staring at the loading screen for 7 minuites only to get LOADING ERROR at the end. Having said that they always worked for saving and loading on the same unit and were far cheaper (£20 vs £300) than discs so they were the only option.

    Paul FrancisPaul Francis2 månader sedan
  • It never dawned on me as a child with the C64 to try putting the tape into my stereo deck to see what it sounded like.....

    mpschaefermpschaefer2 månader sedan
  • Wow. 15 minute video and no info on how tape storage works.

    Dr. LoveDr. Love2 månader sedan
  • That australian seems really thick

    Dr. LoveDr. Love2 månader sedan
  • @ The 8-bit Guy: Sound exactly the same if you accidentally called a fax machine and the fax machine answers your called, and it also sound the same as the computer making that exact sound to used the phone line for dial-up internet, and also you want to do a phone called someone his using the dial-up internet, you don't know they are using it, you try to called someone and all you heard his that same sound.

    SuperNickidSuperNickid2 månader sedan
  • The chez rocker mix on SEworld

    Stazia KiberaStazia Kibera2 månader sedan
  • Can TDK SA90 work with C64 Tape Drive?

    AlpzeptaAlpzepta2 månader sedan
  • I have a quick question for you. Is there a way to transfer some cassette programs to floppy disk? If so how can it be done? If you can make an episode about this that would be great. I used to own Atari 130 xe, and had a cassette and disk games. We all know that the tape drives are unreliable when it comes to loading a program. I was left with sad childhood because many of the great games I have owned are in cassette and not on disk drives. Thanks man.

    Mr.Logic23Mr.Logic232 månader sedan
  • 5:35 tesla cybertruck

    Gonzalo abel lecunaGonzalo abel lecuna3 månader sedan
  • The Philips P2000 used its tape drive like a disk drive with random access, automatically spinning forward and backward. That always fascinated me. They only used small voice recorder tapes.

    Rainer WeningerRainer Weninger3 månader sedan
  • That boom box shown at 10:32 is the one I've owned for 20 odd years, it's sitting on the dresser just behind me right now. Absolutely fantastic sound quality on that unit.

    Justin WilsonJustin Wilson3 månader sedan
  • 10:47 The answer varies *W I D E L Y* depending of what kind of computer

    Vitto's Phone CollectionVitto's Phone Collection3 månader sedan
  • me and my dad watched this and it was so fun to watch him get nostalgic

    Red Game cardRed Game card3 månader sedan
  • I love the Aggies hat

    Olaf ElsbeurryOlaf Elsbeurry3 månader sedan
  • Wow awesome, you can put a virus inside sounds. Could probably useful to put a virus into HAL 20000 or Terminator Cyberdyne system.

    utusssssutusssss3 månader sedan
  • in Italy, in the mid-80s, you could find in newsstands cassettes with thirty c64 games. they weren't expensive, basically they were illegal copies of famous games :)

    marco testimarco testi3 månader sedan
  • Me: *watches 8-bit guy talking about floppy disks then this video* 8-bit guy: "Stick around for the next episode where we talk about floppy disks" Also Me: *Evil laugh* "I'm 4 parallel universes ahead of you"

    Mikołaj BajkowskiMikołaj Bajkowski3 månader sedan
  • 5:55 "A primitive computer, I've seen them demonstrated before in museums." It's already in a museum lol

    A GuyA Guy3 månader sedan
  • Ah good old tape drives! One technology I certainly do NOT miss. To you younger folks, I can not stress how SLOW these things were. You would literally start one, go make yourself lunch and the program you wanted might have loaded by the time you were done eating. Not to mention, like any other cassette, they were prone to breaking, jamming or just getting too close to a magnet.

    Aaron DervrakAaron Dervrak4 månader sedan
  • Great episode! Brings back lots of memories 🙂

    Aleksandar GrozdanoskiAleksandar Grozdanoski4 månader sedan
  • where did you find the analog to digital tape adapter? i can find any on ebay

    Henry DandoHenry Dando4 månader sedan
  • at the Commodore-corp. they knew about the cassette problem! the engineers C64 wanted to do add the turbo mode in C64 ROM memory but policymakers have figured out silly hardware compatibility with the CBM and ViC20 models ... it was even worse in the floppy drive 1541 - there was a CHIP BUG from drive of early CBM-computers , that's why the floppy of C64 was so slow! it was easy to fix !!! (newest chips in 1984 worked good in fully speed) ... but again the decision makers forbade to change - the idiots!

    、ヅ、ヅ4 månader sedan
  • One thing that always bothered me was that they never considered using (that I know of) VHS or Beta Max tapes. I would think the storage on a 2-hour Hi Fidelity tape would be able to hold an incredible amount of data. Thinking about could have been the Neo Geo of computer gaming in the 1980's. As VHS took over, I would have thought that to be the next evolution passed cassettes. However, they skipped the VHS and went straight to floppy 5 and a quarter to 3 inch and so on. At any rate, speaking of the Neo Geo I was wondering if you will ever do an episode on it? I know you're the 8-bit guy but the Neo Geo AES/MVS/CDZ all have an 8-bit Zilog Z-80 co-processor. Further, would you ever consider doing one on the Sega Genesis? Just like the Neo Geo consoles it too has an 8-bit Zilog Z-80. I would love to know how these incredible 16-bit consoles used their co-processors. I would also find it fascinating to find your take on the Genesis utilizing software to emulate sprite scaling for example.

    Sinn0100Sinn01004 månader sedan
  • what would happen if you try loading a new game onto an old computer like minecraft or terraria? there would be no size limit now because you can just load it through a phone

    Nathan BrownNathan Brown4 månader sedan
  • The Thompson Twins Adventure was released on flexidisc on the front of C&VG

    Sarah PengilleySarah Pengilley4 månader sedan
  • Some games had loading screen mini games to play while you waited for the main game

    Sarah PengilleySarah Pengilley4 månader sedan
  • My first computer was a disk one ---> this infamous Amstrad CPC 6128 w. color monitor ^^

    David 'Rahow' KaminskiDavid 'Rahow' Kaminski4 månader sedan
  • I load and save my stuff to the cloud from my actual ZX Spectrum ✨👍🏻

    Alex SummersAlex Summers4 månader sedan
  • The concept of storing programs with audio sounds super interesting especially considering that most older formats were used to store sound (and the players for these older formats almost always had the 3.5mm jack)

    Kayla MitchellKayla Mitchell4 månader sedan
  • I love the nerd cross references. Not joking. I use the word "nerd" as a term of endearment. I enjoy all of your guys' channels and envy all of your wisdom.

    Carlos LopezCarlos Lopez4 månader sedan
  • Intro that's how they worked lol 0:01-0:04

    Nick CookNick Cook4 månader sedan
  • if i wanted to set up one of these old computers what setup would you reccomend

    rwntrwnt4 månader sedan
  • 2:23 Top 10 anime rappers Eminem was too scared to diss

    PizzaGob1inPizzaGob1in4 månader sedan
  • Nub question does cds give the same sounds to enter code or a game like the cassettes?

    Matthew ArndtMatthew Arndt4 månader sedan
  • The tape counters were spot on! It also ment you could load a game and go away and do something else knowing how long exactly it would take. Bbc micro B 32k... my childhood wasn't wasted!

    jasbkjasbk4 månader sedan
  • Had a ZX Spectrum 128k that came with a cassette deck. I remember the distinct screeching sound it made when loading a game that might or might not even load.

    Mr DorfMr Dorf4 månader sedan
  • Wow killer comet, I remember typing in that game. It came with the vic 20 manual

    Black Knight RadioBlack Knight Radio5 månader sedan
  • I had a off-brand cassette drive for my C=128, that had advantages over the "original" Commodore: a switch to enable a "monitor" speaker so one could hear the audio signal being loaded. This was important for example when you had a tape from a magazine with 10-20 games on it, and had to be precisely rewind to load a specific program.

    Alessio SangalliAlessio Sangalli5 månader sedan
  • Commodore tapes were awesome , till I got mortal kombat on my Sega Master system every kid would come over and play winner stays On

    Skippy 4077Skippy 40775 månader sedan
  • Omg you are a Red Dwarf fan too! Awesome and i also love Futurama and liked Dilbert.

    david sernadavid serna5 månader sedan
  • I love this community so much

    Desert RadioDesert Radio5 månader sedan
  • Beautiful music for your ears. But not mine

    Luigi MarioLuigi Mario5 månader sedan
  • I watched the entire video and I loved every second of it. 👍

    MemperMemper5 månader sedan
  • Ah... nostalgia.... I got program in one book for commodore 64 that draw you one playing card. Funny, around then it was gambling hype in our village when we first time got commercial poker video machines, and I got that wonderfull idea! Instead wasting money on poker, Ill make my own! I did everything, cards drawing, holding cards on button, inserting coins, all in ascii code! But, problem appeared when I got to part where I had to wrote routine for determining what kind of poker hand you got(3 of kind, straight etc) I coded and coded and it suddenly started to give: out of memory error :( I thought I overloaded machine and ditched project. I was too young and unexperienced to know that I actually used too deep procedure call level and registers couldnt process it :(

    srksiisrksii5 månader sedan
  • Decadently started with a 1541 but fondly remember my mates trying to calibrate their datasette to the sound of turbo tape.

    bakermanbakerman5 månader sedan
  • we would use commodore 64 connected to a test rig for testing milton bradley alphie II toy circuit boards. each production day we would upload the test program on the cassette player.

    sholimzsholimz5 månader sedan
  • I am 10 years old and my first computer I got last year from my dad and it is a aluminum PowerBookG4

    Isaac ChavezIsaac Chavez5 månader sedan
  • 2:47 "Hopefully that will focus" Camera:**Doesn't focus**

    Robert PerkowskiRobert Perkowski6 månader sedan
  • Can you copy a game from floppy disk onto a casette tape (on C64)?

    Finlay EvansFinlay Evans6 månader sedan
  • Tapes were fascinating back then but I never knew it can be used for computers

    kirby march barcenakirby march barcena6 månader sedan
  • I guess I'm old because as a kid they had this at my school.

    James ConroyJames Conroy6 månader sedan
  • TI 99 4 a please!

    Jose HereterJose Hereter6 månader sedan
  • For the Commodore 64 there was a software Turbo Tape, it loads and saves data 10 times faster and we could store 10 times more information to the tape. Newer games on datasette also has integrated fast loader. Ah, you talked about that at minute 12:00 :)

    Gottfried SGottfried S6 månader sedan
  • This took me back to my childhood, we had an Atari 800 XE with the casette recorder. Omg, my dad was actually a hacker

    John KillumJohn Killum6 månader sedan
  • I wish I was in that time period

    Jehan GunatilakeJehan Gunatilake6 månader sedan
  • 2:11 amateur. Dont yo know they made pencils for rewinding tapes?

    mancubwwamancubwwa6 månader sedan
  • I always adored seeing reel-to-reels in areas that were supposed to be futuristic, like the alien's ships from old Godzilla movies

    ScrambledAndBenedictScrambledAndBenedict6 månader sedan
  • 2:48 I was really anticipating the "focus, you f..." :D

    Łukasz PiotrowskiŁukasz Piotrowski6 månader sedan
  • My favorite Computer games as a kid was where in the world is Carmen Sandiego and where in the USA is Carmen Sandiego and I played those onApple computers

    Heather ArmstrongHeather Armstrong6 månader sedan
  • I had this on my Commodore 64 back in the 80's and played Zork on it!

    LastMumzyLastMumzy6 månader sedan
  • i feel bad for the kids of the 80s

    Cedie64Cedie646 månader sedan