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bigmessowires

Mac 512K is musical!

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I recently got a Mac 512K (the un-enhanced version with the 64K ROM), and I've been amused at all the beeping noises it makes. Whenever I insert a boot floppy (using Floppy Emu, not the real floppy drive), it makes two very quiet beep sounds when the Happy Mac first appears, and later one or two higher pitched beeps when Welcome to Macintosh appears. These beeps are very quiet - similar to the system beep at volume setting 1. This Mac's normal audio is plenty loud, though, so the quietness seems to be intentional.

 

Anyone ever notice this on their Mac 512K (or presumably also Mac 128K)? It might be very difficult to hear over the noise of the floppy drive motor, so maybe it's only noticeable when using Floppy Emu. I'm wondering if it's an intentional sound, sound kind of debugging aid left in by the ROM authors, or if certain startup routines just happen to cause CPU activity that creates EMF noise in the audible frequency range, which gets pick up by the speaker.

 

The 512K's floppy drive is also whirring a happy tune. I'd heard people mention the musical nature of the 400K drives before, but had never heard it in person. Why don't the 800K drives make the same kind of noises, since they're essentially the identical mechanism but double-sided? The change in pitch of the 400K drive's motor as it changes tracks on the disk is very noticeable, and it's actually very pleasant to listen to - the different pitches seem to fall into a musical scale. It definitely gives this little Mac a real feeling of personality. Maybe I'll start copying some floppies, just to listen to it more. ;)

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I like the sound of my PowerBook 5300c as it's running. It sounds like the gyro's on the instruments in a plane.

 

Coupled with F/A 18 Hornet 1.0, it's quite the experience.

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