Floppy drive duet plays ‘Star Wars’ march

Don’t toss them out just yet.


The era of floppy disks is long gone, and I can’t imagine how many are sitting in landfills today. Many hardware hackers, though, are determined to give them a new life. Call it a New Hope.

One Polish programmer, who goes by the name Silent, has wired two 3.5-inch floppy drives together along with an ATMega microcontroller.

Using the step motors in the drives, Silent recently got the obsolete duo to play “The Imperial March” from Star Wars, seen in the vid below.

Using the unique groaning sounds of FDDs to make music is nothing new, of course, and Darth Vader’s theme has been done many times, even with HDDs. But I like the two-drive approach for a duet performance.

Some of my favorite singing drives on YouTube include Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” on 3.5-inch and 5.25-inch floppies, and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” on an Atari 800xl, an oscilloscope, and an HP ScanJet 3C.

Silent may create an FDD orchestra with 3.5-inch, 5.25-inch, and 8-inch drives. Each has its own acousti… [Read more]

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