Trivia

Hard

In The 1980s, It Was Possible To Download Software From Which Of These Unlikely Sources?

TV Shows
Weather Reports
Telegraph Consoles
Radar Transmissions

Answer: TV Shows

In a world far removed from the one we live in now—filled with high speed wireless internet and high capacity solid state storage—people once stored data and programs for their personal computers on cassette tapes. Yes, those cassette tapes, the very same tapes you’d use to listen to Culture Club or to create a mixtape for your crush.

Because early personal computers used what amounted to a good tape deck as a data drive, it should come as no surprise that the data on the tapes themselves had an audio signal (albeit one that wasn’t particularly pleasant to listen to). Because of this, it was possible for people at home to record audio they received by television or radio broadcast and use the recorded audio stream as a data source in their computer.

To that end, a British TV show, “Database”, which aired in the early 1980s, would transmit software during the credits of each show—viewers at home would record the audio, pop the tape into their PC, and enjoy the free applications, games, and other bits of code pushed over the airwaves. In a similar fashion, both legitimate and pirate radio stations around the world would also broadcast code in the middle of the night that listeners could record and run at home.

In theory, you could replicate the experience today, but the transmission rate was far more suitable for the tiny applications of the 1980s. Using those same 1980s TV/radio-based transmission techniques today to download, say, the video game Destiny (which weighs in at approximately 70 GB) would take roughly 48 years.

Trivia

Hard

Which Video Game Required You To Kill The Lead Developer To Win?

Trivia

Hard

The Driest Place On Earth, As Measured By Precipitation, Is Located In?

Trivia

Hard

Which Sci-Fi Actor And His Best Known Character Shared The Same Middle Name?

Trivia

Hard

Who Graces The Most Valuable Baseball Card In The World?

Trivia

Hard

The World’s Smallest Mammal Is The?

Trivia

Easy

Airplane Windows Are Round To Reduce?

Trivia

Easy

The Only U.S. President Who Spoke English As A Second Language Was?

Trivia

Easy

Farmers Give Egg Yolks A Sunny Boost Of Color With?

Trivia

Hard

What Were Planes Detected With Before The Invention Of Radar?

Trivia

Hard

Which Tech Company Maintained A Secret Nuclear Reactor For Over Thirty Years?