Trivia

Hard

What Early PC Had An Unofficial “Sound Card” Driven By Excessive Radio Interference?

The BBC Micro
The Tandy TRS-80 Model I
The Apple II
The Atari 400
A Radio Shack Tandy TRS-80 Model I System.
Dave Jones/Flickr

Answer: The Tandy TRS-80 Model I

Early computers lacked discrete sound cards/modules and often didn’t even sport a simple on-board PC speaker. That didn’t stop early PC enthusiasts from enjoying sound, however indirectly and unintentionally, with an early model personal computer.

The Tandy TRS-80 Model I was manufactured by the Tandy Corporation and sold by RadioShack from 1977 to 1981. Hobbyists quickly discovered that if you placed an AM-band radio next to the computer, it could be used to provide sounds. The sounds weren’t encoded into the programs or even an intentional feature included with the computer itself.

The Model I was so poorly shielded and generated such high levels of radio-frequency interference that placing a radio near the unit created quite an array of sound effects. The interference-driven sound effects clearly didn’t align themselves with most applications, but were a surprisingly good match for early space-based games.

Although the model was a popular one, ultimately selling over 200,000 units, it was removed from the market in 1981 due to aging hardware and stricter FCC regulations on radio-frequency interference that would require significant design changes.

Trivia

Hard

Which 1920s Era Game Came Roaring Back To Life In The 1990s?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Cities, Due To How Many Hawaiians Visit It, Is Called The Ninth Island?

Trivia

Hard

The Vine B. Trifoliolata Is The Only Plant In The World Known To?

Trivia

Easy

The Most Common Source Of “Hay Fever” Is?

Trivia

Hard

Chocolate Milk Originated In?

Trivia

Hard

The World’s Largest Black Star Sapphire Spent A Decade As A?

Trivia

Easy

Which Public Service Announcement Mascot Has Their Own ZIP Code?

Trivia

Hard

In Hong Kong, The Majority Of Residents Flush Their Toilets With?

Trivia

Hard

SeaWorld Was Originally Intended To Be A?

Trivia

Hard

The Rain Forests Of Argentina Are Threatened By What Unlikely Invasive Species?