“These aren’t the drives you’re looking for…”

Earlier tonight I saw this video of two floppy disk drives performing The Imperial March (Darth Vader’s Theme):


While this has been done before, it is a lovely piece of hardware hacking by Silent, using an Atmel ATMega microcontroller to change the frequency of the stepper motor in the floppy disk drive.

I think this would be a great piece of kit for a GCSE/A-Level Computing class to play around with!

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5 thoughts on ““These aren’t the drives you’re looking for…”

  1. Dave Donaghy says:

    Okay, so we’ve got some external controllers pushing the drives towards Star Wars …

    But how do we put data on the disks, ad genuinely use that data in some realistic way, so that they hum the Imperial March while doing genuine work?

    The work doesn’t have to be properly useful (although massive extra kudos for that!) but it has to go like this: put data on disks; insert disks into standard machine; read/write data, or use drives in some other standard way.

    Challenging but (I reckon) impressive.

    • Tom says:

      Certainly possible, but with obvious performance penalties! It would require real-time caching of seek and write requests, to pump them out when required, but it would be an impressive project.

      Fetch me the microcontrollers!

  2. […] “These aren’t the drives you’re looking for…” […]

  3. […] see what can be done by manipulating floppy disk drives, especially for Super […]

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