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8 Bit memories

When I was flying the day before yesterday, I was reminiscing about the days before the ubiquitous MP3, when the the Microsoft WAV and SoundBlaster VOC files were too bloated and the AdLib ROL files were too tinny.  At this sweet spot in time there was something beautiful called a MOD file.  These hybrid files were multichannel audio files that allowed samples to be played back in sequence as music through expensive sound cards of the time. I spent the summer of summer of '88 scouring FTP sites all over the Internet for precious MOD files.  At that point in time I was able to FTP them to a SunOS host that had a HUGE 56kbps circuit, then download them at 1200bps using ZMODEM to my super pimped out V20 based 10MHz XT clone system.  I was living large.    


It may seem silly now to kids that have 16gb flash based iPod systems, but it was a big deal at the time to generate sound from a computer that could only beep in a few tones.  Storage was a huge thing too, you could fit dozens of these on a 1.2Mb floppy disk (yes kids, we actually did use 5.25" disks).   

The thing that surprised me, is that there are a bunch of file repositories on the web that have archived these gems.   While I don't have a machine at my house that can run ScreamTracker properly, it turns out that WinAMP and XMMS have the ability to do playback on this format.  I'm going to queue a few up and take a time machine back 20 years. 

Hey Rod!



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