February 20, 2006

A Musical Scanner

The control language of some HP scanners has an undocumented command that makes the device play tunes using its stepping motor! The feature is documented in an HP journal from 1997. A working program to play music on the scanner and a video of the concerto can be found here. The idea is not new. In the 60's, some clever engineers figured out how to make the IBM 1403, a monster of a printer sing. See and hear the machine at the Computer History Museum. Anyway, it's good to know that there still some maniacs around... [via Andi's Weblog]

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