Recently I decided to go digging through a box of audio tapes to see what kind of mix tapes I had from my distant past. Like most folks that threw together tapes, few of my tapes were labeled save for ones that had whole albums (like I found a tape of Dweezil Zappa on one side with Toad the Wet Sprocket on the other). My 2004 SUV, which sucks gas like teenagers used to guzzle Mountain Dew, has a saving grace of having a stock CD and tape player, so I popped a cassette in and listen to what I recorded on my way to work.

The tape was almost done on the side I started, providing me with what sounded like the last few songs on Dave Matthews Band's album "Under the Table and Dreaming". The tape flipped itself and there was silence. Then some noise. Then.....a squelching noise that instantly transported me back to my computer roots. A Tandy Color Computer program graced the speakers of my vehicle and I listened in anticipation to see if the program would complete or if the code was cut off by the warbled croon of Dave Matthews. In moments the program finished and I was literally ecstatic! Another program started but was much shorter. Then music started. I yanked the tape out of the deck and stored it in my console until I could extract the data.

That night when I got home I dug out an old tape recorder and plugged the audio into my tower computer, which is home to my emulators. After much fiddling and re-recording I was able to finally get one emulator, MESS, to load the WAV file. Will it be some old document my Dad put wrote or perhaps a long lost program either of us typed in or built ourselves in BASIC? The CLOAD screen flashed from "S" for searching to "F" to found and my question was answered. What loaded (though to an FM ERROR as it was a machine language program) was the text adventure game "Pyramid". It was a little disappointing it wasn't something more personal but it was a neat find nonetheless. I could not, unfortunately, get the other program to load. I still can't figure out why I left the programs intact and hadn't just recorded from the beginning. The only thing I can think of is that perhaps the music on the other side ended before the tape did and I just flipped the tape to continue recording.

Still, it was a fun trip down memory lane on two counts. I went back to a time where one had to have patience to 1)make a mix tape (as opposed to burning MP3s to a CD or even just coming up with a streaming song list) and 2)to wait minutes for a game that was only a few KB's in size.