The Internet has seen obsolete disk drives play tunes from Star Wars before – but not like this. Hacker Paweł Zadrożniak of Poland has outdone himself with a maximalist rendition of John Williams’ iconic music.

Just how big is it?

Floppotron 2.0 includes:
64 floppy drives
Eight hard disks
Two scanners
Eight 8-channel controllers (now simulating envelopes for added expression) for the floppies
Two 4-channel controllers for the HDDs
Two single-channel (Arduino!) controllers for the scanners

Paweł goes into detail about how it’s done on his blog. I love this bit about the coding:

Host application was written in Python 2.7. I wrote it mostly on some boring lectures when I was still studying at the university, so it’s a one big mess, but… at least it does the job. It parses the simple language used for writing note sequences arranged in tracks tied to a specific controller / channel and merges those parallel tracks into one command list which is transferred over COM port. It can also partially generate „song script” from MIDI file which speeds up the „song porting” process.

But wait – there’s more (welcome relief if you’re sick to death of Star Wars).

I think my favorite is Nirvana – an anthem from a time when we still used these drives:

Also, surf’s up:

Check out his blog post:

Return of the Floppies []