Dot Matrix Printer Plays “Eye of the Tiger”

Here’s a dot matrix printer playing Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger.”

It occurs to me that, while I’m old enough to have owned multiple dot matrix printers and watched “Rocky IV” when it was new—and, indeed, owned several “Survivor” albums–younger readers may have no idea what either of these things are.

via Adam Weinstein

FILED UNDER: Entertainment, Popular Culture, Science & Technology
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Franklin says:

    See what you can do with old computer equipment? And the rest of us idiots are “recycling” this stuff by feeding the fish off the coast of India.

  2. PJ says:

    Personally, I prefer the floppy drive version of the Imperial March.

  3. DrDaveT says:

    When I was a lab assistant at the National Bureau of Standards (before it became NIST), I programmed the digital plotter to play tunes.

    A digital plotter was a device that held a felt tip pen, and caused it to draw things on a piece of paper under software direction. The motion was accomplished by two stepping motors, one that moved the pen in the horizontal direction and one that moved the pen in the vertical direction. The direction and speed of travel implied a relative and absolute speed of the two motors, which in turn generated a discernable pitch.

    Of course, I am but an egg. Real hackers made 100-pound disc packs walk across the floor by causing sequences of reads and writes at the resonant frequency of the equipment…

  4. David in KC says:

    James, thanks for reminding those of us with similar experiences that we are in deed old farts.

  5. MarkedMan says:

    I started out my full-time work career at Xerox in the early 80’s. By that time they had invented the mouse, the desktop interface, the laser printer and ethernet. Before the IBM PC had even invented I went to work every day and communicated via email with co-workers in the Netherlands and Japan, printed out documents on a laser printer and had my own personal computer which was the size of a dorm room refrigerator and had a removable 3MB disk pack the size of a garbage can lid for each user. (Yes, that’s correct, 3 Megabytes. When I learned someone was giving me a 3 MB drive of my very own I said “Wow. I’ll never have to delete anything. I can keep my whole lifetime’s work on this.”) Five years earlier, Xerox felt this was going to potentially put them out of business because as a maker of copiers, they envisioned a paperless office. But by the time I joined, they had significant experience with the future and knew that it resulted in people using more and more paper, albeit from a printer rather than a copier (Xerox made both, even back then).

    But reading the blurb above made me realize that all these years later, we have reached that point. I have only two file drawers in my office, where I used to have 12 or 16 filed with catalogues, project files and papers from conferences. In the two drawers I have now I found a total of maybe a half inch stack of paperwork I had forgotten about (and which I just went through and threw out) and the few remaining bits were computer cables, a keyboard and three lab notebooks that I can’t get rid of but haven’t used since I got my iPad 1.

    In my desk drawers, a similar story: Kleenex, pens (which I don’t use except to sign the occasional document) USB keys, a knife, kleenex, a small towel (because this frood knows where his towel is at. 1 kuai for anyone that can name the reference). Some tea. Sticky notes which I mostly use for putting Mandarin words up for a couple of days (currently: Xiang Jiao – banana, Mai Pian – breakfast cereal, Kong Qi Wu Ran Zhi Shu – Air pollution index)

    Gone are the printers, the truck loads of paper, the book binders, the catalog printers, heck, the infrastructure and square footage necessary to store documents in a 300 person office. Our GDP has been dramatically reduced by eliminating these things from our production capability but can anyone really say that we have lost any capability? I used to spend hours or days pouring through technical literature and trade journals or tracking down manufacturers reps to discuss a problem I was having with one of their IC’s. Now I type a sentence into google and I find out everything I need to know in 2 seconds.

  6. ernieyeball says:

    The IBM 1401 was available in six memory configurations: 1.4K, 2K, 4K, 8K, 12K, or 16K locations. A very small number of 1401s were expanded to 32K by special request. Each memory location was addressable, addresses were from 0 to 15999.

    Trained on this beast in Jr. College in 1967. Add a Viewscreen and it’s almost the main bridge of Starship Enterprise.

  7. Matt says:

    Wow I suddenly feel less old after reading the posts here.

  8. Ben says:

    This song was the theme to Rocky III, wasn’t it? Rocky IV’s theme was Hearts on Fire.