Punched Tape Music Box Hack

The Mechanical Music Box is a do-it-yourself punched tape musical hacking system. Punch holes in the tape, feed it into the music box player and then turn the crank. Out comes your tune.


(Mechanical Music Box)

This isn't the sort of thing I usually have on the site, and I had to think for a moment before I realized why I like this device. As it turns out, my first experience with programming computers was on a Teletype printer hooked up to a distant mainframe. Both programs and data were stored on convenient punched paper tape. When you wanted to load in a program, you ran the paper tape you made by feeding it into a port on the top of the machine.


(Ancient computing machine peripheral)

As I recall, we had four of these in a 6' x 10' room that was constructed from a hallway in the math department of my high school. When we had them all going, it sounded (I imagined) somewhat like a machine gun nest.

As long as I'm on the subject of music, check out these musical links with an sf theme:

Via Cool Hunting.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/28/2007)

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