In 1999, Darude released “Sandstorm.” On the internet, that year is referred to as 0 PS, or post-Sandstorm — the year everything changed. Over the next 17 years, the internet has mostly existed as an outlet to praise the majesty of Darude, the Finnish producer and possible prophet of the end times. The latest offering to the god of the future? Enter the Floppotron — 64 vintage floppy disk drives hooked together into giant music-box, wired to play the haunting melody of “Sandstorm.”
The genius behind the siren song of the floppy disk drive is Pawel Zadronzniak, engineer and programmer who goes by “Silent” online. Zadronzniak’s computer instrument is a giant interconnected beast of hardware, all linked together in a fascinating way. According to Zadronzniak’s blog post, he managed to find the exact speed the drives would need to run at to emit certain pitches. Combined with a stack of rotary hard drives and some other devices which can make different sounds and percussive taps and smacks, and you’ve got a rudimentary computer orchestra. Somehow, Zadronzniak managed to program the whole thing together to praise Darude.
Here are the stunning results:
Oh, and he also managed to program the contraption to play the Game of Thrones theme song.
Both videos give you a pretty good idea of how the machine works, and are a fascinating look into both modern and outdated computer hardware. It’s good to see floppy disk drives getting some use (other than controlling America’s nuclear arsenal), too.
If you want to go even further back, he’s also got the Hawaii Five-0 theme programmed onto the Floppotron.
All this is great, and a worthy use of your valuable time on the internet, but we’d like to leave you with a short reminder that nothing will ever come close to the original 2001 video for “Sandstorm.”
Praise be to Darude. D’amen.