How to run secret ZX Spectrum message from Radiohead’s OKNOTOK C90 tape

Maciej Korsan
Jul 13, 2017 · 3 min read
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The tape we’ve been waiting for is out, and it’s full of treasures! I was thrilled while listening to it for the first time. The piano version of Motion Picture Soundtrack, early version of Nude, new, unpublished songs… But there is something more. As a kid I was an owner of the Commodore 64. I remember that all my friends already were the PC users but my parents declined to buy me one for a long time. So I sticked to my old the tape-based computer listening to it’s blips and waiting for the game to load. Over 20 years later I was sitting in front of my MacBook, listening to the digitalised version of the tape my favourite band just released and then I’ve heard a familiar sound… ‘This must be an old computer program, probably C64 one’ I thought and I’ve sent a message to my friend — Marcin Skoczylas, who is known from his old computers knowledge and works for the demo scene (check out his achievements: http://csdb.dk/scener/?id=28820&allhandles=1 and his YouTube channel).

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Ok Computer Program

Everything you’ll see down below I know from Marcin and it was him who run the secret message for the first time :)

Step 1: Get/open audacity
Step 2: Load Cassette Side B.mp3 file and trim it at the end where the weird sounds start (38:57–39:12) — this is the program’s code

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Selection contains the code

Step 3: Apply equalisation

Effect -> Equalization

Step 4: Use Effect -> Normalize with default settings
Step 5: Save file as wav — you have your ZX Spectrum program ready
Step 6: Get fuse — ZX Spectrum emulator
Step 7: Open your wav file in fuse

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Program is loaded!

Step 8: Type capital letter R and hit enter (when program asks you to scroll hit enter again)
Step 9: ENJOY! :)

If everything went fine you should get something like this:

The sounds and letters at the end are random generated, so in case you were wondering — they have no meaning.

Hidden message

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After loading the program, if you use memory browser you can find a secret message saying:

congratulations. you’ve found the secret message
syd lives
hmmm. we should get out more…

Chieftan Mews reaction

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For those who don’t know, there is a secret twitter account run probably by Nigel called Chieftan Mews — he was doing an unboxing video of the latest OKNOTOK release. I’ve twitted to him our finding and his reaction was also Pink Floyd related ;)

PS if you don’t want to play with the audio, here’s ready to load file: https://www.dropbox.com/s/m25hrgeyici8pm1/okcomputer.tzx?dl=0

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