home :: mark :: dev :: play



I was fascinated with the sound and the PC speaker. It all started because I found a virus on one of the PCs in the computer lab at university. Whenever the computer was rebooted it played a sample of an advert for some sort of air freshener product (called, "magic mushroom", really). So since I knew it could be done, I researched into how to make what is a sample with 256 levels of volume information (8 bit) into something that could be put through the speaker (1 bit).

On 28th March 1990 Play was born. The first version just loaded a sample at a fixed frequency and played it through the speaker. It had to be hand crafted assembly code since my development machine was only a 10MHz 286. Version 1.0 was born, with only 440 lines of code, and a 1492 byte executable.

Play got a graphical user interface for DOS by April 1990, using libraries all coded in assembler. Later that month I worked on circuits that could do sampling through a A/D connected to the parallel port.

Play was given rave reviews by several UK magazines in 1991-2 and was included on magazine cover disks. In 1991, Play was distributed with the Activision game "Leather Goddesses of Phobos II".

Download Play v4.10 (75k) [Note: this program does not work inside Windows]

April 1991 saw the release of version 4.10, the last public version of Play. A friend took over development and added numerous new fetures, but the version was never released (see screenshot below)

Play 2.14 was the first to have a graphical interface, although it was pretty basic

By Play 3.50 the interface design had become stable

Play 4.10b was the last public version

Play 4.32 was never released but included multiple input and output support including stereo, new graphical file chooser, and a lot more

Created: 01 Apr 1991