• Dave@lemmy.nz
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    13 days ago

    Haha I remember the days of downloading random EXEs off the internet and running them to see what they do (also the days of CD-rom drives).

    My auntie somehow managed to get a virus that played Für Elise through the motherboard speaker and never stopped so long as the thing was on. I don’t think they ever solved it, in the end they just got a new PC.

        • bandwidthcrisis@lemmy.world
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          13 days ago

          When I read it, it stirred a distant memory of hearing such a story before, so I knew that there was something behind it and looked it up.

      • Kairos@lemmy.today
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        13 days ago

        Literally why would someone make that. That is completely indistinguishable as a signal.

        • Dave@lemmy.nz
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          13 days ago

          I mean I guess you are supposed to take it to your computer repair shop and tell them it won’t stop playing Für Elise, and the shop is supposed to recognise it as a failure of CPU fan signal. If it just beeped a few times on startup then people would ignore it, and if it beeped constantly then well maybe Für Elise is nicer.

          • Kairos@lemmy.today
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            13 days ago

            Huh yeah that’s MUCH better than throwing a post code and playing a beep during startup to signal something is wrong.

              • Kairos@lemmy.today
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                13 days ago

                Hm. Well if the motherboard can play a song it can blast “<Type> Error” during startup to be infinitely more helpful.

                • Dave@lemmy.nz
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                  13 days ago

                  I don’t think those speakers are capable of voice. They can handle a few different beep tones and that’s about it. The song was not like listening to Spotify, it was played using beep tones.

        • fuckwit_mcbumcrumble@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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          13 days ago

          Computers in 97 didn’t need much in the way of cooling. A large passive heatsink was plenty for those CPUs. They’re not the 300+ watt behemoths we have today.

          • Pacmanlives@lemmy.world
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            13 days ago

            I really remember heatsinks being a thing on overclocked systems around that time frame and then once we got to P4 cpus the chilling towers appeared those things were massive

            • fuckwit_mcbumcrumble@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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              13 days ago

              The lower power 486s didn’t even need a heatsink. The P3 was the first to take a heasink resembling what we have today, but damn did the P4s need some serious cooling.

              It’s kinda funny how we think the 100 watts of a desktop P4 was insane when now the TDP of a high end laptop CPU is more than that.

              • Illecors@lemmy.cafe
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                12 days ago

                It’s kinda funny how we think the 100 watts of a desktop P4 was insane when now the TDP of a high end laptop CPU is more than that.

                It really isn’t. Modern mobile cpus barely sip power.

                • mbfalzar@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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                  12 days ago

                  PL2 on a 14900T is 106W

                  Edit: I’m an idiot, T series is low power socketed, not mobile. 14900HX has a TDP of 55W but boosts short term to 157W, which is still pretty ridiculous

                • fuckwit_mcbumcrumble@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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                  12 days ago

                  My 11950H (and all other “full power” Intel mobile CPUs) have a PL1 of >100 watts (109 for mine), and mine a PL2 of 139 watts. This laptop is about an inch thick.

                  Nothing about this laptop sips power, I’ve gotten as bad as 30 minutes of battery life out of a 90 watt hour battery not playing games.

                • I Cast Fist@programming.dev
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                  12 days ago

                  If you meant cell phones and tablets, that’s mostly due to the different architecture. RISC processors are super energy efficient, which also makes them much cooler to run.

                  x86-64 is a CISC architecture, which tends to be much more power hungry. There are only a couple of very low power Celeron CPUs that work under 10W of TDP, while that’s very common among phones’ CPUs.

          • psud@aussie.zone
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            12 days ago

            I helped set up a friend’s “586” (about equivalent to a Pentium 1) and he had neglected to buy a heat sink or fan

            A hammer was a sufficient heat sink for the time it took to set up windows

      • Lucidlethargy@sh.itjust.works
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        12 days ago

        Can’t view this without cycling my VPN… We need a way to see reddit posts without visiting reddit. Is this a thing? Like… Piped for Reddit.

      • bandwidthcrisis@lemmy.world
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        11 days ago

        It explains that it means “fan failure”.

        And there was a link to a video of it happening.

        The only other link to an MS support page did not work.

    • bandwidthcrisis@lemmy.world
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      13 days ago

      Drain.exe would say “water in drive a:, commencing spin cycle” then power up the drive and make a gurgling sound.

      Sheep.exe … would create a sheep that would wander the desktop.

      • Ms. ArmoredThirteen@lemmy.ml
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        13 days ago

        Haha, in highschool I put sheep.exes into the school labs startup folders as a prank once. A couple days later the tech teacher approached me and was like “nobody’s in trouble but these things are a nightmare and if I have to reimage half the lab to get rid of them it would personally ruin my day”. Somehow all the sheep were gone by the next day

        • ssj2marx@lemmy.ml
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          12 days ago

          School computers back then were a wild west. I remember having Starcraft on the school shared drive and playing it in homeroom.

          • JasonDJ@lemmy.zip
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            12 days ago

            I remember getting sent to the principals office for “hacking” (pinging the computer in the next room) in like 8th grade.

            Back in 4th/5th I actually was hacking, modifying our user menu to add Windows 3.1 and a password (copying config from a teacher’s profile). Also brute-forced at least two teachers passwords.

            I’m a network architect now, so there’s that.

          • Captain Aggravated@sh.itjust.works
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            12 days ago

            I remember labs full of networked Win 98 machines in middle school, with like Novell software on them for login credentials and whatnot. The computers sat there with a login screen and when students logged into it you would be presented with the Office suite and a restricted web browser and some educational packages. A lot of normal Win 98 stuff wasn’t there though, like any settings menus. But there was some convoluted way where you could bring up a help text and then by navigating deep in the menu system somehow cause it to launch to a “normal” Win 98 desktop.

      • Dave@lemmy.nz
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        13 days ago

        Ah shit the sheep thing! In fact, there were others I can’t remember. And I seem to remember somewhere along the line they went from fun to spam things walking around your screen trying to make you buy shit or maybe they were trying to scam you, I can’t remember but they weren’t fun anymore, and hard to get rid of.

        • bandwidthcrisis@lemmy.world
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          13 days ago

          I remember an obscure one named “grommit” that was a dancing animated character and you’d click it to change arm and leg movements.

          Bonzi buddy was over of the bad ones, maybe?

          • Dave@lemmy.nz
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            12 days ago

            Bonzai buddy! Yes, that was one. Also I seem to recall naked women ones you couldn’t close.

            I don’t remember grommit, but also I failed to find anything when trying to search it up. It shares its name with too many things.

        • boonhet@lemm.ee
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          12 days ago

          I had a cottonelle puppy so basically a toilet paper ad. But it’s not even sold in my country, we have other brands.

    • disguy_ovahea@lemmy.world
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      13 days ago

      There was also a program that would open the CD-ROM drive and play a raspberry noise at random intervals. It was a fun prank to set it to run at login.

      • Irelephant@lemm.ee
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        6 days ago

        Slightly related, it is really annoying you cant stop the boot speaker on the PS4 without voiding your warranty and ripping the speaker out

      • jaaake@lemmy.world
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        13 days ago

        Back in my day, that used to be the only way a computer could produce sound. Later on you could purchase a specialized sound card that would take up a slot in your motherboard.

        • grysbok@lemmy.sdf.org
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          13 days ago

          My dad used to disable the motherboard speaker because the noises games made back then were more annoying than fun. We eventually got a soundcard, and that was awesome.

        • Klear@lemmy.world
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          12 days ago

          And you could plug in your joystick into the soundcard, because where else would you put joystick, right? Perfectly logical.

      • henfredemars@infosec.pub
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        13 days ago

        They do, but it’s a very simple speaker that’s really more of a buzzer than what you might think of as a speaker.

        Many motherboards use a combination of beeps to report hardware errors if you fail on power on.

      • psud@aussie.zone
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        12 days ago

        386 era machines often had a 4 inch speaker in the front panel. It couldn’t do much. Some main boards still come with headers for a speaker, some even come with an electret beeper

      • Feathercrown@lemmy.world
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        12 days ago

        A good number do, but you won’t hear anything during normal operation. If your vomputer has ever beeped at you when you try to turn it on at 0% battery, accessed the bios, etc., there’s a good chance that was the motherboard speaker.

    • dave@hal9000@lemmy.world
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      12 days ago

      Lol the für Elise thing is funny. Back in highschool I got a “PC maintenance” credit which had me assigned as support in the computer lab. I made a batch script that ran on startup and showed a warning message saying the hard disk will self destruct and did a countdown from 10 with the motherboard speaker beeping down, fun times

  • jaschen@lemm.ee
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    13 days ago

    I remember there was a virus that had a tiny cat on the screen and it would chase your mouse cursor. Once it catches your mouse cursor, the computer would crash. It was freaking awesome.

  • KillingTimeItself@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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    13 days ago

    man i miss these days.

    These days not only would it open your CD drive, it would open your tax documents, your crypto wallet, your account cookies, probably even your banking information.

    The modern internet fucking sucks dude.

    • soggy_kitty@sopuli.xyz
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      12 days ago

      Put the rose tinted glasses to one side. We still had harmful viruses back in the day, difference is these days you are storing more private information “online” so the effect of compromise is larger.

      • ChaoticNeutralCzech@feddit.de
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        12 days ago

        Back then, there were still lots of “wipers” that deleted files and/or destroyed the OS. Now it’s all spyware and ransomware.

        • Luke@lemmy.ml
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          12 days ago

          There’s no more funny malware.

          That depends who gets infected.

          You or me infected by malware? No thanks!

          Egon Mark infected by malware? Absolute hilarity!

      • ssj2marx@lemmy.ml
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        12 days ago

        Yeah I haven’t had harmful application on my computer in over a decade. I feel like you really have to go out of your way to get one these days (not including spyware that you download intentionally, like Windows 11).

          • Trainguyrom@reddthat.com
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            12 days ago

            There’s even extreme edgecases where a compromised machine being part of a botnet actually improves security because the malware shores up security to help itself remain persistent and not find itself removed/blocked by other malware or attackers

      • dave@hal9000@lemmy.world
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        12 days ago

        I was just about to comment that this reminded me of the sub7 days. Not sure when it was released, but I definitely used it in 1998

        Edit, memory was wrong, it was released in February 1999

      • TootSweet@lemmy.world
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        13 days ago

        Great question! Not really my area of expertise, but probably there are at least a couple of possible avenues. One is decompilation and/or disassembly and static analysis. (Basically use automated tools to reconstruct the original source code as best it can and then read that imperfect reconstruction of the source code to figure out what it does.) Another is isolating it (“air gap” – no network or connectivity to anything you care about) so you’re sure it can’t do any damage and running it with tools that record/report everything it does. (On Linux, one could use strace and/or GDB. On Mac, dtrace. Not sure what the equivalent is for Windows programs running on Windows.)

        Actually, I guess another option could be to set up an isolated system, record a whole bunch of information about it before running the .exe then after running the .exe, examine it to see what you can find on the filesystem or in the registry or in RAM or whatever that might have changed. It wouldn’t catch everything, though. Like if it made a network connection or something but didn’t actually change anything on the filesystem, it might not leave any traces.

        Whatever the case, it’d probably require some specialized tools and expertise. But it’d be an interesting project.

      • mhague@lemmy.world
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        12 days ago

        There are tracing programs that let you see when a program makes system calls to read and write files, control hardware, etc. It might be easiest to run it and see what it does in a VM sandbox. Process Monitor looks like a strace equivalent on windows.

  • Kit@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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    12 days ago

    This was a common April Fools prank back in my day. We would put a startup script on a person’s computer that opened their CD drive at random intervals. Drove them nuts!

  • can@sh.itjust.works
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    13 days ago

    I have a folder of “pranks” like these from way back and they were harmless but sure enough they fire off modern anti virus software.

  • catastrophicblues@lemmy.ca
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    12 days ago

    I remember a guy who tied his baby’s rocker to the drive and wrote code to open and close the CD drive repeatedly lol. Fun times.

    • CanadaPlus@lemmy.sdf.org
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      12 days ago

      Hmm. Did the motor last? It’s obviously not built to provide that much torque/force, although I can’t say for sure it would be damaged by it.

      • El Barto@lemmy.world
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        12 days ago

        They don’t say how much the seat was being rocked.

        Maybe just a couple of inches. Enough for babby to sleep.

        • CanadaPlus@lemmy.sdf.org
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          12 days ago

          Yeah, but the baby alone would weigh far more than the tray and disk ever would. And then they’re doing it over and over again for an extended period.

          • El Barto@lemmy.world
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            12 days ago

            Just a little push from pops at the beginning.

            And they didn’t say it was a long term solution. For all we know, the drive was going to be replaced the following week.

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              12 days ago

              Oh, so you’re thinking he’d start it first, and then start the program to be perfectly synced with the period of the rocking? I suppose that could work, although it would be tricky to get the timing just right by hand, or it would be for me.

              And they didn’t say it was a long term solution. For all we know, the drive was going to be replaced the following week.

              Yeah, and it might have electronics that will handle the extra load just by virtue of properties of the standard parts. Like I said, I don’t know that it’s bad idea, but I do wonder.

  • originalucifer@moist.catsweat.com
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    13 days ago

    naw, what you do is write a small exe to play “youre the best” by joe espesito through the pcspeaker at 15% volume than you can trigger remotely…randomly until the user goes mad

    “doesnt anyone else Hear that?!”