Author Topic: Sigma Seven can destroy your hardware!  (Read 5983 times)

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Offline Devilmarkus

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Sigma Seven can destroy your hardware!
« on: 16:01, 16 June 10 »
Hi folks,
perhaps you remember the game "Sigma Seven" by Durell Software.

This game can seriously damage your CPC!
The tape relay is buzzing @ ~25-50hz which sounds not really healthful!

I first thought this is a bug in JavaCPC-relay control, but the bug also appears on my real CPC 664!!!

So, if you play this game, don't let it stay too long in menu screen!

Demonstration video of hurting bug in Sigma Seven:

http://cpc-live.com/sigma7relaybug/
When you put your ear on a hot stove, you can smell how stupid you are ...

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Offline Devilmarkus

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Re: Sigma Seven can destroy your hardware!
« Reply #1 on: 16:39, 16 June 10 »
This bug also appears with original tape on a real 464!
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Offline Bryce

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Re: Sigma Seven can destroy your hardware!
« Reply #2 on: 17:07, 16 June 10 »
Buzzing a relay isn't really a good idea, but it shouldn't damage it, or at least not unless you left it running for days.

Bryce.

Online robcfg

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Re: Sigma Seven can destroy your hardware!
« Reply #3 on: 17:33, 16 June 10 »
I played that game a lot when I was young and I don't remember it doing nothing to the tape relay.


You should test if that happens only with the cracked version or with any version of Sigma 7.

Offline Devilmarkus

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Re: Sigma Seven can destroy your hardware!
« Reply #4 on: 18:06, 16 June 10 »
You should test if that happens only with the cracked version or with any version of Sigma 7.

As I wrote: It also appears with the original tape.

When I heard it in JavaCPC and then on my 664, I remembered this bug.
I had the original game in the 80s.
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Offline MacDeath

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Re: Sigma Seven can destroy your hardware!
« Reply #5 on: 18:30, 16 June 10 »
Ouch, my PC just bust a nut thx to your video...
 :laugh:


Seriously What's up ?

Is it simply a corrupted dump ?
Or is it the hardware use of a relay to add musical features...which of course is a shitty way...

Or the cracker tried to put a CPC virus, sort of ? :'(

But it was notorious that many games protection actually screwed up the CPC performances...

Offline Devilmarkus

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Re: Sigma Seven can destroy your hardware!
« Reply #6 on: 18:32, 16 June 10 »
Ouch, my PC just bust a nut thx to your video...
 :laugh:


Seriously What's up ?

Is it simply a corrupted dump ?
Or is it the hardware use of a relay to add musical features...which of course is a shitty way...

Or the cracker tried to put a CPC virus, sort of ? :'(

But it was notorious that many games protection actually screwed up the CPC performances...

The original game is not protected, pure data blocks, no crack, and also has this bug.
When you put your ear on a hot stove, you can smell how stupid you are ...

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Offline Targhan

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Re: Sigma Seven can destroy your hardware!
« Reply #7 on: 18:45, 16 June 10 »
The tape relay trick is not a bug ! It's wanted to produce a "computer" sound. I had this (cool) game on my 464, back in old days, and in my 6128, and none of my computer ever suffers from this...

Trg.Aks

Offline OCT

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Games (ab)using the tape relay as a sound effect
« Reply #8 on: 23:24, 16 June 10 »
So this must be the other one of the "two or so" as I don't recall ever having heard/seen Sigma Seven when I referred to this effect in http://cpcwiki.eu/forum/index.php/topic,557.msg5336.html#msg5336:
Quote
it would surprise me if Amstrad had thrown in a relay in the 6128+ as well for the one or two legacy games that (ab)use it as an audio effect).

Online Gryzor

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Re: Sigma Seven can destroy your hardware!
« Reply #9 on: 10:13, 17 June 10 »
Heh... really funny if you ask me. I don't think it'd be particularly dangerous, unless, as Bryce said, you left it running for days. These things are simple enough and have a long lifespan, so you shouldn't notice any degradation.

That said, I wouldn't try it *now*: I'm all for preserving the machines as much as possible...

This reminded me: back in the day I was of the opinion that the 6128 was the only machine you could damage via software - system calls, as it were (I had destroyed my drive by trying random calls, something that, IIRC, the manual absolutely forbade!)...

Offline MacDeath

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Re: Sigma Seven can destroy your hardware!
« Reply #10 on: 02:33, 18 June 10 »
Quote
These things are simple enough and have a long lifespan, so you   shouldn't notice any degradation.
Except that nowadays "These things" are nearly 30 years old...well 26 actually or even less...

Such gadget as Hardware component sound trick is no more good then.
 

Offline OCT

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back in the day I was of the opinion that the 6128 was the only machine you could damage via software - system calls, as it were (I had destroyed my drive by trying random calls, something that, IIRC, the manual absolutely forbade!)...
Actually there was an invaluable sequence of OUTs that could often revive 3" drives which would sometimes keep reporting an error (not sure whether it was disk missing or read fail) - I'm far away from where my decades-old notes on this should be, but somebody should remember/retrieve and document these commands already?

Reports of code-inflicted hardware damage are rare enough on CPCs - however the C64 was known for being susceptible to "killer POKEs", which a few miscreants would keep entering to vandalize the machines on display in department stores.

Offline nurgle

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Reports of code-inflicted hardware damage are rare enough on CPCs - however the C64 was known for being susceptible to "killer POKEs", which a few miscreants would keep entering to vandalize the machines on display in department stores.


This is an urban legend that was used to spread FUD amongst software pirates. It was reported that some games would have a copy protection with "killer POKEs" that would destroy the hardware when you loaded a pirate copy. However such "killer POKEs" did not exist in reality. There are examples where software could damage the hardware on other platforms however. One popular example was an issue on the Commodore PET where the internal CRT could be destroyed.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killer_poke


Admittedly there is one nasty thing which could be done on the C64. The Floppy Head of the 1541 could be moved till it hit the metal and then banged on it in quick succession. This could misalign or even damage the floppy head if left running for some time. However I can not imagine anyone not turning of the power when hearing such a nasty sound in quick succession. It was far to loud and obvious.

Offline Targhan

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Re: Sigma Seven can destroy your hardware!
« Reply #13 on: 00:02, 20 June 10 »
It is possible to damage/destroy your drive by moving the head to a track that is out of boundaries (>42 for a 3"). Already tried going on tracks 42, but it never did a thing apart giving an error when reading. I guess 3,5" drives are a bit more secured about that, but there again, the tests I did never harmed by drive (going to track 83...), so...
Trg.Aks

Online Gryzor

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Re: Sigma Seven can destroy your hardware!
« Reply #14 on: 10:15, 21 June 10 »
Well, I know I did get my drive misaligned back then with CALLs... Served me right :D

Btw, this is an interesting topic for the wiki. Nurgle, would you care writing one up since it seems you know quite a bit on it? :)

Offline nurgle

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Re: Sigma Seven can destroy your hardware!
« Reply #15 on: 13:40, 21 June 10 »
Btw, this is an interesting topic for the wiki. Nurgle, would you care writing one up since it seems you know quite a bit on it? :)


I only remember what the magazines wrote about the supposed C64 "killer POKEs" back then plus the wikipedia reference I googled. I fail to see the CPC relevance since I never heard anyone speculating about "killer POKEs" on the CPC.

Offline Leonie

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Re: Sigma Seven can destroy your hardware!
« Reply #16 on: 14:25, 21 June 10 »
I only remember what the magazines wrote about the supposed C64 "killer POKEs" back then plus the wikipedia reference I googled.
I fail to see the CPC relevance since I never heard anyone speculating about "killer POKEs" on the CPC.

The CPC is a serious computer for serious users.
There are no childish "killer Pokes".
Well, I´d say!

Offline Ygdrazil

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Re: Sigma Seven can destroy your hardware!
« Reply #17 on: 15:03, 21 June 10 »
I think this is a myth!!!!


I remember similar talk about killer pokes when being a very young ZX81 owner!!!


I cannot think why this would work really ..


The myth might be spawned by a misunderstanding of what RAM and ROM actually is. On a ZX81 the basic(OS) rom is always present from 0 - 8192. So it is quite possible to get the impression that poking below 8192 might damage the OS - and maybe for good because the ROM remembers even while powered off!!!!  ;D


This of course not so!! But we had a lot of weird ideas on how computers did work back then!!!


/ygdrazil

Offline nurgle

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Re: Sigma Seven can destroy your hardware!
« Reply #18 on: 15:56, 21 June 10 »
Look at the wikipedia reference I gave earlier. These things do exists, but not on the CPC, the C64 or the ZX81.

Offline ivarf

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Re: Sigma Seven can destroy your hardware!
« Reply #19 on: 02:22, 22 June 10 »
20 years ago I did some programming for a PC printerport (Centronics) trying to transfer data both ways and managed destroy the PC without anything connected to the machine. Got the program running with a second PC after some bugfixes

Online Gryzor

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Re: Sigma Seven can destroy your hardware!
« Reply #20 on: 10:02, 22 June 10 »
Look at the wikipedia reference I gave earlier. These things do exists, but not on the CPC, the C64 or the ZX81.

Am I the only one remembering the manual warning against random system calls? Or had I read it somewhere else? In any case, I insist: I *did* damage my drive with random calls!!!!!!

Offline Trebmint

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Re: Sigma Seven can destroy your hardware!
« Reply #21 on: 13:33, 22 June 10 »
There definately were killer pokes for the CPC. I typed in an ACU type-in, and when ran the machine reset. I was so annoyed I hit the desk too hard the monitor fell backwards, pulling the CPC which looped up and caught me a glancing blow on the chin. Alas Suzy the CPC never worked again and I had to buy a 6128+
 
So killer pokes... a very big yes

Offline Cholo

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Re: Sigma Seven can destroy your hardware!
« Reply #22 on: 21:16, 22 June 10 »
I can recall a AA magazine warning people against using random "OUT" port calls to avoid doing something destructive (i think it was a article about screen sizing).

Kinda of topic: I recall back when CD-R usage was big, they kept pushing the limits from the the 650mb 74 min to the 800-890mb 99/100min cd-r. Lots of people kept upgrading their cd-writers firmware, but because the early drives wasnt really build to handle the larger cd-r, lot of people ended up with broken drives trying those larger burns. I even recall buying a 99/100 compatible drive and it had a "warning" in the manual about they couldnt garantee that the drive would work with all kinds of 99/100min brand cd-r and some might still break the drive "overburning".

Anyways, the point here is that hardware has its limits and it is usually possible to break it if you reach the limits. Ive always felt that the amstrad monitors feels a bit fragile and a wrong call might break something.

Offline OCT

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Re: Sigma Seven can destroy your hardware!
« Reply #23 on: 21:20, 22 June 10 »
Well, I know I did get my drive misaligned back then with CALLs...
If you still have the 3" drive broken this way, I'd be interested to try some trick on it.

Online Gryzor

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Re: Sigma Seven can destroy your hardware!
« Reply #24 on: 09:57, 23 June 10 »
Unfortunately, no. It was sold for a 1040STFM around 1990... :(

Ah, my ST... *sigh*