While Microsoft software developer Raymond Chen says that the music video for Janet Jackson’s song “Rhythm Nation” was causing specific mid-2000s laptops to fail, Janet Jackson is bragging about a post on Instagram. If you can believe it, it’s true!
In addition to this, a “major computer manufacturer” examination also found that certain machines will shut down only by hearing the music nearby. Only this particular song would produce the issue, and the reason why is astounding. Continue reading to find out more.
A song that can break computers…
Computers and laptops in the middle of the 2000s were unable to handle Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation,” even though our technology never judge us for our musical preferences. Some Windows XP-era laptops did end up objecting to the music video for Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation” because it had a sound that caused their hard drives to fail, according to a report recounted by Microsoft chief software engineer Raymond Chen on his blog The Old New Thing.
According to Chen, a “big computer manufacturer” who shall remain nameless found that playing the music on one laptop could even cause another computer adjacent to crash, causing crashes on some of their laptops. The laptop producer also learned that the problem appeared on a variety of other firms’ machines.
The cause of the crash is what?
One of the natural resonance frequencies for the brand of 5400 rpm laptop hard drives that they and other manufacturers utilized was mentioned in Chen’s paper. In essence, Chen explained, those laptops would malfunction because the hard drives couldn’t operate normally when another device was making use of the same frequencies.
The PC maker at the time also seemed to have partially remedied the problem. By including a special filter in the audio pipeline that could identify and eliminate the problematic frequencies during audio playback, the manufacturer was able to get around the issue. According to Chen’s article:
Additionally, I’m certain they attached a digital “Do not remove” label on that audio filter. (However, I’m concerned that nobody will remember its purpose now that it has been around for so long. Hopefully, this audio filter is not still installed on their laptops to guard against harm to a hard drive model they are no longer using.) ”
The song by Janet Jackson, “Rhythm Nation,” was the second single from her fourth studio album, “Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814,” and it was released in 1989. In response to the time’s events, she came up with the idea and wanted to voice out with a socially conscious dance motif.
The song reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs List, No. 2 on its Hot 100, and No. 1 on its Dance Club Songs List. Jackson was nominated for a Grammy for Producer of the Year.
Unfortunately, Chen’s story is not very specific. Chen omitted to specify whether hard drives or laptops were impacted. Although extremely bizarre things can happen to our computers as a result of physics, Chen’s piece nevertheless makes for a good anecdote about tracking down a seemingly random fault. How do you feel?