Janet Jackson had the power to freeze laptops

A song of Janet Jackson had the power to freeze some laptops during the Windows XP era. Raymond Chen, editor of The Old New Thing, posted a story that a Microsoft support colleague confided in you for operating systems. According to Chen, the song Rhythm Nation by Janet Jackson, was able to crash the laptops of “a major manufacturer”.

apparently the song contained one of the natural resonance frequencies for the hard drive model who used the laptop. When a user played the video, the computer would freeze. The problem was such that even other laptops with the same hardware configuration could crash if they were close to the one running Rhythm Nation.

To understand the problem, it is enough to understand that each object has a natural or resonant frequency, which is the frequency at which it tends to vibrate when stimulated. When the frequency of the emitting source — in this case, Janet Jackson — matches that of the object, resonance occurs. The unexpected vibration on a mechanical hard drive is not good.

Chen mentions that the manufacturer fixed the bug by adding a filter that detected and removed certain frequencies during video playback. Although the author did not reveal the manufacturer’s brand, he confirmed that it was not an isolated problem. Other competitors’ notebooks with the same hard drive model also failed in the tests.

Janet Jackson wasn’t the only one who froze laptops during that decade

Windows XP portátil Janet Jackson

Because this happened in the pre-YouTube era where videos were downloaded via P2P, the Janet Jackson effect went unnoticed. A similar problem occurred during the boom of netbooks, when an Acer laptop froze when listening to a U2 song. In accordance with Engadgetthe 8.9-inch Aspire One with a mechanical hard drive crasheaba when playing Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me at full volume.

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The cause of the error was due to the fact that Acer designed netbooks with the idea of ​​integrating SSDs. However, the manufacturer decided to launch a model with a mechanical hard drive and had to make adjustments to the chassis to be able to insert it. The engineers did not consider that place it next to one of the speakers would generate errors due to vibration.

Although the initial reports focused on U2, the truth is that any song at a considerable volume would freeze the laptop. Vibrations and magnetic interference from the speaker caused errors and data loss. Ultimately, the Aspire One would be unable to boot into the operating system, becoming a paperweight.

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