Snippet: Some PCs Weren’t A Part of the Rhythm Nation ☇

Shared on August 17, 2022

Raymond Chen for Microsoft’s The New Old Thing:

A colleague of mine shared a story from Windows XP product support. A major computer manufacturer discovered that playing the music video for Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation” would crash certain models of laptops. I would not have wanted to be in the laboratory that they must have set up to investigate this problem. Not an artistic judgement.

One discovery during the investigation is that playing the music video also crashed some of their competitors’ laptops.

And then they discovered something extremely weird: Playing the music video on one laptop caused a laptop sitting nearby to crash, even though that other laptop wasn’t playing the video!

What’s going on?

I love stories like this, especially as computers get less and less mechanical and people forget that some of these challenges existed.

Snippets are posts that share a linked item with a bit of commentary.