Gen Xers and boomers will bear in mind the musical powerhouse that was Janet Jackson within the late Eighties. However now her music has been discovered to have a brand new energy — it may crash laptops. 


This week Microsoft chief software program engineer Raymond Chen shared the story of what occurs when older Home windows XP laptops play the music video for Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation.”

Particularly, Chen remembers a colleague’s story from Home windows XP product help. An unnamed main pc producer found that taking part in the video would crash sure fashions of laptops. 


Even weirder, taking part in the music video on one laptop computer resulted in a crash of one other laptop computer close by.

So why did the tune trigger computer systems to crash?

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The tune contained a resonant frequency that affected the laptop computer’s arduous drive. Chen recounted:

“It seems that the tune contained one of many pure resonant frequencies for the mannequin of 5400 rpm laptop computer arduous drives that they and different producers used.”

In different phrases, taking part in the tune produced particular sound waves that vibrated on the identical frequency as these from the arduous drive. This triggered the laptop computer to crash. This is called vibration resonance.

Luckily, the producer solved the issue by including a customized filter within the audio pipeline that detected and eliminated the offending frequencies throughout audio playback.

Not an remoted incident

Much more attention-grabbing, there are different instances of vibration resonance inflicting native results.

One other Microsoft dev revealed that taking part in the sport 101 Monochrome Mazes would “reliably crash their machine” as a result of the speaker hint and reset hint have been too shut to one another. 

The phenomenon not solely impacts computer systems. In 1940 the Tacoma Narrows Suspension Bridge collapsed in response to wind gusts, making a vibrational resonance that matched the bridge’s pure frequency. It triggered the bridge to swing, twist, and ultimately collapse. 

Troopers marching in unison throughout a bridge may also create vibrational resonance. 

In 2011, the TechnoMart shopping center in Seoul was evacuated in response to 10 minutes of swaying. Mall officers initially suspected a localized earthquake. 

Nonetheless, the offender was truly a bunch of middle-aged folks doing a  Tae Bo exercise to the tune “The Energy” by Snap. 

The state of affairs was efficiently replicated utilizing 17 middle-aged individuals who exercised to the tune for 5 minutes. 

Enthusiastic dancing in unison at gigs may also trigger vibrational resonance.

All of it brings one other which means to the time period good vibrations. 

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