If you ever thought your hard drive was acting sluggish, or that a dirty CD was taking too long to read, then you haven't really seen slow until you load up a program by cassette. That's right, before the somewhat-reliable floppy drive, computer users had to deal with programs stored on cassette tape. This process was painful, to say the least, even when loading up a simple game on the Commodore 64.
In conjunction with the Commodore VIC modem, it took over thirty minutes just to load up the modem software, plug in the phone line, and connect to the prehistoric BBS network we now call the Internet. The Datasette device actually functioned like a 300 baud modem, converting analog audio sounds into digital format.
Despite the lengthy load times, there was one positive aspect to loading data via tapes: the noise. A good way to annoy parents, siblings, and teachers was by slapping a data tape into a cassette-enabled stereo and cranking up the volume full blast. Oh, the dogs would howl...