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Code Wheel

The code wheel is another industry attempt to curb software piracy, they vary somewhat in how they work, but are genuinely similar in operation.

When the game loads, the player is given a picture, words, or symbols or a combination of all three, you would turn the wheel so the ones on screen are in the same segment, then through a small window a number can be seen. This is then entered and the game runs.

The wheels vary greatly in complexity, some have only one wheel, but others use as many as three.

Some games have some quite fun wheels, The Secret of Monkey Island has the Dial a Pirate one, where the player must match up the bottom of a pirates' face to the top, and getting the number that way.

Of course there was little to stop people copying the parts and making their own wheel, but back in the 80s and 90s it would have meant going and using a photocopier in a library, as homes with full scanning and printing capabilities were few and far between.

Date : 1989

This exhibit has a reference ID of CH57263. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.
 

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