It Runs DOOM #3

  • May 17, 2019
  • |
  • By: Joe Rybicki
It Runs DOOM #3

“But can it run DOOM?” is the techie’s go-to joke for just about any piece of hardware with a screen – and for good reason.

The original DOOM’s software was so ubiquitous at height of its popularity during the shareware era that fans took it upon themselves to get it running on as many devices as possible – no matter how ridiculous.

As a result, the game has been ported, emulated or imitated on countless devices thanks to skilled programmers with a little know-how and some elbow grease. They may not all be the most optimized rigs for playing shooters, but these fun feats in engineering deserve a shout-out because, well, they run DOOM.

3. On an Oscilloscope

In case you’re not up to speed with your electrical engineering, an oscilloscope is a device used to visualize electrical signals. They can be used for all types of science-y things, from troubleshooting electronics to analyzing music. You can use an oscilloscope to diagnose automotive problems, test cables, debug transmission of data, or even view a heartbeat. In fact, Tennis for Two – often cited as one of the first video games ever developed – was displayed using a 5-inch oscilloscope well over 60 years ago.

Now, the age-old question: Will it run DOOM? The answer may not shock you.

We can thank students at the University of Southampton in Southampton, England, for figuring out a way to get DOOM running on a digital oscilloscope. In what we can assume was an entirely aboveboard and school-sanctioned activity, these engineers-in-training dug into the virtual guts of this quite expensive laboratory equipment in order to give it a new purpose: shotgunning demons in the face.