You may have noticed, on the back of your computer, an FCC number. FCC stands for "Federal Communcations Commission". Just who is your computer communicating with? The FCC normally regulates radio stations, and that sort of thing...


It turns out that your computer gives off a fair amount of radio waves, and so has to be checked out by the FCC. Your computer is not supposed to generate harmful interference, and so should not upset radios, TVs, cordless phones and other devices that use radio waves.

It can, though. To prove it, try this:

1. Get a small radio that you can move around, and set it to receive AM.
2. Tune the radio to somewhere on the dial where there is no station, and turn it way up.
3. Now put the radio near your computer. Do you hear sounds from your computer on the radio? Try tuning it; you will certainly pick up something!

You get a fair amount of radio waves from your monitor; try turning your monitor on and off to see if the sound changes. You can also get radio waves from your hard drive. Try opening an application or copying a file, and see if this changes the sound. And you also get radio waves from your processor. If you know your processor speed, try tuning your radio to the same frequency as your processor. (You will have to switch to FM for this.) If your processor is 100 MHz, tune your radio to 100 MHz, which is about in the middle of the FM dial. FM is more resistant to interference, but you still might be able to pick it up.

By the way, this is something that is different on every computer. The Little Shop pages live on a Mac Quadra 630 with a 14" color monitor. This machine makes great radio waves from the monitor, but no so much from the hard drive or the processor. If you find out something really cool on your computer, you might want to drop us a line and let us know your secret! You can send us a message using this page.