Month: June 2023

Gallant Sound Card is the Best Sound Card

The first PC my dad and I built together was named Thomas. It was a 66 MHz 486, and its sound card was a Gallant SC-5000.

The sound card itself was completely unremarkable, apart from the setup program. Its last step was to test the settings by playing the following file, in which a tinny, echo-y voice proclaims that Gallant Sound Card is the Best Sound Card!:

That slogan – and its rendering – became a running father-son gag for the decades that followed, albeit with one challenge: we never had a copy of the audio file, so the line existed only in our collective memory.

Until now.

Here’s how it went down.

Step 1: Find the drivers

Fundamentally, not too difficult. Download, unzip, and locate the TESTSC.EXE file, which is the post-install test program in question.

Step 2: Extract the sound file

This part was less straightforward. If this were a Win32 executable, it would just be a glorified .zip file with the various audio assets embedded. But this driver is for DOS, so the assets are baked – in binary – into the file.

MediaExtract to the rescue

Fortunately, there’s a fine person on GitHub who created a tool that specifically extracts media from executable files. I couldn’t tell you for the life of me how it works, but by golly it does. The steps are simple enough:

  1. Download the latest release and extract.
  2. Copy TESTSC.EXE into the binary-win32 folder
  3. Run mediaextract TESTSC.EXE
  4. Behold the extracted .wav file

Step 3: Immortalize the file

For his part, my dad recorded the output in a recordable greeting card. Now it’s my turn: The fine folks at ArtBlox, for a small sum, happily transcribed the waveform in acrylic. The result:

If you have fond memories of PCM audio from the DOS days, consider rendering one of them in acrylic for your dad.

Posted by Adam Labay, 0 comments