Monster Azure VM used to play Tetris in Windows Task Manager

Microsoft Azure CTO Mark Russinovich utilized a monster 420 logical processor virtual machine to play Tetris using the CPU core list in Windows Task Manager.

To do this, Russinovich redirected the output of a console Tetris implementation to his ‘Task Manager CPU pixel array,’ which is likely based on a modified version of TaskManagerBitmap project.

By using threads assigned to a particular logical processor, TaskManagerBitmap will increase the threads CPU utilization to change the shade of a virtual ‘pixel.’ For example, to change the color of a logical core pixel to black, the thread would utilize 100% of the processors CPUE processing power, and turn it white by using 0%.

The result is Russinovich playing Tetris via a Windows command prompt with the game’s output redirected by the CPU pixel array to the Task Manager, as demonstrated below.

In July 2020, a video was posted to YouTube of this method being to allegedly play Doom via the Windows Task Manager.

Users called this video out as fake, though, as they stated, Task Manager would not show the number of cores shown in the video without it displaying a scroll bar.

Playing a game like Doom on task manager also seems far fetched with how quickly the shade of virtual pixels would need to be changed. A much slower-paced game like Tetris sounds more feasible for experiments like this.

Still, it’s a fun experiment when computers and hardware are hacked to do something they were not intended to do.