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Rescuing and preserving old software


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As technology progresses, some old programs are left behind and can no longer run on newer machines. We will discuss running emulators, the legality and the need for preservation.

Published in: Technology
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Rescuing and preserving old software

  1. 1. Mr Nathan Wade Lanier Technical College Oakwood, Georgia Georgia Technical College of the year - 2014 . The home of both the 2014 and 2015 Technical College Teacher of the Year.
  2. 2. Emulation - Rescuing and Preserving Old Software SAVE OUR DIGITAL HERITAGE!
  3. 3. Why preserve? • Preserve historical software from volatile storage and neglect • Analog Tape storage • Audio dropouts • Diskettes • “Bit-rot” • Dust • Punch cards and tape • Revive old programs and games on systems no longer supported on either actual systems or emulators • Programmers can learn code and make new homebrew programs for old systems • Sometime old hardware is rare and hard to find in good condition
  4. 4. Who is • The Old School Emulation Center (TOSEC) is an organization that is dedicated preserving and cataloging hardware, software, and firmware images for microcomputers and game consoles. • Database includes: • ROMs and firmware images • Software from different types of media • Manuals and magazines
  5. 5. Internet Archive Software Collection The Internet Archive Software Collection is the largest vintage and historical software library in the world. It provides instant access to millions of programs, CD-ROM images, documentation and multimedia.  Software  Shareware CDs, playable computer games, TOSEC files  Magazines (in Text section)  Family Computer, Byte, Creative Computing  Magazine Cover Discs
  6. 6. Digital Millennium Copyright Act An exemption is granted to the Internet Archive by the D.M.C.A for archival software. This software is free for the public to download. (
  7. 7. Two types of emulators STAND ALONE MESS • Multiple OS’ • Dedicated to one system • May not be up to date or abandoned • Multiple systems in one program • Up to date • Not all working What is an “emulator”? A program that acts like a particular system that will run program images for that system.
  8. 8. DOSBox • Emulates x86 computer • Used mainly to play DOS- based games • Can run Windows up to 3.11, WordPerfect, and other applications
  9. 9. D-Fend Reloaded - DOSBox-Frontend Reloaded • An open source frontend for DOSBox, ScummVM and Windows games
  10. 10. ME SSulti mulator uper ystem • Emulates computer systems and game consoles back to the late 60’s
  11. 11. Daphne • Laserdisc Arcade Emulator • Will legally load commercial versions of Dragon’s Lair, Dragon’s Lair 2, Space Ace, and Thayer’s Quest from Digital Leasure.
  12. 12. Legal Hurdles • Downloading emulators is legal • Roms and software programs may not be legal to download • This depends on the author or company • Shareware and legally purchased software remain legal • Copyright red-tape – hard to find who owns the copyright on ancient software • Commercial software unsupported but still owned by a viable company • Sierra On-Line • Apple • Commercial software owned by a company no longer in business • Interplay • Radio Shack • Software with license keys/dongles/DRM
  13. 13. Further reading and links… • The Ex-files: how long will our software last? • software-last/ • Preserving.exe: Toward a National Strategy for Preserving Software • • Preserving.exe: A Short List of Readings on Software Preservation • of-readings-on-software-preservation/ • The Geeks Who Saved Prince of Persia’s Source Code From Digital Death •
  14. 14. • Abandonware FAQ • • Why Preserving Old Computer Games is Surprisingly Difficult • surprisingly-difficult • How to use DOSBox to run Dos Games and Old Apps • old-apps/ • Installing Windows 3.1 in DosBox • drivers-and-play-16-bit-games/ • Computer History Museum Makes Electronic Arts DeluxePaint Source Code Available to the Public • arts-deluxepaint-source-code-available-to-the-public-2015-07-22
  15. 15. • Copyright Law Is Eating Away At Our Cultural History: And It's Time To Fix That • eating-away-our-cultural-history-its-time-to-fix-that.shtml • An Exemption to the DMCA Would Let Game Fans Keep Abandoned Games Running • • • • DosBox • • TRS-80 Color Computer Archive •