Digital archaeology of the microcomputer, 1974-1994

Bryan Pope bpope at
Wed Jan 17 13:43:44 CST 2007

And thusly were the wise words spake by Ray Arachelian
>   Digital archaeology of the microcomputer, 1974-1994
> By Steven Goodwin <>
> /Online on: 2007-01-05/
> /(Or, how to prevent the Dark Ages of computing through free software)/
> In a few years time, it will be impossible to study the history of home
> computers since everything at the time was proprietary; both in terms of
> the physical hardware, and all the software that ran upon it since most
> of it is encumbered by software “protection” to prevent copying.
> To compound the problem, the hardware is dying (literally) and (being
> proprietary) can’t be rebuilt in any equivalent manner. In some cases
> the software is physically disintegrating too since, in the case of many
> 8-bit micros from the 1980’s, the storage medium was cassette tape; a
> temperamental mechanism at the time, let alone now. It’s not that no
> computer innovation took place in the 1980’s, just that none of it will
> be recorded.

It sounds like he is implying in his article that nothing is being done to 
preserve software..  TOSEC (The Old School Emulation Center @ ) is one place that is doing a very good job...



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