Digital archaeology of the microcomputer, 1974-1994

Adrian Graham witchy at
Wed Jan 17 15:09:29 CST 2007

On 17/1/07 19:15, "Ray Arachelian" <ray at> wrote:

>   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 ³protection² to prevent copying.

I love it when someone publishes an article without doing any proper
research. Is he saying that no copy-protected software of the late 70s and
80s hasn't already been reverse engineered and/or broken many years ago? So
what if the hardware was proprietary? Has there been a home computer that
hasn't been recreated in some form or another, either by a hardware rebuild
or emulation of some sort? (MESS springs to mind).
> To compound the problem, the hardware is dying (literally) and (being
> proprietary) can¹t 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 1980¹s, the storage medium was cassette tape; a
> temperamental mechanism at the time, let alone now. It¹s not that no
> computer innovation took place in the 1980¹s, just that none of it will
> be recorded.

Now I *know* he's done no research! Aside from my own BinaryDinosaurs
website how many other home computer museums are there online? Books by the
likes of Gordon Laing and others?

Meh, sloppy journalism.

Binary Dinosaurs creator/curator - the UK's biggest private home computer

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