Now your new HP Pavilion HDX can process as if it was 1994
One digital preservation solution goal has always been emulation of the old hardware or programs. Now some clever guys in the Netherlands, the Koninklijke Bibliotheek - national library of the Netherlands and the Nationaal Archief of the Netherlands to be exact, may have reached that goal. They have developed a software emulator that they are releasing to anyone. It is called Dioscuri version 0.2.0 and is now available “as open source software for any institution or individual that would like to experience their old digital documents again,” at http://dioscuri.sourceforge.net
Discouri can emulate an Intel 8086-based platform, including supporting the hardware to match, such as screen and storage devices - a floppy drive anyone? That means old files, if you still have the original software, which ran on 16-bit OS like MS-DOS, can now be read and the information retrieved. You just cut and paste through their clipboard to you current technology.
Its tricks includes creating a ‘virtual machine,” which is thus independent of the hardware on which you have loaded the software. The guys in the Netherlands have run it on Windows, Apple and Sun computers. The other sweet part is a component-based architecture. Each component imitates the functionality of a particular hardware component, thus you can make your own “virtual machine” through a user friendly GUI.
Thus you get a flexible and portable solution.
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