The Internet Archive, known for keeping historical copies of webpages from yesteryear, has now added a collection of historical software that can be played using any browser. The ability to play these historical programs is thanks to the JSMESS project, a "port of the MESS emulator, a mature and breathtakingly flexible computer and console emulator that has been in development for over a decade and a half by hundreds of volunteers."
Turning computer history into a one-click experience bridges the gap between understanding these older programs and making them available in a universal fashion. Acquisition, for a library, is not enough accessibility is where knowledge and lives change for the better. The JSMESS interface lets users get to the software in the quickest way possible.
We asked a number of people to look at the Historical Software section, and here were their comments:
Bringing microcomputer software back from floppy drives and cassette tapes is an important task not just for nostalgia but so we can learn from the good work of tens of thousands of people in our not-so-distant past. The Internet Archives first steps towards bringing it up in a web browser is very encouraging and we at DigiBarn look forward to working with the Archive to bring the best of that era back again.
- Dr. Bruce Damer, Curator, DigiBarn Computer Museum
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