"Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh have made headway towards a solution to bit rot, or at least a partial one. There, Mahadev Satyanarayanan takes digital snapshots of computer hard drives while they run different software programs. These can then be uploaded to a computer that mimics the one the software ran on. The result is a computer that can read otherwise defunct files. Under a project called Olive, the researchers have archived Mystery House, the original 1982 graphic adventure game for the Apple II, an early version of WordPerfect, and Doom, the original 1993 first person shooter game. Inventing new technology is only half the battle, though. More difficult still could be navigating the legal permissions to copy and store software before it dies. When IT companies go out of business, or stop supporting their products, they may sell the rights on, making it a nightmarish task to get approval. “To do this properly, the rights of preservation might need to be incorporated into our thinking about things like copyright and patents and licensing. We’re talking about preserving them for hundreds to thousands of years,” said Cerf."
Friday, February 13, 2015
Google boss warns of 'forgotten century' with email and photos at risk; Guardian, 2/13/15
Ian Sample, Guardian; Google boss warns of 'forgotten century' with email and photos at risk: