Software emulation is an important tool for preservation of digital artworks because it allows researchers to experience complex digital materials in their native creation environments, and can thereby enable full access to “software dependent content,” the term offered by Euan Cochrane, Digital Preservation Manager at Yale University, for content that is integral to the overall meaning of a work, but which “requires a particular and limited range of software environments in order to be interacted with, rendered, viewed or consumed.”
Digital content — from word processing files to websites to video games — offers preservationists challenges that go beyond those encountered when preserving books, manuscripts, and photographs. Unlike these relatively self-contained items, digital content is linked inextricably to the machinery and programs used to present it.
The German research project EMiL (Emulation of Multimedia objects in Libraries) aims at an emulation-based access framework for multimedia objects in libraries and museums. The project consortium consists of the German National Library, the Bavarian State Library, Karlsruhe University of Art and Design, and the University of Freiburg. The project is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) until 2016.
In many areas of research, virtual research environments (VREs) have become an essential part of modern research processes. The providers of VREs need to respond to this growing importance with functioning and efficient processes for the development, operation and quality assurance of VREs. We have developed a life-cycle model for VREs, which focuses in particular on the success-critical points for the transition to a VRE's sustainable operation.
Project MUSE is beginning the process of updating the MUSE site to use secure site protocol. This change will take effect as of May 15, 2015.
What this means is that URLs for MUSE pages will include the https designation rather than the http (no ‘s’). MUSE is making the change in order to provide a secure site to protect end users, libraries and publishers.
All links to content will automatically redirect. However, items that require updating as a result of this change include proxy servers and referring/encrypted URLs.
If you thought it was madness to run Windows 95 inside a DOS emulator on an Android Wear smartwatch, then the following could blow your mind.
Jason Scott, a digital archivist working with the Internet Archive, reported on his blog earlier today that one of his colleagues, James Baicoianu, had managed to get Windows 3.11 running inside a DOS emulator running in a modern web browser.
I read Johan's fascinating post this morning about the obsolescence of Quattro Pro formats. In the post he included a set of Quattro Pro spreadsheets and invited others to try to access them using the original software or an old version of Excel.
Luckily I have an old version of Quattro Pro available so I thought I'd give it a go. The results are quite interesting (I believe anyway!).
I was going to post this as a comment but found it was a bit unweildy due to all the pictures so decided to just post another blog.
Earlier this week I had a discussion with some colleagues about the archiving of mobile phone and tablet apps (iPhone/Android), and, equally important, ways to provide long-term access. The immediate incentive for this was an announcement by a Dutch publisher, who recently published a children's book that is accompanied by its own app. Also, there are already several examples of Ebooks that are published exclusively as mobile apps.
Jeff Rothenberg's ground-breaking 1995 article Ensuring the Longevity of Digital Documents described and compared two techniques to combat format obsolescence; format migration and emulation, concluding that emulation was the preferred approach. As time went by and successive digital preservation systems went into production it became clear that almost all of them rejected Jeff's conclusion, planning to use format migration as their preferred response to format obsolescence. Follow me below the fold for a discussion on why this happened and whether it still makes sense.
Emulation as a strategy for digital preservation is about to become an accepted technology for memory institutions as a method for coping a large variety of complex digital objects. Hence, the demand for ready-made and especially easy-to-use emulation services will grow. In order to provide user-friendly emulation services a scalable, distributed system model is required to be run on heterogeneous Grid or Cluster infrastructure.