Living in the Digital Dark Ages
Published 13 July 2019
What is the digital dark age and why are we living in it?
This article investigates what we can do about saving our digital heritage.
The headlines scream, "we may be creating a
digital dark age"
Even Wikipedia has a long description of what the
digital dark age
is. Some people may call it hysteria, but we think the risk is very real.
We dive knee deep into analyzing patterns that support the theory that we are
living a period of mass heritage extinction.
Data and information is ruthlessly deleted at an exponential
rate. Once it is gone it is gone.
That is why we give a wayback link to most of the items we link to on this website.
We also believe that the reason why the issues surrounding the digital
dark ages has not been illuminated is because of the two-fold trends of the Internet.
Reason 1 - Data is being created at an exponential rate. Who would notice if
200MB of data was lost when 2000TB of data might be created by the hour.
Reason 2 - So many many more people are using computers and smartphones
and accessing the web. Literally billions of people. Would they even notice, or care,
if data from 30 years ago was not available to them?
What is digital content preservation?
Are you looking for a concise, jargon-free explanation of digital
content preservation? We looked around and in our opinion, this is
the best explanation that we could find.
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What is software preservation?
It isn't just your cherished photos that are important to
archive. Much software that has revolutionized the way we
live our lives has been lost to future generations. We
put forward our list of critical software pieces that need
preserving. Wikipedia is currently running with the list of commercial
video games with available source code.
Microsoft Windows 1.0
- Windows is almost ubiquotous in
its market penetration and yet, the source code to the
original release seems to be lost to the public forever.
operating system source code. The codebase was rumoured to
be release in 2018 but we are still waiting for official support.
Commodore Amiga Deluxe Paint source code
- this most influential bitmap graphics program has finally been
release for the world to review and learn from.
source code archive,
giving the source code for Witchaven, Witchhaven II, William
Shatner's Tekwar, and other games.
Hundreds of game source code instances, coming up from the 1970s
through to today, have been collated into a single archive. The
Internet Archive are kindly hosting the
game source collection.
There is also the
video game preservation project,
Historical Source project, and
Libre Games archive
all of which are hosted on GitHub.
personal digital archiving
Personal Digital Archiving Notebook
Digital Dark Ages case studies
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