Data Legacy

There will be times when you need to run old programs, or to view a web page, application, or even a specific file or software from an old OS. For Archivists, this proves a specific problem, do you run a specific machine with the correct OS, and set up for a specific program just to view a files in the way it was intended at time of origin. With even a small practice or office, this might run into several old machines that need to be maintained and stored just for that one occasion. Escalate that to a decent size archive like the V&A RIBA library then you can imagine the problem.

Perhaps if there was a way to maintain this in the cloud, then at least it solves the last problem of maintaining a machine, but also solves so many problems of storage, maintenance of the OS and damage, not to mention space to store old bulky machines.

Problem 1 : Old Browser Support

Google with their vast storage and depth have solve part of the legacy problem and recently put in place a Legacy Browser Suport.

If your organization wants to take advantage of the Chrome Browser, but your users still need to access older websites and apps that require Internet Explorer, you can use this feature to easily switch between browsers. The Chrome Legacy Browser Support extension allows users to switch automatically between Chrome and another browser. When your user clicks a link that requires a legacy browser to open (such as a site that requires ActiveX), the URL will automatically open in the legacy browser from Chrome.

Problem 2: The Specific Operating System ( OS )

You might just want to take a look at Justin Pot's web site, he is a technology journalist based in Portland, Oregon, and has set up a web site looking at porting older system into a browser, the Mac OS is particularly good, and if your old enough the Omega software brings back so many memories. Classic it might be, but is certainly solves the second problem of the OS specific CAD program.

The Browser is a port of Hampa, Hugs PCE emulator using emscripten

Enscripten is a source-to-source compiler that runs as a back end to the LLVM compiler and produces a subset of JavaScript known as asm.js. It can also produce WebAssembly. This allows applications and libraries originally designed to run as standard executables to be integrated into client side web applications. Wikipedia

The information here is the results of a few conversations, together with some research that will form the basis of a paper to outline the problem of data Legacy and how it might be solved.