I wonder if there will ever be a business case for things like this. I sit across the hall from a startup that sells mp3 gramaphones, etsy is a huge success, there are strange Kickstarter projects every day. Is nostalgia a permanent long tail phenomenon, or a fad from which people will move on?
How many businesses will carve out a niche in long tail tech is harder to tell. I expect it will be like many things, many enter, few leave.
May be it is rather superficial, but you can say that about fashion, art, music, choice of programming paradigm (in some cases at least).
I should note the records I bought were recorded by people about my age, and they played psychedelic rock that emulated 60's rock and claimed to use "vintage" equipment from their effects pedals to their recording equipment...and they certainly weren't alive in the 60's.
Only if you define the vinyl copy to be the primary one, in which case vinyl is lossless by definition. However, if you take a live performance to be primary, vinyl is lossy because it has a reduced dynamic range compared to both live performances and digital technologies.
Nope, your record loses information every time you play it, because you're literally rubbing a needle over those tiny little grooves.
The audiophile community may disagree, but read some of their reviews and articles and you'll see how reliable their analyses are.
It's like a 7-layer burrito with extra helpings of sour cream and guac - a bit mushy, but still a burrito.
I think you can count on it as long as the 'retro gap'  holds at the current level.
So my thanks go out to Jason Scott and the small crowd of computing historians he unofficially represents. As a modern software and hardware engineer, it is both a joy to watch the old, and a comfort to know our work of today has a chance of being preserved in the years to come.
The BBS documentary was shot across 4 years on my own dime (no crowdfunding, my family helped pay for the camera) and traveling to 20 states, from 2001-2004, and then released in 2005. (10 years ago). This means some footage was shot as long as 14 years ago.
"Production Value" is a very specific term - it is almost always used to indicate skill or attention to the final product. All along the way for the BBS Documentary, I had to make choices. Remember, the Canon XL1 I shot with cost me $4000 in 2000, when it was bought. And instead of going with a handful of people, say, under 15, to tell the whole story, I chose instead to interview 201 people. This meant that sometimes in a single day I'd drive to up to 4 different homes, with miles between them, set up all the equipment myself, conduct the pre-interview and interview, and then move on to the next location. In one case I drove 500 miles to grab an hour interview with a figure who had popped up, and then drove back.
This was before DSLR became prominent, before HD was the norm. I could have gotten a full crew, but everything else would have suffered: the breadth of subjects, the locations, the variant voices. It's a choice I'm fine with.
I recognized, after BBS Documentary was done, that I'd want to move to HD, but in 2006, when I started filming GET LAMP, that cost me $10,000. I paid larger numbers for the new movies - $20,000 for the DSLR equipment. (Both GET LAMP and the new films are crowdsourced, based on the reputation of BBS Documentary.)
Choose your words carefully, please. I'll take "Dated", I'll take "SD", I'll take "Videotaped", but please don't imply I didn't sweat bullets over every aspect of the production, and that everything in there wasn't a best-of-all-circumstances choice made with the intent of finishing a project that many (at the time) thought was impossible.
I completely agree that, given your constraints, the better use of money was to interview more people. What I meant was that it's a shame you had to choose. I believe your efforts deserve more recognition, and more funding so you don't have to make compromises between interviewing more people or having more crew. You should have both. That's what I intended my remark to convey. By no means did I mean "This film is crappy, but I love it anyway." I meant "This film is wonderful. I wish the creator was better enabled so there were Blu-rays of this stuff, with crisp, clean HD video." Stuff like that.
> Choose your words carefully, please.
I truly did. I usually spend an inordinate amount of time writing emails/comments, trying to choose words that are clear and concise. Its a byproduct of my social anxiety (it stems from an ever-present fear that what I'm doing/saying will be misinterpreted). In fact, I'm probably going to miss breakfast because I've spent the past 45 minutes trying to write this comment and clear up the confusion... But, yeah, sometimes people have different meanings for different words. It isn't a reflection of whether they took the time to choose the words. Its a reflection of different cultures, and how they apply different means to words. I'm not a film maker, so I guess production value means something different between us. I'm sorry my comments did not communicate effectively. I truly respect you, and your work. Please keep making documentaries and doing what you do! There needs to be more of it!
It's pretty awesome to hear the backstory too, so thanks for sharing =) I think I have a new documentary to watch!
EDIT: In other words, at least to this layperson...
> "Production Value" is a very specific term - it is almost always used to indicate skill or attention to the final product.
... isn't true for me. I use that phrase to refer to budget and equipment, not skill and heart. I think the same is true of most other people outside of the film world.
Here's a guide I hacked together a couple of months ago for comparison:
Nitpicking just a little bit: Windows 3 didn't run inside DOS. Maybe "on top of it" if you want to put it that way, but not "inside".
It changed the processor and graphic modes and when shut down it reverted to the prompt. But by no means was it "just a big DOS program".
Guess what: Windows 95 also was a program running "on top" of DOS. That was somewhat hidden, but I remember clearly that I booted to DOS and then executed either Windows 3 or Windows 95 (I was programming a compatible 16/32 bits application). There was some tweaking needed but it worked nicely.
'Instead of' would also work, in the case of Windows 95, as it would be fair to say that simply exiting Windows involves resetting everything back to the way DOS had it, then rerunning DOS.
And when you ran DOS inside a window in Windows 95, then that was DOS running inside of a VM.
DOS is a real mode OS. Windows 95 is a protected mode. Windows 3 was some kind of dumbed-down protected mode that 286 had. Actually I believe it could work in different modes.
The distinction is pretty important. Windows 95, that needed a 386 minimum, was a true protected mode system, with virtual memory and pre-emptive multitasking. It would be absurd to call it "a DOS program" just because you could launch it from the DOS prompt.
So the same can be said of Windows 3. It changed processor mode, not so radically as 95, but enough to exit real mode... calling it "just a DOS program" is simply wrong.
We'll have the technical side of this solved before the legal side is.
Does Windows 95 qualify? Probably not quite yet, but if UEFI ever wins to the point where motherboards with the traditional BIOS become unavailable and then the available UEFI motherboards stop including a BIOS-compatibility mode, then it probably will.
That said, there's no reason why Wikipedia editors can't embed the player that Archive.org uses for console/arcade/dos games into their respective Wikipedia pages. It wouldn't be quite as easy as embedding a Youtube video (where every video gives you a snippet of HTML to paste into your page), but the emulator is just a js file, and the game is just a couple of small image files which you load and stick into the emulator's in-memory filesystem.
See https://github.com/db48x/emdosbox-loader if you want to see how Archive.org is currently loading those. It's not quite ready to just be plugged in everywhere, but I'm working towards that possibility.
I wish they went into more detail what exactly changed and why these browsers no longer work, unless it was the PPP protocol they mentioned that is causing the issue.
HTTP 1.1 added the `Host:` header, which let a single IP host many domains, which essentially created the web hosting industry.
You can fix this communication problem with a HTTP 1.1 to 1.0 translating proxy server: http://www.jwz.org/blog/2008/03/happy-run-some-old-web-brows...
1) HTTP 1.0 vs 1.1 and lack of the Host: header, as you've all deduced
2) Additional encoding info tacked on after the Content-type causes parsing issues
3) Many sites now redirect to HTTPS by default. While Netscape 1.0 and Mosaic 1.0 both support HTTPS, it used SSLv1, and well, remember POODLE? :P
Newer versions of these browsers tend to work in native DOSBOX but present problems when running on the web. We're working on it.
Biggest problem right now is that the virtualized dial-up ISP is a bit flaky. For some reason PPP over TCP over Websockets via Trumpet Winsock isn't as rock solid as it should be :P
Bear in mind, though, it will ALWAYS be insecure and it will ALWAYS be more of a "try this out" than popping on your unicycle, starting up your bagpipes and riding down the Information Superhighway permanently.
In order to make these web sites work in the old browsers, it was necessary to
host them specially. In this modern world, a single server will typically host
multiple web sites from a single IP address. This works because modern web
browsers send a "Host" header saying which site they're actually looking
for. Old web browsers didn't do that: if you wanted to host a dozen sites on
a single server, that server had to have a dozen IP addresses, one for each
site. So these sites have dedicated addresses!
The web server also had to be configured to not send a "charset" parameter
on the "Content-Type" header, because the old browsers didn't know what
to make of that.
See here for details: http://www.jwz.org/blog/2008/03/happy-run-some-old-web-brows...
HTTP 1.1 (1999, so way postdating Netscape 1.0) has a Host header that's sent with every request, which allows the client to communicate to the server which hostname the client thinks it's talking to. That allows today's world, with multiple hostnames colocated on the same IP, to work properly. But if you leave out the Host header the server doesn't know which of those sites you meant and will do ... something.
For example, this explains the defcon.org failure in their screenshots. In fact, you can try this at home in your favorite command-line:
telnet www.defcon.org 80
Connected to www.defcon.org.
Escape character is '^]'.
GET / HTTP/1.0
3) Repeat, but in step 2 type (or paste, since it closes the connection quickly):
GET / HTTP/1.1
Same thing for www.whitehouse.gov (which is in fact a cname for www.whitehouse.gov.edgesuite.net which is a cname for www.eop-edge-lb.akadns.net which is a cname for a1128.dsch.akamai.net which you can bet needs the Host header to know which site you were accessing!).
And same thing for news.ycombinator.com, which is a cname for news.ycombinator.com.cdn.cloudflare.net which then resolves to an IP but doing a reverse DNS lookup on that IP says it's got at least "ns1.cloudflare.com" and "dns.cloudflare.com" as domain names that resolve to it... so it's clearly going to be looking at the Host header to see what you actually think you're talking to. You can even see this if you compare http://news.ycombinator.com.cdn.cloudflare.net/ to https://news.ycombinator.com/ even though one is a cname for the other.
Although Connectix also sold a playstation (original) emulator for mac that worked pretty well. Connectix was embroiled in a lawsuit with Sony, till Sony ended up buying it.
Part of the problem I think with some emulation speed has to do with bit order of the original hardware (or endian order) which makes emulators do a lot of memory moves.. We ran into this a little when looking into migrating software from PA-RISC to X86..
MAME's commitment to accurate emulation is amazing.
Pac Man/Ms. Pac Man comes to mind. Donkey Kong too.
Emulating analog audio circuits accurately requires higher math functions executed millions of times per second. Some of the oldest classics run super slow on sub-3Ghz CPUs.
with a playable demo of doom here:
Considering the simplicity of his page, and the browser now running in the emulator, it should be possible to download and run the 16 bit version from his website:
It's impressive and convenient that this runs in a browser, but does itreally change anything about emulation? We've had this capability for windows, mac and Linux for years which covers about every platform with a browser. I suppose it's convenient if you wanted to emulate windows 3.1 on your iOS device.
(And as pointed out in the OP, getting something like Trumpet Winsock to work against a 21st century internet is non-trivial)
Yes, but that always required installing emulation software, tracking down the necessary ROMs/disk images, etc. If it's running in the browser, the site admin can do all that once for everybody rather than every user having to do it for him/herself. All the user has to do is open a URL.
I think it is a shame that Java Web Start style tech never got anywhere. It pretty much delivered such experience (click url and app launches) without actually binding the application to the browser.
If you're running in a browser, all the network access you get is HTTP AJAX, right?
And it's not quite "the browser" in the usual sense, but Chrome Apps (and, I believe, extensions?) get access to TCP and UDP APIs: https://developer.chrome.com/apps/app_network
> Before I get 1,000 "GIMME DER SAUCE AND WHERE DO I KLIK" - the DOS situation showed me we need something to be really tested to go big.
Might need to print this and tape it to your keyboard though http://bit.ly/1zDZrjk
Still - I'll take it all back when someone shows me Wordstar.js. Who needs Indesign??