Dioscuri – a modular emulator

September 24, 2007

Just picked this up on the digital preservation list – the national library and national archives in the Netherlands have announced Dioscuri, a digital preservation emulator. Dioscuri “is capable of emulating an Intel 8086-based computer platform with support for VGA-graphics, screen, keyboard, and storage devices like a virtual floppy drive and hard drive.”. As such it can emulate 16-bit operating systems.

This is interesting in itself – there are some great arguments for emulation as an approach to preservation and it’s good to see more progress in the area. But what’s really exciting about Dioscuri is that it has taken only 2 man-years to develop. The expense and difficulty in writing emulators has often been used as an argument against emulation, as has the perceived need for the efforts to be centralized. It seems Dioscuri changes the game!

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