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Internet Archive Expands with Classic DOS Games and Awesome PC Viruses


Years and years were spent for the Internet Archive to become what it is today – storing massive amounts of digital content from the past. After actively gathering millions of web pages, videos, texts, and ancient audio snippets, the site has recently turned to an Internet favorite: games.

Available at Archive.org, the collection contains virtually anything you could miss if you are a #90sKid, any classic DOS games and awesome PC viruses. Nothing compares to the nostalgia that comes with the games and software from the Windows 3.1 era.

The recently added Windows 3.1 collection reminds users of the desktop PC’s infancy with over 1,000 games, roughly 300 basic productivity tools, and dozens of other vintage distractions. All the software is based on a JavaScript version of DosBox, which boots up Windows 3.1 and then allows the user to load the desired program.

If you haven’t already, you should definitely head over and check the new collection. You could start at the Windows 3.x Showcase section, which features gems like Wheel of Fortune: Deluxe Edition, SkiFree and even a promotional walkthrough of the then-upcoming Windows 95.

Archive.org also offers the users the opportunity to check out a stock installation of the OS itself, with the people’s favorite programs from back then. Before the Internet became all the rage, things like Paintbrush, Write, and (of course) Minesweeper were good companions for passing the time.

According to an Ars Technica report on the matter, the collection involved a lot more than gathering and simulating different sections of the old software.

In the beginning, collector Jason Scott and his assisting volunteer had their work cut out for them because the size of each DosBox instance needed whittling down. Sometime later, however, they came up with a system that allowed a quicker addition of new arrivals, as each individual app was automatically optimized.

Much like the previous classic software dumps that were added on Archive.org, it’s likely that some of the new additions are still copyrighted. However, the site’s creator argued it’ fair use given that the programs are offered on a non-commercial basis “for preservation, education, and public commentary.”

And we tend to agree with Jason – there’s clearly a certain value in making sure these retro games and classic programs are preserved. If nothing else, they provide a clear perspective on how interface design has evolved over the last 25 years.

But then again, it’s up to you to decide if there’s value in wasting an entire morning trying to figure out the rules of Minesweeper.
Image Source: Lab Nol

About David Mayor

Writer and editor of The Next Digit Media, he takes care of iOS, Apple, Mac and other gadgets. He worked at Apple Inc, before joining to TND Media. He was graduated in Bachelor of Journalism & Mass Communication Degree from Cambridge University. All posts by David

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