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From 'Pac-Man' to spreadsheets: digging into the Historical Software Collection

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Gallery Photo: Historical Software Collection
Gallery Photo: Historical Software Collection

Earlier this week, the Internet Archive announced its Historical Software Collection, a curated set of noteworthy games, productivity software, and more from the 1970s and 1980s. Though the tools to run things like Pac-Man or On-Line Systems' Mystery House already existed, a team spent two years making a JavaScript port of the MESS emulator, which supports nearly 700 systems. JSMESS, which will eventually run games from 300 platforms, makes playing an emulated game as simple as opening a browser window. But what's held in the software collection's vault? Here's a sample of what you'll find in the current list.

Historical Software Collection


The mostly non-interactive Atari Dealer Demo showcased the capabilities of the Atari 400 and 800. (1980)