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Archive.org Deploys Macromedia Software Titles 148

Jon-Erik Hexum writes "Now at the internet archive, the new software section contains over 10,000 CD-ROM titles donated by Macromedia. In an interesting discussion, the Software Archive is struggling with deciding on the best method for preserving CD-ROM images for the long term."
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Archive.org Deploys Macromedia Software Titles

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  • No more pirating...er, i mean sampling with the intent do delete Flash 4 off of IRC...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Macromedia Software.... "Macrosoft" maybe?
  • by br0ck ( 237309 ) on Tuesday January 28, 2003 @03:05PM (#5176524)
    Punch cards! [fourmilab.ch]
  • wow, already? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by ceejayoz ( 567949 )
    Slashdotted already? Goodness... that didn't last long!

    Of course, when offering 10,000 CDs for download... a little extra bandwidth would probably be prudent.
  • by KimiDalamori ( 579444 ) on Tuesday January 28, 2003 @03:09PM (#5176543)

    they have these little, thin Plastic things called 'Compact Disks'...

    Oh, wait...

  • Use the Public (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jason1729 ( 561790 ) on Tuesday January 28, 2003 @03:10PM (#5176551)
    The best way to preserve this media would be over a distributed network. People sign up to voulenteer space on their computers and then download only the media they want to archive. To retrieve the information, have a simple search client that will show you who has that information...Oh wait, that's just a P2P network.

    Jason
    ProfQuotes [profquotes.com]
    • Except that when the software is no longer "hot" or people need that extra terabyte of space to install Windows XXXPP++.Net or whatever copies will quickly disappear.

      Not much archival value left then. P2P networks are great distribution mechanisms... they suck as archival systems. Public P2P networks at least.

    • Re:Use the Public (Score:2, Interesting)

      by On Lawn ( 1073 )
      We've been discussing this somewhat at work. AFS and CODA do distributed (redundant, not p2p) file serving, and have their own backup system. Thats my favorite option for ensuring live-good data, lots of copies everywhere kept live.

      On the other side of the fence is are proponents of very centralized, backed up storage using DVDr's for product snapshots and tapes as a sort of revision control system.

      Perhaps some mixture of both is what we'll do, but its the principle I'm talking about!

      _____________________________
      Onroad: [onlawn.net] Boldly reporting the SUV war from the middle of the road.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Have sex with them. Then they'll never leave you alone!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28, 2003 @03:10PM (#5176557)
    They should burn the CD images to CDs.
    • The obvious solution

      They should burn the CD images to CDs.


      The obvious problem with that:

      The dies in writable CDs have a much shorter lifetime than the printed ones. Like three-ish years. So figure they have to make new copies ever two years, plus at least two spars of each, for redundancy. Call it 15K/year CD burnings just for this batch of 10,000 images.

      Now an automated burning operation can do a bit more than 7 1/2 disks/hour single-shift. But then you have to have a carousell to handle 10,000 CDs (times several for redundancy), in order to automate the process.

      So I don't think burning them to CDs is the solution.

      Call it 3 CDs per gig. Or a bunch more, since most of 'em won't be full, so make that 10/gig. That's one terrabyte. Don't we have hard drives about that big now? Build a RAID, mirror it (offsite), replace disks as they die, and clone the mirror every few years to cover for catastrophic multi-disk failures and obsolescence of the RAID platforms and disks. Online all the time that way, too.
  • I'm obviously out of the loop here....

    What the heck are on those 10,000 cds (cd's?) anyways, and why is it so cool? Games? MP3s? Movies? Pr0n?

  • by gmuslera ( 3436 ) on Tuesday January 28, 2003 @03:17PM (#5176607) Homepage Journal
    "Hey! I have 10.000 CDs with software to share!"
  • I know 10 000 items is going to take you awhile to list, but if anyone's gotten through, just post some notables.
  • Preserving CD-ROMs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Wee ( 17189 ) on Tuesday January 28, 2003 @03:18PM (#5176609)
    I was looking for ROM to old games (MOO, MOO2, Starflight) a while back, and recalled that I had a box of floppies that also had some old games on them. Hardly any of the 3 1/2 floppies were any good and I couldn't even read the 5 1/4 inch ones I found. That got me curious about what will happen to my meticulously ordered and cataloged CD-R/ROM collection.

    While I was indulging my data storage daydreams, I came across a discussion board thread [photo.net] which talks about the various issues surround storing digital media (pictures, in this case). It was pretty intersting reading. I hadn't thought about gold-plated CDs before, and that sounds like a great idea as long as the hardware to read them exists for the duration of the media's shelf life. Even NASA has been having trouble [nasa.gov] in that area.

    At first blush, I'd say the way to save all the images would be some sort of distrubuted filesystem, a la Freenet. Package an ASCII metafile with the ROMs file format info along with the actual image file and that should do it. Some sort of centralized system of making sure that at least N copies exist in "the wild" and the data could be reasonably safe. I'm oversimplifying, of course, but it occurred to me that data integrity and file formats might not be the only barriers to long-term data storage. Governments aren't especially data-friendly 100% of the time, either. If you really want to save data for all posterity, you have to protect it from yourself as well.

    -B

    • Distributed Data (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Oculus Habent ( 562837 ) <oculus.habent@NOSpAm.gmail.com> on Tuesday January 28, 2003 @03:45PM (#5176765) Journal
      Not a bad plan, though. Though I would go one step further and convert any data still readable into a format that includes a description of itself. This would mean that every video/audio/image should have it's own decoder attached. HTML files would have the HTML spec. This may seem like a huge waste of space, especially on smaller files, but it is worth it for the time saved reading files later on. Of course, you need something that can always read the description, but one standard program could function for all files in this format instead of countless files. Now, this doesn't help for executables (currently, anyway) but could improve data retention.

      As storage availabilities and requirements rise, an encoder/decoder for many formats would become trivial, notable exceptions being made for massively integrated applications (*cough* Office *cough*)

      After all, how do you think Star Trek managed to take 50,000 year-old data crystals and read the files stored on them, or interface with Borg computers? : )
      • Archive applications by including a standardized virtual machine of the hardware it runs on.
      • > or interface with Borg computers?

        Samba?
      • I believe you have just described XML. For images, BMP (if size really doesn't matter) has at least an obvious format.
      • This would mean that every video/audio/image should have it's own decoder attached.

        In what programming language would you write the decoder? You'd have to store the specification for that language as well.

        HTML files would have the HTML spec.

        I'd assume the HTML spec would be written in Unicode text in the English language. The Unicode specification is also written in the English language. So how would you store the specification of the English language itself?

        Now, this doesn't help for executables (currently, anyway)

        All you'd have to store for an executable is a description of the virtual machine it runs on, that is, an emulator. But then, you have to write the description in some language...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28, 2003 @03:22PM (#5176629)
    deciding on the best method for preserving CD-ROM images for the long term

    Keep them in the standard .iso format. It's only physical media that will change, but with virtual drives, the iso format won't be unreadable!
    • Assuming that anyone supports, let alone remembers ISO 9660 or, even better, FAT16, in 50 years. Of course, at that point we will also be dealing with the fact that Scorched Earth, though recoverable from it's filing system, can't run on a Undo-octal HP-AMD Thrashium Mark IX 2170.0032 THz on a 4.8 GHz bus
      • But it will run on Bochs [sf.net].
        • "But it will run on Bochs"

          Yeah, it'll work, but it probably won't be til 2050 that computers get fast enough to run at close to the original speed in Bochs. What's so hard about emulating x86 anyway? I can run 68K Mac software in Basilisk II with about a 8 to 1 speed hit because of the emulation. Bochs is closer to 100 to 1.

          The sad part is, in 2050 proprietary s/w like Virtual PC or SoftPC still won't be public domain yet.
          • The sad part is, in 2050 proprietary s/w like Virtual PC or SoftPC still won't be public domain yet.

            But if it's out of print, copying it may be fair use in the United States, as taking a work out of print may amount to an admission by the copyright owner that the work has so little value that any unauthorized use would not reduce its value.

            If you know of any precedents otherwise, please respond.

          • decoding x86 is a royal PITA because of the variable length instructions and the different modes. vmware and plex86 running on x86 are very fast because they run a lot of code on the real CPU, but bochs is cross-platform, so EVERYTHING has to be emulated (you have to read the next x bytes and figure out what instruction is there, perform the operation, and repeat. And, you have to fake all the other stuff, such as PCI, IDE, etc.)
      • Well, I can emulate a PDP-1 [trailing-edge.com], which was from 1960 [village.org] - that's a nice 40-some years so far... Seems to me that emulation (especially for something as popular as the x86 architecture, when it finally fades from vogue) is going to be around for a long, long time.
  • Great post... NOT (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28, 2003 @03:23PM (#5176634)
    When will the /. editors learn that we can't read their frickin' minds??? Would the editor's private parts have stopped working and fallen off if he had actually given us a hint what was on these now-legendary 10,000 disks???

    As the article stands, we have no idea if this story is a genuine big deal or something we can all ignore.

  • by KoolDude ( 614134 ) on Tuesday January 28, 2003 @03:25PM (#5176646)
    INTERNET Jan 29: Today Popular News Website Slashdot announced the Slashdot Server Benchmarking System. From their FAQ:

    How do we use your system ?
    We provide this service as a tool for analyzing the strength of your server. To use our service, simply pick up a random story from the internet and send it to us. We will post the story and the time taken to bring down your server is inversely proportional to the strength of your server. For best results, choose stories that contain evil news about M$, RIAA or USPTO. For advanced options...

    Slashdot demonstrated their system by posting links from Archive.org. The site was brought down in less than a minute. Many server manufacturers all over the world thanked Slashdot for providing such a wonderful service. "We see this as an opportunity to serve news to the world and testing our servers at the same time...", said Slash Dottroll, Product Manager at IBM Server Division.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Rip CDROM contents to bin or iso files. Store on hard drive in AmigaDOS format. Image hard drive using Drive Image. Split Image with rar and store rar files on series of Bernoulli drives. Backup Bernoulli drives to CDs.

    - Rube G.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28, 2003 @03:30PM (#5176671)
    Here is the Google cache [216.239.51.100] showing the breakdown of titles by category.

    * 3D (35)
    * Adv/Mkt Collateral (37)
    * Audio (8)
    * Business Ap (370)
    * CBT (897)
    * Collection (7)
    * Commercial Design (45)
    * Corporate (179)
    * Demo (27)
    * Editorial (15)
    * Education (61)
    * Educational (1355)
    * Educational MM (178)
    * Educational Multimedia (47)
    * Edutainment (466)
    * Entertainment (788)
    * File Types (0)
    * Fine Art (60)
    * Government (1)
    * Illustration (58)
    * Interactive Business (482)
    * Interactive Portfolio (11)
    * Interactive Reference (185)
    * Kidsware (238)
    * Marketing Collateral (61)
    * Non-commercial (93)
    * Photo Manipulation (15)
    * Promotion (24)
    * Promotional (829)
    * Reference (354)
    * Self Promotion (9)
    * Shocked Sites (81)
    * Tool (2)
    * Training (4)
    * Type Design (21)
    * Uncategorized (1361)
    * Web Page/Site (59)
  • as PHP submits to the onslaught of slashbots.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      PHP isn't causing the problem. They're using an Apache mod_rewrite directive somewhere, and it's broken. When I try to go to the linked site, I wind up at

      http://www.archive.org/cdroms/macromedia.php/mac ro media.php/macromedia.php/macromedia.php/macromedia .php/macromedia.php/macromedia.php/macromedia.php/ macromedia.php/macromedia.php/macromedia.php/macro media.php/macromedia.php/macromedia.php/ ...with plenty more instances of "/macromedia.php/" than Slashdot's lameness filter will allow me to post.

      This sort of thing (the file or directory name repeating itself ad infinitum in the URL) is normally an indication that someone messed up a RewriteRule containing a variable. Most common cause is someone attempting to host multiple domains on one server via mod_rewrite, though I don't know whether or not that's what archive.org is up to.
  • by Dynedain ( 141758 ) <slashdot2@NOSPAm.anthonymclin.com> on Tuesday January 28, 2003 @03:35PM (#5176696) Homepage
    It doesn't appear that Macromedia is donating software, but rather a collection of Flash/Dreamweaver/Shockwave/Whatever projects that were 'Created with Macromedia'

    Here's the google cache: [216.239.39.100]

    • According to the Google Cache of the site that is, of course, knocked out, and slashdotted...

      "Macromedia has generously donated their collection of CD-ROM's to the Archive's CD-ROM & Software Library. The Collection consists of over 10,000 CD-ROM titles (from the Made-With-Macromedia Program) and we are in the process of making this into an accessible resource for people to use and enjoy.

      We welcome all feedback!"

      I wonder... these are software titles that were Made-With-Macromedia... I presume they were Made-By-Other-Companies... Is this some requirement of M W M that you send them a copy of what you made. If so, what right do they have to give it away to the entire world now?

      I'm sure they're not giving away copies of their Made-By-Macromedia software.. I haven't been able to browse it yet, of course, but I doubt they're giving away copies of older versions of Flash or Dreamweaver.

      Interesting that they regard everyone else's creations giveaways! Of course this is purely assumption... in a few hours when the slashdotted meltdown subsides, I'll take a look, but it seems pretty lousy if what I'm guessing is actually the case! After all, I seriously doubt Macromedia even ever made 500 software titles!
    • It looks like you can get to the forums [archive.org] where they're looking for people to help out in SF.

      Also in the cache listing [google.com] are cache links to many pages with listings of the actual cds. I'm not sure this stuff is really worth all the fuss, but I guess people have said that about most junk that historians and archeologists treasure today.

      OT: Did anyone else notice Google's new tour [google.com] page? Ok, so I'm a little bored today.
  • by heymjo ( 244283 )
    i tried loading their site in mozilla, and got a message back saying "redirection limit for this site exceeded".. wierd
  • Lower risk of slashdotting, as everything's 403 Forbidden.
  • by BESTouff ( 531293 ) on Tuesday January 28, 2003 @03:38PM (#5176715)
    I hope he didn't mixed Macromedia and Macrovision once again [slashdot.org] ... coz a Macrovision CD would be rather useless IMHO
  • by InfiniteWisdom ( 530090 ) on Tuesday January 28, 2003 @03:39PM (#5176725) Homepage
    10,000 CD-ROMs <= 10,000*700MB = 7 TB

    That isn't too much by today's standards, is it? Esp. considering you only need read-only access

  • Pyramids! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Stonehand ( 71085 ) on Tuesday January 28, 2003 @03:43PM (#5176753) Homepage
    Hey, it worked for the Egyptians for thousands of years. Just include some redundancy for errosion-correction, and...
  • Cool CD-Roms (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Psychic Burrito ( 611532 ) on Tuesday January 28, 2003 @03:55PM (#5176820)
    Here are a few cool CD-Roms I've found, just to give everybody some idea what kind of stuff can be found: ("cool" or at least not extremely boring :-)
    • Oooh, you found a much better stash than I did on my first quick look (I found myself somewhere amid web-based business models and games; architecture and history sound much more interesting). Nice to know it'll be worth a thorough perusal.

  • Pick anything out there today and store them. Just pick something you expect will be easy to migrate, and have at least 3 backups in separate locations. None of today's digital storage media are very reliable long term. Also, plan on migrating before you have to worry about decay.
  • by gmuslera ( 3436 ) on Tuesday January 28, 2003 @03:57PM (#5176834) Homepage Journal
    ... was a tale from Philip K. Dick where music was encoded to animals or dna or something like that.

    If you want to preserve something forever, encode it in a DNA form (I think that most of DNA code is inactive, so there are plenty of space), grow an live thing from it, and while descendents last, your software will survive.

    A word of caution: don't try this with Microsoft software, the world have enough bugs already.
    • Well, one of the main problems is preserving a method to read the data, not just preserving the data. How are you going to preserve the method of reading the data from the DNA, and interpreting it?
      • Well, one of the main problems is preserving a method to read the data, not just preserving the data. How are you going to preserve the method of reading the data from the DNA, and interpreting it?

        Silly person! As long as you're altering the DNA to store the data, you might as well tweak it a little more so the critter contains the decoding instructions.

        For instance, ever see one of those butterflies with circular wing markings that supposedly look like a large eye? And some scientist told you this was supposed to frighten off predators?

        Nope. Those wing patterns are actually tiny little CD-ROMs. If you pop one of these butterflies into your CD drive, you'll see that the disc contains a PDF file with details on how to decode the main message in the critter's DNA. (Turns out it's the missing 18 1/2 minutes from Nixon's Watergate tapes.)

    • If you want to preserve something forever, encode it in a DNA form (I think that most of DNA code is inactive, so there are plenty of space), grow an live thing from it, and while descendents last, your software will survive.
      Except that there's two problems with that, given the fact that DNA doesn't always replicate exactly. (IANA Biologist)
      1. Mutations - Happen all the time, look at albinos.
      2. Introns - Mutations are limited in practice because of introns, sections of DNA that don't encode proteins. IIRC, introns are a huge portion of all DNA, and mutations within them go completely unchecked. (Since they don't encode anything, mutations in introns don't express themselves, and thus don't effect the living creature positively or negatively.)
      While it's a neat idea, I wouldn't but any more trust in DNA than my stack of C-64 disks, especially over several generations.

      -sk

      • Well, in fact, maybe DNA is "designed" (by evolution forces) to not make exact copies. But biologically engeneered information storage "devices" (that reproduce, and preserves exact copies of information, in dna, rna or some other kind of molecular structure.

        Of course, using this kind of mechanisms must be used for real important things. If happens some kind of extintion-level event, like the big meteor in Deep Impact or a nuclear war, well, would be nice to send a message thru ants, amoebas or things of that kind to who will come after us.(yea, I know, too much science fiction and not applicable to the actual discussion :)
    • Besides other issues...

      Whether DNA is inactive or not is part of the code. You cannot write an arbitrary data sequence and hope you still have an intron (inactive code).

  • This is why Ive always loved and bought into the concept of VMWare (or similar) virtual machines. Software is pretty immortal, as the turing machine principle pretty much says any one turing machine can emulate another, so making sure the entire PC and OS can be emulated in software makes the software that runs within it immortal as well. The fact that you can run Linux and Windows entirely as self contained software as long as you can emulate the BIOS means they shouldb e around for a very long time, just keep porting the emulator to new hardware. I fear that Palladium and crap like it will bring this down though, as it starts to tie software to very specific hardware that yes, will crumble to worthless ashes quickly.
  • by Proc6 ( 518858 ) on Tuesday January 28, 2003 @04:10PM (#5176919)
    I havent seen the list of 10,000 titles as the site is /.'ed But, um, is it crap we really want to keep anyway? I mean, history and time has a way of filtering crap out that isnt worth much and preserving that which is. The worthy will stay, the unworth won't. It may seem noble to try to preserve EVERYTHING, but whats really the point? When was the last time you REALLY needed AutoDesk Animator Pro v1.0 for DOS? Im sure some jackass will try to prove me wrong with an anecdote of how his lucky copy of OS/2 2.1 on 5.25" floppies saved a business, but generally speaking, maybe they should work to preseve 50 of the titles, rather than 10,000. There will be some loss, but we'll get over it.
  • ...microfiche it? You can get a lot of pictures of the CD-ROMs that way. ;-P (I have a photograph...preserve your memories...)
  • by h0l211 ( 645563 ) on Tuesday January 28, 2003 @06:33PM (#5177898)
    hey all, I'm the volunteer at the Internet Archive who posted the 'call for comments' message on their CD-ROM forums, and I just wanted to clarify a couple of things: - the archive consists of CD-ROMs created by third parties with the 'Made For Macromedia' program, as another poster said. So it's all multimedia software created with Macromedia tools - basically, everything sent to Macromedia for approval between certain dates. Macromedia kindly donated this to the Internet Archive. - right now it's largely a physical archive, not a digital one - the content is still on the source CD-ROMs. - i'm a volunteer in the VERY early stages of looking at the Macromedia CD-ROM archive - in fact, my first day. i surface from the pile of software boxes to discover my call for archiving suggestions has slashdotted the site. hurrah! - there are currently only a couple of disc images downloadable from the site. they were put up last year, and I wouldn't recommend downloading them for now, since there's some compatibility and completeness issues with them. - most of the discs are either multimedia (like virtual guides to Jerusalem, educational guides) or what you might call ephemera (promotional CD-ROMs) The Internet Archive doesn't have any rights to post any of them online right now. - future plans would ideally include making some of these CDs available to the public for either remote access or download, providing the correct rights issues could be dealt with. With the shelf life of CDs somewhat of an unknown factor, creating digital archives of these discs and making sure they're preserved for future generations is important. Thanks, Simon.
  • by h0l211 ( 645563 ) on Tuesday January 28, 2003 @06:43PM (#5177959)
    hey all,

    I'm the volunteer at the Internet Archive who posted the 'call for comments' message on their CD-ROM forums, and I just wanted to clarify a couple of things:

    - the archive consists of CD-ROMs created by third parties with the 'Made For Macromedia' program, as another poster said. So it's all multimedia software created with Macromedia tools - basically, everything sent to Macromedia for approval between certain dates. Macromedia kindly donated this to the Internet Archive.

    - right now it's largely a physical archive, not a digital one - the content is still on the source CD-ROMs.

    - i'm a volunteer in the VERY early stages of looking at the Macromedia CD-ROM archive - in fact, my first day. i surface from the pile of software boxes to discover my call for archiving suggestions has slashdotted the site. hurrah!

    - there are currently only a couple of disc images downloadable from the site. they were put up last year, and I wouldn't recommend downloading them for now, since there's some compatibility and completeness issues with them.

    - most of the discs are either multimedia (like virtual guides to Jerusalem, educational guides) or what you might call ephemera (promotional CD-ROMs) The Internet Archive doesn't have any rights to post any of them online right now.

    - future plans would ideally include making some of these CDs available to the public for either remote access or download, providing the correct rights issues could be dealt with. With the shelf life of CDs somewhat of an unknown factor, creating digital archives of these discs and making sure they're preserved for future generations is important.

    Thanks,
    Simon.
    • I cruised thru a few of the listings... some obvious junk, but some looks like it might be useful as business examples, or for "company history" research, etc. At any rate, better to store too much data and have no clue what it's good for, than to pitch it and regret it later.

  • Oh no! (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Oh great. First Google archives all my stupid posts from yesteryear, now all the stupid software I wrote will resurface and embarass me forever!
  • I work with the Internet Archive, and I would like to correct some confusion. Short answer: people can not download the CDROM contents from the Internet Archive. There are 5 that are available because the Internet Archive got permission from the rights holder.

    Our statement that Macromedia donated 10,000 CDROMs is incorrect. What Macromedia graciously did was to let us use their catalog of the CDROMs sent to them through the Made With Macromedia program. The also let our staff examine the CDROM's so that we can ensure the catalog is correct and facilitate contacting rightsholders to see if they would be interested in access to their materials.

    We are very excited about providing access to any materials that people would like to be preserved. Please contact me, brewster@archive.org or more efficiently info@archive.org if you have any materials you would like to be added to the archive.

    -brewster
    • Slashdot has really turned into Beavis-and-Butthead lately. Before taking down archive.org-- which struggles with demand at the best of times-- someone should have checked that:

      1) there's basically nothing to download, and never will be

      2) 99% of the 10k titles are utter junk anyway

      Hey guys-- get off your millionaire butts and fix this broken resource.

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