Software Preservation Group (SPG)

"I want a community of indiana jones types who are out
there fiercely collecting artifacts before they turn into dust." 

The Software Preservation Group (part of the Californian Computer History Museum, CHM) is an informal global association of people interested in the digital curation of computer software artefacts.

This page captures retroComputingTasmania's efforts to contribute to activities like the SPG, targeting artefacts that we would like to see preserved. 

One of our interests is recovering the execution environment of a digital artefact so that it can be experienced using emulators. The execution environment typically includes the host operating system, the compilation or software development support, and the associated toolchain or libraries needed for the artefact to function. 

The table below shows the software preservation projects currently underway or completed.

The columns are defined as:

  • Digital artifact - the title of the software item, this column (mostly) links to a project specific webpage with more detail.
  • Found? - whether the item has been located and in a format that has some prospect of recovery
  • Recovered? - has the item been recovered into a modern digital format (PDF, text-files).

Our preference is to process copies of originals (either digital scans or photocopies), and that the originals be sent to well known repositories, such computer history museums or national archives.
Showing 29 items
Digital artifactFound?Recovered?PL
Digital artifactFound?Recovered?PL
PDP-10/20 Prolog Found on SAILDART No Prolog 
Eunice UNIX emulator for VAX/VMS No No 
Ada for the Intel iAPX 432 No No Ada 
Symbolics Prolog No No Prolog 
Symbolics Ada 2.0 No No Ada 
Lineage of functional languages (POP-2, SASL, many MLs etc) No No Many 
Knuth's ALGOL-58 library routines No No B205 assembler 
Symbolics Ada 1.0 No No Ada 
DEC COBOL-11 for PDP-11 No No COBOL 
Alsys Ada for the inmos transputer No No Ada 
ϕnix: a Unix emulator for VAX/VMS No No 
Elliott Simulator Package E.S.P. No No ALGOL 
Primix for PRIMOS No No  
Smalltalk for the Burroughs B5700 No No Smalltalk 
Elliott 503 ALGOL compiler No, Partial paper-tape No ALGOL 
APL\700 for the Burroughs 6700/7700  Yes Yes APL 
ALGOL 3.3 for the Burroughs B6700/7700 Yes No ALGOL 
ExperLisp by Expertelligence, versions 1.5 and 2.11 for Macintosh Yes Yes LISP 
Meridian Ada for Unix Yes No Ada 
Meridian Ada for Apple Macintosh System 6.0.x and MPW 3.x Yes Yes Ada 
APL for the Burroughs B5500 Yes Underway APL 
Advanced A.I. Systems' Prolog Version M-1.13 1986 for Macintosh System 6.0.8 Yes Yes Prolog 
B6500 simulator for the Burroughs B5500 Yes No ALGOL 
IBM System/36 Assembler and FORTRAN  Yes Yes Assembler 
ALGOL Mark XVI.0.122 (9-May-1977) compiler for the Burroughs B5500 / B5700 Yes Yes ALGOL 
NYU Ada/Ed first validated Ada compiler Yes No Ada 
UTAS Pascal for the Burroughs B6700 Yes Yes Pascal 
IBM Displaywriter - complete software distribution Yes 75% of known software Partial  
Tony Marsland's Chess for Burroughs B5500 in ALGOL Yes, not tested Yes ALGOL 
Showing 29 items