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Internet Archive expands software collection, still needs more metadata

As technology advances we must be careful to not lose parts of history to a lack of backup and aging original sources. Since 1996, the Internet Archive has strived to preserve old radio shows, books, movies, music and artforms in their expansive digital archives, free for all to access. Now the archive has expanded its software museum, and the result is a staggering wealth of computer history for enthusiasts to dive into.

Thanks to partnerships with a number of independent archives, including TOSEC archive, the FTP site boneyard, the Shareware CD Archive and Classic PC Games among others, the Internet Archive has been able to greatly expand its own databases. The expansion doesn't just cover software; documentation like an original Apple I manual is also included. If you want to appreciate how easy computer users have it these days, try and dig into this manual. You'll send prayers of thanks to Steve Jobs.

At the moment, one self-admitted weakness of the collection is a lack of metadata. Each example is marked, but details about exactly what each entry contains is currently extremely limited. So while you've got access to the cover disc of the October 1995 Computer Gaming World Extra CD-ROM, the entry isn't going to tell you what demos or content you'll find inside. As time goes on the archive's metadata issue will be fixed by plucky users.

In the meantime, it could probably use your help. Head over to the Internet Archive and dig into history.

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