Intro to Beyond the PC – Emulating Closed Systems:

During this module, participants will learn about:

  • What is a “closed system”, and how does it differ from an “open system”?
  • What’s a “ROM” file?
  • What factors limit the capabilities of open source emulators?

Questions for Discussion/Reflection

  • What device are you using to read this Training Module, right now? Do you think we’ll be able to emulate it accurately in 20 years? Why/why not?
  • What’s your dream emulator “feature”? Something that an emulator program could do to greatly enhance or assist with your work, that you couldn’t do with a piece of physical legacy hardware?
  • There are a number of models available for contribution to open source software projects: financial support, code contribution, collaborative documentation, etc. How might you or your organization contribute? (Are there other types of open source software that you already support?)

About EaaSI

The EaaSI program builds on previous work to apply the Emulation-as-a-Service (EaaS) framework for access and use of preserved software and digital objects. The project is focused on scaling the technological framework necessary for multiple institutions to configure, share, and access software and configured environments. EaaSI is focused on a distributed, community-driven architecture that sits on top of existing digital preservation infrastructure. This directly complements existing efforts by the Software Preservation Network and others to address key aspects of software preservation including legal advocacy, research about local software preservation needs, institutional capacity building for software preservation, collection development, professional development and training, and workflow recommendations.

About the EaaSI Training Module Series

Phase 2 of the EaaSI program of work (July 2020 – December 2022) will include a series of Training Modules, with one new Module to be released approximately every three months (a total of eight by the conclusion of Phase 2). These Training Modules are intended to supplement and expand on concepts alluded to in the EaaSI User Handbook, opening the design and functionality of the platform to wider feedback, comment, and discussion. Though particular features and elements of interface design may change between releases of the EaaSI platform, these Modules should remain consistent in elaborating on our infrastructure.

Each Module contains: a slideshow presenting a core piece of Emulation-as-a-Service functionality and its relationship to EaaSI goals and use cases; a set of questions for practitioners to discuss and/or reflect; and recommended resources from the EaaSI team for further exploration of the topic. Modules are intended to stand on their own but be easily adaptable to an in-person or virtual workshop session.

Supplementary materials:

Preferred citation:

Gates, Ethan. (2023, March 23). EaaSI Training Module #8: Beyond the PC - Emulating Closed Systems. Software Preservation Network.