The Emularity

@textfiles: "Somewhere @jwz and @BrendanEich just popped their eyes open in bed, like ancient sorcerers who realize the Dark Rock of Mothrir was unsealed"
Last week, on the heels of the DOS emulation announcement, one of the JSMESS developers, James Baicoianu, got Windows 3.11 running in a window with Javascript. [...]

That's Netscape 1.0n, released in December of 1994, running inside Windows 3.11, released in August of 1993, running inside of Google Chrome 39.0.2171.99 m, released about a week ago, on a Windows 7 PC, released in 2009.

Your turtles (who, I understand, go all the way down) will be wanting my http10proxy.

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13 Responses:

  1. Dr. Clysmok says:

    You fools! You're meddling with forces you don't understand!

  2. Pavel Lishin says:

    And then we've got people worried that in 10 years, nobody will be able to read a JPEG, and your family photos will be doomed to oblivion.

    • jwz says:

      Uh, the people who are worried about that are the people who write things like this.

      • Perry says:

        I've got a friend who has all these Appleworks documents that he can't figure out how to rescue. (That said, he should have tried to do it a lot earlier.)

        On the other hand: I resurrected and updated S.R. Bourne's original shell tutorial from the 1970s a couple of years ago for a class I was teaching. Formatted just fine, narry a problem. TeX and troff will last some decades to come. Microsoft Word documents from even 15 years ago? Maybe not so much.

        • Louis says:

          That's a business idea, data archeology (although, how much value are in 20+ year old documents?).

          Or since it's the Share Economy nowadays, "Got an Apple IIe gathering dust in the basement? Let people borrow it, and make money!".

  3. just b says:

    ( should worry about the backup media, not the format )

    They will probably be unreadable... because someone* burned them on a DVD-R that sat on a coffee table for a few days. Damn sunlight erased it all.

    Hmm, I wonder what's going on with that infernal backup of everything the gubment (dubment?) spooks built. Can't we just re-sync to that?

    *someone, anyone, me, etc.

  4. Jef Poskanzer says:

    So this is a sort of web turducken?

  5. mattyj says:

    Sounds like Opera on OS/2 is just around the corner. Can't wait!

  6. Ricky says:

    I'm sorry to be dense, but my (possibly limited) web-search-fu has failed to find any information about the "Dark Rock of Mothrir". Would someone be willing to point me to the particular canon this comes from?

  7. グレェ says:

    Better at the browser layer than lower. . . but I did once nest FreeBSD within bhyve within FreeBSD within VMware within OS X. I do not recommend others repeating such things; also retro-causality, not just a theory! ;_; Folding the time part of space time, turns out to be much easier to simulate at least.

    Stateless protocols such as HTTP, probably better suited to layered nesting.

    However; I will say with nesting mednafen within a PCBSD jail within a VMWare instance within OS X; you can still get more or less "realtime" software playback of a 7Mhz 6502 variant while using a current vintage multi-core 64bit AMD64 variant, allowing for some awesome things like fast forwarding and stack unwinding, more or less the debugger I always wished for (and parts of my memory suggest I may have once had). But y'know, once you turn every piece of software into something similar to the game mechanic of Braid. . . the challenge gets a bit lost in the pursuit.

    Still, useful for really odd debugging; determining how good a stochastic function or random number generator are (and some, even decades old, were pretty amazing it turns out). Yes, this has side effects that may be pertinent for those researching "post quantum cryptography" but sincerely, the transistor was already a post quantum physics device; if your crypto was bad, it was probably already demonstrated as being bad somewhere, even if you haven't heard about it yet.

    See also: The Brits didn't disclose they could decrypt the Enigma for decades (and even attempted to sell the devices to the Israeli intelligence folks at one point, which would have been brilliant, in a really underhanded manner).

    See also: if you have a protocol which relies on "time" at a human level, you are doing it wrong. NTLM, twitter API, bitcoin blockchain, I am looking at you.

    Seriously, if copyprotection mechanisms had to be developed without such things in the 1980s, maybe people should be programming without such rigid assumptions about time, they are almost invariably wrong; or worse/better (depending on your perspective) exploitable: http://hick.org/~mmiller/presentations/toorcon05/toorcon05.pdf being still, the best public presentation on such things.

    Once you get to the "words within words within words" Dune realms, you are definitely hitting the spice too hard and should seek out your nearest iX or Richese for help.

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