16.362 BBC Domesday Book resurrected: a cautionary tale

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Date: Wed Dec 04 2002 - 02:41:06 EST

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 16, No. 362.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                         Submit to: humanist@princeton.edu

             Date: Wed, 04 Dec 2002 07:00:04 +0000
             From: "Al Magary" <al@magary.com>
             Subject: Old computer technology resurrected from 1980s

    BBC Domesday book resurrected
    Boffins recreate extinct technology to read 1980s discs

    By Nick Farrell

    VNUnet.com, December 3, 2002


    The BBC's Domesday book project has been resurrected from technical death
    by researchers.

    The huge digital archive of life in the 1980s was stored on two interactive
    video discs that could be accessed using a special BBC microcomputer system.

    But the discs outlived the computers they were stored on, and could not be
    read by today's machines.

    Now, however, researchers on the Camileon project - based at Leeds
    University and the University of Michigan in the US - say they have cracked
    the discs.

    They have developed software which emulates the obsolete BBC computer and
    video disc player and makes the material accessible on a modern computer.

    Developed to celebrate the 900th anniversary of the 1086 Domesday book, the
    BBC's project formed a snapshot of life in the UK during the mid-1980s.

    More than one million people were involved in the project, including
    photographers, journalists, academics, researchers, Ordnance Survey
    mapmakers and statisticians for the UK Census.

    [See also the BBC story at
    <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/2534391.stm>. --WM]

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