The Geeks Who Saved Prince of Persia’s Source Code From Digital Death

The sum total of good things in the universe has increased.

The metal on the top of some of the gear is rusty and weathered. But Diaz knows what he’s doing; the man can field strip an Apple II floppy drive and refurbish the thing in under an hour. Some of his equipment may not look pretty, but thanks to his expertise it’s all in working order after all these years.

Jason Scott, an archivist from The Internet Archive, has flown out from New York City with a KryoFlux disk reader, a piece of kit popular with software preservationists for making images of old magnetically stored data.

The disks were covered with dust when he found them.

The designers of classic games don’t always realize that they’re sitting on treasure. Scott’s goal is to help them figure this out and save their pioneering work from bit rot.

“To them, it’s just old stuff,” Scott says. “You help them realize its value.” Organizations like Stanford University, the Library of Congress and the Strong Museum of Play have departments dedicated to preserving software. Scott’s presence here today underlines his commitment to rescuing old games and production materials from their dusty, magnetic tombs.

via The Geeks Who Saved Prince of Persia’s Source Code From Digital Death | Game|Life | Wired.com.