Have you lost a file from the nineties? Or do you want to find your parents’ favorite music when you were young? No problem, there is Discmasterthe website it collects 91.7 million computer files extracted from CD-ROMs and floppy disks. These include images, text documents, music, games, shareware, videos and much more. In short, everything a vintage enthusiast can look for.
Discmaster, the site that collects over 91 million vintage files
Last week, archivist Jason Scott announced the new site Discmaster, where anyone can find lost vintage files. As far as we know, these are from da Internet Archive, uploaded by thousands of people over the years. And now the new site brings them together behind a search engine with the ability to perform detailed searches by file type, format, source, size, file date and many other options. “The value proposition is the same as any freely accessible research database,” Scott told Ars Technica. “People are able to dive deep into history, refer to their findings and encourage others to look in the same place.”
If you give the slightest whit of a care about 1980s-2000s computer and software history, your mind is about to be very blown. Some people worked very hard on this, and anonymous credit to them. So, set aside your week, this is going to be change everything for you.
— Jason Scott (@textfiles) October 18, 2022
More specifically, Discmaster is the project of a group of anonymous programmers history lovers, who asked Scott to host him on his site. And so it was. Even though Scott remains an employee of the Internet Archive, and the site is “100% unaffiliated” with that organization. But that doesn’t matter. The important point of the site is that he has already done many file format conversions on the backend, rendering the more accessible vintage files. Just to give you an example, the site allows you to search for digitized Amiga sounds and listen to them directly in the browser without the need for additional tools. And the same goes for low-resolution videos from the early 90s or images in obscure formats.
The project announcement thread on Twitter, in fact, has dozens of comments from people who are already using the service to rediscover programs they lost in the 90s, rare BBS files, ZZT worlds, bitmap fonts, shareware who wrote more. of 20 years ago and vintage music software. “Probably, for me, it’s one of the most important research project opportunities on computer history we’ve had in 10 years,” says Scott. “And it’s not over. They scanned 7,000+ CD-ROMs. And they are about to make another 8000 “. A growing project, therefore, which will allow users to dive into the past. And this is not a euphemism, it is the truth.