One of the Internet’s Oldest Software Archives Is Shutting Down

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In a MoveNew Mexico State University’s (NMSU) recent announcement of the closure of its campus marks the end of a era. Hobbes OS/2 archive15 April 2024. The archive has been an important resource for over three decades. IBM OS/2 operating SystemMicrosoft Windows and its predecessors were once fierce competitors.

In a recent statement, The Register, a representative of NMSU wrote, “We have made the difficult decision to no longer host these files on hobbes.nmsu.edu. Although I am unable to go into specifics, we had to evaluate our priorities and had to make the difficult decision to discontinue the service.”

Hobbes is hosted by the Department of Information & Communication Technologies at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico. In the official announcement, the site reads, “After many years of service, hobbes.nmsu.edu will be decommissioned and will no longer be available. As of April 15th, 2024, this site will no longer exist.”

We contacted New Mexico State University for information about the Hobbes Archive but did not get a response. The Hobbes archive was first mentioned online in this record. 1992 Walnut Creek CD-ROM collectionThat gathered up the content of the archive for off-line distribution. Hobbes is one of the oldest online software archives, at least 32 years old. University of Michigan ArchivesYou can also find out more about the following: ibiblioUNC is a great place to learn.

Archivists like Jason Scott from the Internet Archive have come forward to confirm that the files hosted by Hobbes are secure. Mirrored elsewhere. “Nobody need worry about Hobbes. I’ve got Hobbes covered,” WriterScott on Mastodon at the beginning of January. OS/2 World.com is also available. Published a statementMake a mirror. But it is still noteworthy whenever an old and important part of internet history dies.

Hobbes was also an FTP site. “The primary distribution of internet files were via FTP servers,” Scott tells Ars Technica. “And as FTP services went down, the subdirectories would be mirrored on other FTP systems. Companies like CDROM.COM/Walnut Creek were able to provide CD-ROMs of the items. However, they also made the data available for download at http://ftp.cdrom.com.

The Hobbes website is a digital time capsule that is priceless. You can still locate the Top 50 Downloads pageThe archive contains thousands OS/2 games, applications and utilities, as well as OS/2 builds for the Thunderbird email client. The archive contains thousands OS/2 applications, games, utilities and software development tools. Documentation, server software, documentation and documentation are also included. Running across OS/2 has a certain charm WallpapersEven the archives’ 1990s Update Policy is a historical gem—last updated on March 12, 1999.

The legacy of OS/2

OS/2 was a joint project between IBM and Microsoft. It was intended to replace IBM PC DOS, also known as “MS-DOS”, in the form sold by Microsoft on PC clones. OS/2 struggled to gain popularity against Windows despite its advanced features like 32-bit multitasking and 32-bit processing. The IBM-Microsoft alliance dissolved Windows 3.0 is a success!The OS strategies of the two companies diverge.

By using iterations such Warp seriesOS/2 has a strong presence in niche markets requiring high stability such as ATMs, and the New York subway system. Its legacy is still present in specialized applications as well as in newer versions. eComStation) maintained by third-party vendors—despite being overshadowed in the broader market by Linux and Windows.

A footprint of that magnitude is worth preserving. Losing one of OS/2’s primary archives is a cultural loss, even if it is mirrored elsewhere. Hobbes was reportedly close to disappearing before, but he received a stay of the execution. In the comments section of an article on The Register, someone named “TrevorH” WriterIt’s not the first time Hobbes has announced its demise. The last time, it was rescued by students and faculty after complaints.

As the final shutdown approaches in April, the legacy of Hobbes is a reminder of the importance of preserving the digital heritage of software for future generations—so that decades from now, historians can look back and see how things got to where they are today.

This story was originally published on Ars Technica.

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