Emulators, as we know, are software capable of making a current machine process files and programs old or developed for other platforms. They are the ones that allow you, for example, to play – on your new machine – games made for good old MS-DOS or created for consoles like Atari.
Emulators currently available and easily found on the internet are, as a rule, limited to just a console or technology from a single manufacturer.
To overcome this limitation, researchers at the University of Portsmouth are developing a software emulator that recognizes any type of file dated from 1970. The emulator will be the first with a ?general purpose? and the team wants to make it possible to read any file for PCs, from arcades like Pacman to floppy disks and CDs.
The scientists' proposal, however, is to create a universal environment that can concentrate information and software exactly as it was created to be run, with the ambitious goal of covering all consoles and video games already produced. The research is part of the KEEP project – Keeping Emulation Environments Portable -, which aims to preserve digital files that could have been lost and has received more than US $ 5 million in direct investments from the European Community.
According to the researchers, in 2010, the amount of digital information created by the world will be equivalent to 18 million times the data contained in all books already written. "The universal emulator is a way to keep digital files preserved even with rapid changes in technology," explained researcher Janet Delve.
I would like to sincerely like to see an emulator capable of running all files and software on all computer platforms ever created: from Amiga to Mac OS X Snow Leopard, through Windows 3.1, IBM Warp OS / 2 (an excellent and unjust operating system!) and some Unix flavors. It would be, to paraphrase an old and long-forgotten dictator, the mother of all computers!