The Aun Collective Archive — Weekly Update(TACA-WU #0001)

Our first week of archiving in 2022!

The Aun Collective Archive Show is a semi-monthly opportunity to reflect on what we accomplished, share what items we are able to distribute, and plan for subsequent months. When I first began documenting this games set, I used an OpenOffice spreadsheet. That did not scale well, at all. So, it’s time to switch over and automate this process!

Automation Choices & Results

For our various pieces of the semi-automated archiving process, we used Romulous on Windows, Python script of my own making for batch renaming files based on input from a csv, and we improved out directory/file storage process to be more in-line with TOSEC rules. We also searched for duplicates and removed if definitely a duplicate.

Here’s the example Python Script:

It’s not much, but it usually works. It should be in a try/catch or similar structure for exception handling. I’ll take care of that next week.

New Discoveries & Entries

Our Chris Antoni XBLIG Collection now has Appease the Spider and Real Scary 3. 10 out of 20 games for the XBLIG side and a $5 Steam purchase away from having PC complete. [https://archive.org/details/chris-antoni-xblia-games]

Antoni’s PC offerings are not publicly available from us due to their continued sale on Steam. I recommend picking up the entire set. Not a single terrible game in the bunch, and I loved the Rogue Party games! [

AGAT-7 & -9 games collection is off to a good start, with an emulator available as well. [https://archive.org/download/estonia-2]

CLOSING THOUGHTS

2022 will be the transitional year, going from vague hobby to legitimate archival and preservation group. Wish us luck!

APPENDIX A: OUR UNIQUE SETS

Game Creation Suites, Game Engines, Development platforms, etc:

(1) BYOND

(2) ZZT

Computers, Consoles, Etc (Shared Hardware):

(1) LEMZ AGAT-7 & -9

(2) 8-Bit Productions Commander X-16

(3) ComX-35

(4) Defunct Steam Multiplayer Games & MMOs

(5) Ouya Multiplayer-capable Set

Operating Systems, VMs & Other Shared Machine Environments:

  1. Snowdrop OS
  2. AROS
  3. BeOS & Haiku
  4. BBS Door Games

Other Groupings for Sets:

  1. Chris Antoine’s Xbox Live 360 Indie Arcade Games

APPENDIX B: What do we use to bulk process and organize our 250+ TB archive?

There was a point in time when energy drinks to stay awake and manual data entry into a spreadsheet. Not exactly pragmatic nor did it scale. Currently, we are using a series of XML files and CSV files that will be utilized in a few months as the initial data sets for our online database of titles.

We use the following software packages and tools on a regular basis:

  • Romcenter and Romulous
  • Notepad++ for writing Java, C/C++, and Python, as well as editing XML and HTML files.
  • Betternames.py — It’s an anemic script that I wrote, but it’s better than manually renaming each file one-by-one. Check back toward the end of 2022, and I’m sure this utility might actually be useful to others!

Our current tool chain consists of:

  • Romulus & RomCenter — using both at the moment for checking collections against known good.
  • Notepad++ — My favorite lightweight notepad app.
  • Over 1,000 emulators.
  • Three PC laptops and a MacBook Pro (2008). Newest laptop runs Windows 10. The other two PC laptops run Ubuntu Linux & Windows XP. If compatible, the MacBook Pro will become a system dual-booting AROS & Haiku.
  • Three desktop PCs, an iMac (2017), an eMac (PowerPC), and a Raspberry Pi. Main PC runs Windows 10. For the other two desktop PC, each will be configured for three OSes to boot into. One will run ArcaOS, FreeBSD, and OpenIndiana. The other will definitely have MS-DOS 6.22 with Windows for Workgroups, Windows 98SE, and an oddball OS with games and a story. TempleOS and Snowdrop OS are likely possibilities.
  • VirtualBox, VMware, and Qemu for many OSes including NeXTstep, QNX, Plan 9, Windows 2k, Solaris, & more.
  • Installed and configured MacOS 7 & 9 VMs. Emulators for numerous platforms.

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We are a game preservationist, archivist, design and writing collective, focusing on multiplayer and massively multiplayer games. Also music preservation!

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Aun Collective

Aun Collective

We are a game preservationist, archivist, design and writing collective, focusing on multiplayer and massively multiplayer games. Also music preservation!

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