The plan is to have a copy of this data to give to each of my children. My Dad recently scanned and sent me all his photographs of me and my siblings growing up; he also included pictures of himself and my Mother when they met in Africa. With technology today each generation can build a digital library of family history to hand on to the next generation. In the past a family album may have been passed on to only one person. The accumulation of digital data still presents problems. It requires discipline to store files that are open and not locked into devices or proprietary formats.
With digital preservation in mind I've tried to use file formats recommended for long term archiving. WAV files for audio, DV for video, JPG and PNG for pictures, PDF for documents, and plain text.
Today the storage media is a 1TB external hard-disk. In my current computing environment I'm plugging that disk via USB into computers running Windows 7, Ubuntu, MacOSX, RiscOS, and Raspian. Ideally I'd be able to launch an application from the hard-disk that'd be able to playback the archived media on any of these host systems. This is where Inferno enters the picture.
Based on the criteria for selecting the file types, (non-proprietary, well documented, wide support) all the host systems should support the files natively, or a download can be easily found that will. However, the challenge is to get Inferno to do it nearly as well and work with a single set of tools everywhere. The tools are then preserved with the media on the disk.
So here's the plan. I've created a clone of inferno-os (caerwynj-inferno-ae) and I will try to support the media files that are stored in a digital archive. The target functionality is the following:
- Display pictures (JPG, PNG, GIF)
- Playback audio (WAV)
- Playback video (AVI-DV, MPEG-2)
- View ebooks (ePub3.0)
- View documents (Plain text, HTML4.0, PDF, DjVu?)
- Playback MIDI (built-in synethsizer)
- Mount disk images, archives, and file systems
- Compress or decompress files (gzip, bzip2)
Another important aspect of this is to have a collection of EMU's that run on all the target platforms. I started this project in the inferno-bin repository a while ago. But it needs updating and the discipline to keep updating it. Ultimately the system interface of EMU needs to be locked down to give the freedom to run dis well into the future without the need to recompile.
Here's where we are with support inside Inferno:
|File type||Inferno support|
|JPG, PNG||Supported by wm/view|
|WAV||Supported by wavplay|
|MIDI||Limited support by midiplay|
|ePub||Support for older OEB versions in ebook/ebook. I've started updating to support ePub standard.|
|HTML4.0||Limited support in Charon|
|Unsupported, but MJL's PDF library are the beginnings of limited support|
|MPEG-2||Some support for an MPEG device. Could try to use Raspberry-Pi device support for MPEG-2|