One of the oldest software archives on the web is shutting down

in an action It marks the end of an era, as New Mexico State University (NMSU) recently announced it will close its Hobbs OS/2 Archives April 15, 2024.This archive has been an important resource for users of this site for over thirty years IBM OS/2 operating system and its successors, once competed fiercely with Microsoft Windows.

in a statement register“We have made the difficult decision to no longer host these files at,” an NMSU representative wrote. “While I cannot disclose specific details, we must evaluate our priorities and make the difficult decision to decision to stop the service.”

Hobbes is hosted by the Department of Information and Communications Technology at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico. In an official announcement, the site wrote: “After many years of service, will be decommissioned and will no longer be operational.” Effective April 15, 2024, the site will cease to exist. “

We reached out to New Mexico State University to inquire about the history of the Hobbs archive but received no response.The earliest record of the Hobbes file we found online is this: 1992 Walnut Creek CD-ROM Collection Collect archival content for offline distribution.Hobbes is at least 32 years old, making Hobbes one of the oldest software archives on the Internet, similar to University of Michigan Archives and bibliography at the University of North Carolina.

Archivists such as Jason Scott of the Online Archive have come forward to say that files hosted on Hobbs are safe and secure. Already mirrored “No one should worry about Hobbes, I’ve got Hobbes taken care of,” wrote Scott was on Mastodon in early January. OS/2 also has it issue a statement About making a mirror. But whenever the dust settles on such an ancient and important piece of web history, it’s still worth noting.

Like many archives, Hobbs started as an FTP site. “The primary distribution of files on the Internet is through FTP server“, Scott told Ars Technica. “When the FTP server fails, they are also mirrored as subdirectories in other FTP servers. Companies like CDROM.COM/Walnut Creek have become the way to get CD-ROMs of these projects, but they usually make the data available for download at “

The Hobbes website is a priceless digital time can still find Top 50 download pages, which includes a sound and image editor and an OS/2 version of the Thunderbird email client. The archive contains thousands of OS/2 games, applications, utilities, software development tools, documentation and server software dating back to OS/2 in 1987.Running across OS/2 has a certain charm wallpaper Since 1990, even the archives Update policy is a historical gem – last updated on March 12, 1999.

OS/2 Legacy

OS/2 was originally a joint venture between IBM and Microsoft, planned as a replacement for IBM PC DOS (also known as “MS-DOS”, sold by Microsoft for PC cloning). Despite advanced features such as 32-bit processing and OS/2 later competing with Windows for multitasking and struggling to gain traction. Partnership between IBM and Microsoft dissolves After the success of Windows 3.0leading to differences in the operating system policy paths of the two companies.

Through iterations like this Warp knitting seriesOS/2 occupies an important position in niche markets that require high stability, such as ATM and new york subway systemToday, its legacy lives on in specialized apps and newer versions (e.g. e-commerce site) is maintained by a third-party vendor—although overshadowed by Linux and Windows in the wider market.

Such a footprint is worth preserving, and the loss of a major archive of OS/2, even if mirrored elsewhere, is a cultural blow. Apparently, Hobbs reportedly nearly disappeared before but got a reprieve.Leave an article in the comments section about registera person named “TrevorH” wrote“This is not the first time Hobbs has announced that it is disappearing. Last time it was rescued after a lot of complaints, and some students or staff stepped up to continue to defend it.”

As the final shutdown approaches in April, Hobbs’ legacy reminds us of the importance of preserving software’s digital legacy for future generations so that decades from now historians can look back and see how things got to where we are today .

This story originally appeared in technical art.

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