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End of an Era: Closure of the Hobbes OS/2 Archive Marks the Passing of Internet History

The closure of the Hobbes OS/2 Archive marks the end of an era in computing history, highlighting the importance of preserving digital heritage.



In a recent announcement, New Mexico State University (NMSU) revealed the impending closure of its Hobbes OS/2 Archive on April 15, 2024. This decision marks the conclusion of a remarkable chapter in the history of computing. For over three decades, the archive has been a vital repository for users of the IBM OS/2 operating system and its successors, offering a unique glimpse into a time when OS/2 fiercely competed with Microsoft Windows.

The closure of the Hobbes archive is a bittersweet moment for technology enthusiasts and historians. Hosted by the Department of Information & Communication Technologies at NMSU, the archive has served as a cornerstone for OS/2 aficionados. Its impending decommissioning has prompted reflection on the significance and legacy of this digital treasure trove.

Despite attempts to reach out to NMSU for insight into the archive’s history, the response has been elusive. However, it’s evident that the Hobbes archive’s impact stretches back to the early days of the internet, with records dating back to the 1992 Walnut Creek CD-ROM collection, making it one of the oldest software archives online, akin to renowned digital repositories like the University of Michigan’s archives and ibiblio at UNC.

The reassurance from archivists like Jason Scott of the Internet Archive and OS/2 World.com about the safety of the files hosted on Hobbes provides some comfort. Scott’s assertion that the files are already mirrored elsewhere underscores the collective effort to preserve digital heritage. Nevertheless, the impending closure of the archive is a poignant reminder of the inevitable passage of time and the transient nature of digital resources.

The demise of the Hobbes archive also underscores the gradual decline of OS/2 itself. Once released in 1987 and last updated in 1996, OS/2 has long been overshadowed by other operating systems. IBM’s decision to cease selling OS/2-related products in 2005 and the dwindling number of active OS/2 licenses signify the waning influence of this once-revolutionary system. The recommendation for OS/2 users to migrate to Linux further emphasizes the shifting tides of technological progress.

Personal anecdotes, such as the author’s experience with a relative’s OS/2 installation, provide a poignant glimpse into the impact of this now-fading operating system. Such recollections serve as a reminder of the human connections and experiences intertwined with technological advancements.

In the face of the closure of the Hobbes archive and the gradual decline of OS/2, it’s essential to recognize the broader significance of preserving digital history. The efforts of archivists and preservationists to safeguard digital artifacts ensure that the legacy of pioneering technologies like OS/2 endures for future generations.

As we bid farewell to the Hobbes OS/2 Archive, we also celebrate the enduring spirit of preservation that sustains the collective memory of technological innovation. While the closure marks the end of an era, it also serves as a reminder of the ongoing importance of cherishing and safeguarding our digital heritage.

Source: ars techinica


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The Return of the Giant Pandas: A Symbol of Renewed Diplomacy Between China and the United States

China’s plan to send a new pair of giant pandas to the San Diego Zoo signifies a renewed era of wildlife diplomacy and friendship with the United States.



photo of panda and cub playing
Photo by Diana Silaraja on Pexels.com

In a gesture reflecting the enduring bond between China and the United States, the China Wildlife Conservation Association has announced plans to send a new pair of giant pandas to the San Diego Zoo. This move marks a significant renewal of friendship after the recall of iconic bears on loan to U.S. zoos amid strained relations between the two nations.

The recent signing of cooperation agreements with zoos in San Diego and Madrid, along with ongoing discussions with zoos in Washington, D.C., and Vienna, underscores a fresh round of collaboration on panda conservation. This initiative not only highlights the importance of protecting these beloved creatures but also serves as a symbol of unity and shared commitment to wildlife preservation.

San Diego Zoo officials have expressed great anticipation for the arrival of the two pandas, a male and a female, expected to reach the zoo by the end of summer. Megan Owen, Vice President of Wildlife Conservation Science at the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, shared her excitement, stating, “They’ve expressed a tremendous amount of enthusiasm to re-initiate panda cooperation starting with the San Diego Zoo.”

As these gentle giants prepare to make their return to the San Diego Zoo, the significance of this gesture extends beyond conservation efforts. It serves as a testament to the power of wildlife diplomacy in fostering understanding and goodwill between nations, transcending political differences to focus on shared values and a common goal of protecting our planet’s biodiversity.

The upcoming arrival of the giant pandas symbolizes a renewed era of collaboration, friendship, and hope for a future where conservation efforts transcend borders and unite us in our shared responsibility to safeguard the natural world.

Source: Associated Press


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Unlocking the Next Frontier: Odysseus Lunar Lander’s Historic Mission

“Odysseus lunar lander aims to make history with first U.S. spacecraft touchdown on moon in 50 years. A testament to human ambition and innovation.”



In the vast expanse of space, where dreams of exploration meet the harsh realities of technology and finance, Thursday marks a potential landmark moment in the annals of space exploration. The Odysseus lunar lander, a testament to human ingenuity and perseverance, stands on the precipice of making history as it aims to achieve what no U.S.-made spacecraft has done in five decades: a controlled touchdown on the lunar surface.

Intuitive Machines-1 Lunar Landing (Official NASA Broadcast)

After a breathtaking lift-off from Florida, Odysseus embarked on its journey towards the moon, capturing awe-inspiring images of our planet Earth along the way. Now, as it hurtles closer to its destination, the anticipation mounts for what could be the most perilous test yet – a soft landing on the moon’s surface.

Intuitive Machines, the pioneering force behind Odysseus, dares to tread where no private company has ventured before. If successful, this endeavor would mark the resurgence of American-made spacecraft landing on the moon since the final Apollo mission in 1972.

However, the road to lunar exploration is fraught with challenges, both technical and financial. While the Apollo program once commanded a budget exceeding 4% of all U.S. government spending, today’s NASA operates on a fraction of that, a mere 0.4%. To stretch resources further, NASA has turned to outsourcing robotic lunar landings to commercial entities like Intuitive Machines, aiming to achieve ambitious goals like the Artemis program’s lunar return with reduced costs.

But cost isn’t the only hurdle. The technical feat of landing a spacecraft precisely on a celestial body a quarter of a million miles away is akin to hitting a golf ball from New York to Los Angeles and landing it in a specific hole – a daunting task even with today’s advanced technology. Compounding the challenge is the time delay of roughly three seconds for signals to travel between Earth and the moon, leaving little room for error during critical maneuvers.

Moreover, the legacy of Apollo-era expertise has waned over the decades, leaving a gap that new technology alone cannot bridge. As Dr. Scott Pace of George Washington University’s Space Policy Institute aptly notes, “These are people doing it for the first time, and there’s no substitute for that experience.”

Yet, amidst these challenges, there’s an undeniable sense of optimism and determination. As Lisa Altemus of Intuitive Machines emphasizes, success in lunar exploration requires collective resilience, collaboration, and a willingness to learn from failures. It heralds not just a scientific achievement but the dawn of a new era – an emerging lunar economy where the moon’s resources could unlock boundless opportunities for humanity.

If Odysseus achieves its mission, it will not only mark the first U.S. spacecraft landing on the moon in half a century but also pave the way for future lunar endeavors, including the exploration of the moon’s south pole, a region rich in potential resources like ice and water.

As we stand on the brink of this historic moment, let us marvel at the audacity of human ambition, the tenacity of scientific endeavor, and the boundless possibilities that lie beyond Earth’s confines. The journey to the moon may be fraught with challenges, but with each step, we inch closer to unlocking the mysteries of our celestial neighbor and forging a new chapter in the saga of space exploration.


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Exploring the Healthiest Communities in the United States: California Counties Shine Bright

Discover how California’s Marin County leads the healthiest U.S. communities, boasting high life expectancy and low obesity rates in a recent study.



A recent study by MarketWatch has unveiled a list of the healthiest communities in the United States, with California counties claiming top spots. Marin County, nestled across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, emerged as the healthiest county, boasting a remarkable life expectancy of 85, a lower-than-average adult obesity rate, and a mere 5 percent of residents without health insurance.

The study evaluated 576 U.S. counties using 14 key metrics, including food insecurity, healthcare access, life expectancy, health insurance coverage, and environmental factors like water and air quality. Western states dominated the top 10 list, with Colorado, Hawaii, and Montana also showcasing exemplary county health profiles.

The findings emphasized a correlation between community health and wealth, with affluent areas exhibiting lower rates of food insecurity and higher levels of health insurance coverage. The presence of nature parks in many of the healthiest counties underscored the positive impact of green spaces on well-being, aligning with scientific research on the subject.

However, the study also shed light on disparities, highlighting that residents in the unhealthiest counties face challenges such as limited access to grocery stores, higher rates of food insecurity, and inadequate primary care services. Harris County, Texas, home to Houston, was identified as the least healthy county due to high uninsured rates and poor environmental quality.

In California, 37 out of 58 counties were ranked, with Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo counties clinching top positions. The data revealed a stark contrast in median incomes between the healthiest and unhealthiest counties, with Marin County boasting a median income well above the national average.

This comprehensive analysis serves as a valuable resource for policymakers and healthcare professionals striving to address disparities and promote well-being across communities. It underscores the importance of factors such as access to healthcare, environmental quality, and socioeconomic status in shaping overall community health outcomes.


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