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General information

Dioscuri ( Dioscuri homepage ) is the name for the emulator developed by the PLANETS partners the National Library of the Netherlands (Koninklijke Bibliotheek) and the National Archives of the Netherlands (Nationaal Archief). Dioscuri refers to the Greek myth of the twins Castor and Pollux of who one of them is mortal while the other is immortal. This symbolically represents the idea behind emulation: giving mortal digital objects their immortal equals.

Dioscuri is especially designed for digital preservation by being more durable and flexible than other emulators. The design shows a modular emulator, whereby each hardware component is represented as a module in the emulator. By combining all modules a full hardware emulator is created.

Development info

Programming language: Java 1.6

Programming environment: Eclipse IDE

Release version: 0.5.2

Release date: 11 May 2010

License: GNU GPL version 2

Development start: February 2006

Current development efforts: PLANETS PA/5 (June 2008 - May 2010), KEEP (Feb 2009 - Jan 2012)


Virtual machine hardware

  • 16-bit Intel 8086-based CPU, DMA-support, IRQ-handling
  • 1 MB RAM
  • Storage devices: floppy, HDD
  • Input devices: keyboard
  • Output devices: VGA, screen
  • System BIOS: Bochs BIOS
  • VGA BIOS: Plex86/Bochs VGA BIOS

Host Platforms

  • Windows XP running JRE v1.5.x (tested)
  • Linux Fedora Core 4 running JRE v1.5.x (tested)
  • Sun Sparc Solaris running JRE v1.5.x (tested)

Target Platforms

  • MS DOS 5.0
  • FreeDOS 1.0
  • Linux kernel ELKS

Other features

  • Easy to use interface (GUI) offering process control, media management and configuration editor
  • XML-based configuration of emulation process

System requirements

Any computer or mobile device running a JVM 1.6 or higher.

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