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Retroweb Vintage Computer Museum

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This JavaScript framework allows you to easily develop content-rich, fully-interactive websites that make use of JavaScript computer emulators to teach your visitors about computer history.

The code presented here is the foundation of the RetroWeb Vintage Computer Museum.

The text for all articles in the museum are included in this repository, but the ROMs for the emulators and disk files are not included.

This framework has been written generally enough that it may be modified for use by any JavaScript emulator. The currrent release comes with the following emulators:

Highlights of this framework:

  1. An easy-to-use icon-based interface for managing the emulators.
  2. A documentation viewer that runs right next to the emulated computer.
  3. A Wiki-style markup for quick and simple development of content.
  4. Realistic photographic skins to lend realism to the emulated computers.
  5. Peer-to-peer networking using PeerJS and WebRTC for multi-player games.
  6. Fully client-side JavaScript for easy hosting.
  7. Modular design based on WebComponents and ECMA 6 classes.

What libraries and technologies does this project use?

It uses WebComponents written in pure ECMA 6 JavaScript and will work natively in Chrome. For other browsers, a WebComponents polyfill is needed and is included. With the polyfill, the code will work on recent versions of Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

Why aren't you using Polymer or some other JavaScript framework?

I didn't learn with them and now I prefer to continue without them. Benjamin Farrell provides some good reasons why in his blog post ES6 Web Components: A Man Without a Framework

Where are the build scripts or minimized source code?

There are none. This project does not have a build step; I upload the files to my webserver as is. The only tools I have used in development are a text editor, a web server and a web browser. In the future I may look into providing minimized source code.

Does this repository include the source code for the emulators or changes you have made to them?

With the exception of SAE, which is Javascript-native, this repository only contains the Emscripten-compiled versions of the emulators, which are not human readable. This is because this project is meant to be turn-key and I figured most people looking here were not interested in recompiling the emulators from scratch.

For the emulators which I have modified from upstream, I have placed the source code in separate repositories:

Would it be easy to reuse some of the interface elements you have developed for this website in other projects?

Yes, several interface components that make up this web app have been made into WebComponents that can easily be incorporated in other projects. These components are available in the RetroWeb Components project.

How can you help this project?

Please visit my Patreon page to learn how you can support this open-source project!


A rich framework for teaching about historical computers through emulation.






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