When Mr. Reside, a lifelong theater and computer geek as well as a trained medievalist, first encountered Larson’s disks at the Library of Congress (which had acquired Larson’s papers his death), they had been catalogued but not studied. They were “really sitting in shoeboxes,” Mr. Reside recalled.
Mr. Reside’s first step, after drafting a study plan and getting the necessary permissions, was to make bit-for-bit copies of all the files. He then hunted down vintage software and tools like the Basilisk II emulator, which allowed him to see the files exactly as Mr. Larson had seen them, right down to the chunky fonts and irritating pop–up error messages.
My favorite quote from the article: “In 1992, (when Rent was started to be written) the typical PC had only about 2 percent of the processing power as today’s iPhones.” Wow.