Ask HN: What's the oldest file on your computer?
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that mine is rtest.mf, part of the MiKTeX package by the venerable Donald Knuth, last modified June 8th, 1986.
Things from 30 years ago:

    mdfind 'kMDItemContentCreationDate < $time.iso(1994-06-23)' > out.txt
Highlights include:

* Castle Wolfenstien for MS-DOS (1983-6-29)

* Lisa OS Source Code (1983-6-29)

* Classic Mac Disks from the Boston Computer Society (1984-12-24)

* Atari 7800 Ms. Pac Man Source Code (1988-12-24)

* Pyroto Mountian BBS files (1990-10-5)

* Jumpman Lives Source Code (1991-04-13)

* Delightful AU sound files and TIFF images from Sun and NeXT systems (1992-2-29)

* Tim Berners-Lee's WWW Browser Source Code for NeXT (1993-6-21)

* C64 Disk Images (1994-6-17)

i have a bunch of NeXT stuff on my backups somewhere, but the oldest files with a legitimate timestamp are from a backup of the G.R.E.A.T. Desktop environment from 1995.

from the README:

                    G.R.E.A.T Version 0.92
    
      GREAT is the Graphical Environment and Desktop for UNIX.
    It is developed by the Free Software Assiociation of Germany
                  with Ruediger and Michaela Merz.
                GREAT is a free binary distribution.
                Copyright (C) 1993, 1994, 1995 FSAG
this is interesting, because it appears to be the first FOSS Desktop Environment. i used it on my grandmothers computer. unfortunately the sources appear to be lost. i was only able to find this binary release, and because of its historical value i am holding on to it for dear life.
That's awesome. Out of curiosity, what kind of system are those files living on today?
`mdfind` is the terminal command to access spotlight indexed files, so a Mac of some kind.
I was negligent at preserving timestamps during previous backups, so the exact age is lost, but my oldest files are MS Works and Word Perfect documents from Windows 3.1 era in the early 90s. Aside from documents, I think the next oldest are mp3 files that I downloaded directly from the internet in '96 (pre-Napster days, back when you could just find websites that offered mp3 downloads directly). The quality is terrible due to aggressive compression so I should probably just delete most or all of them, but at this point they feel like artifacts. There's also a Weezer music video that came with Windows 98 (IIRC) that I still have.
There's a song I still remember in my head, but that I lost the mp3 of. It sounded pretty bad, but it also sounds like my childhood.
rosebud.mp3?

To grandparent post, Buddy Holly might have been on 98, I'm not sure, but was on the 95 CD along with a trailer to the movie "Rob Roy" and a couple other videos. Might have been different across regions, I'm not sure of that either.

archive.org has the iso browseable

https://ia904501.us.archive.org/view_archive.php?archive=/6/...

and search for the FUNSTUFF/VIDEOS folder.

31MB, Cinepak, 320x240, 15fps, audio 8bit @ 11kHz

To get in first with the joke answer - Surely it must be something created on 1970-01-01 00:00:00
  • rwmj
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1980-01-01 00:00:00 is probably more recognisable for those in the DOS era.
found hundreds of those in an apk from a bank app ;-)
Ha! Mine are four hours older than yours!
the oldest i have seen on one of my machines at some point was on broken file systems where the date got mangled. some even much older than 1970.

i just found a few hundred rust files coming out of cargo crates dated 1970.1.1 and 1973.11.30. i had no idea that rust was so old. but it explains the name at least ;-)

Program files from the 1980s. Operating system files from the 1970s.

Their timestamps don't show those ages, unfortunately, as they have been transferred from machine to machine and medium to medium over the decades.

Here's one of my own COBOL files:

     0130*  INSTALLATION.   Giacomo Software, P.O. Box 584, Hamilton, 3300
     0140
     0150 DATE-WRITTEN.    29 MARCH 1984.
Would you believe that was from an 8080 disassembler written in COBOL? I suppose we did silly things like that because we could. And we used whatever it was that we happened to have on hand.
Mac users using iCloud, be careful about attempting to "stat" the entire filesystem, this will cause iCloud Drive to download its entire contents onto your local disk.
Not anymore, does it? https://eclecticlight.co/2023/10/25/macos-sonoma-has-changed...:

“I suspect these new evicted files take advantage of a trick in APFS: as far as I can tell, they consist of the file with its attributes and extended attributes intact and stored locally, but no extents for its data. Thus, when you ask for the file size, it returns the size it would be when downloaded, although the file only takes the space required for its attributes and extended attributes, until it has been downloaded.”

Also (https://developer.apple.com/documentation/technotes/tn3150-g...):

“Check if a file is dataless and then only access it in a safe context. To do the check, call stat or getattrlist and examine if SF_DATALESS is present in stat.st_flags. Be aware that stat and getattrlist both trigger the materialization of any intermediate folders in the file’s path, if they themselves are dataless.”

⇒ doing stat on an entire filesystem will materialize all directories, but not its files.

You just discovered this the hard way, didn’t you?
Not today! But in the past... yes.
  • dfox
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Same thing will happen on macOS with SharePoint/OneDrive. Found that out the hard way last week.
Never cross the streams.
Not that old: fonts from 1990 and email from 1998. I would have older but there was the Personal Great Backup Not Working Calamity of 1999.

  All Great Artist biographies have a chapter titled "The Fire."
                   -- Tom Sachs
In what format are your emails and how do you read them now?
I assume it's .eml - this is a pretty simple and obvious text format based on SMTP and email headers. And it has been around since at least 1982[1]

[1] https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/html/rfc822

A text file of a list of people from December 12, 1981. Originally had it on a floppy for the IBM PC 5150 and it's made the leap somehow to every new system for over 40 years.
I am convinced (convinced) that in a distant future the answer to some then-unsurmountable technology problem will be found in the depths of some obscure file which has (somehow, much in the way you described) "leaped" from system to system to system for hundreds of years ...
Not technically a single file on disk anymore, but I still have an old text file of software registration keys / serial numbers that I started in the 90s, for buying shareware or ripping CD keys with Magical Jellybean (a Microsoft key ripper).

It started life as a plain .txt on disk that I'd manually copy over from computer to computer, first via floppies and eventually null modem cables and ZIP disks and thumb drives.

When email got popular I started emailing it to myself as a way of storing it in the cloud. Eventually it made it into Gmail and I could store it there, versioned, across generations of computer platforms and ISPs.

Then Google Docs came around and it's lived there ever since. I still go through the version history there sometimes. It doesn't go all the way back, but does have some interim license keys if I ever need an older version (like some gray market version of Windows 7 for a refurb laptop).

This brings up a related point that for the longest time (to my knowledge) Linux filesystems lacked creation timestamps, so only the last modified was preserved.

While even now with the filesystems that support them they're tied to that instance of the filesystem (ie: non-modifiable, unlike Windows), which has always puzzled me given the need to variously restore from backups (or just have an identical copy in a destination) where one would desire such info*.

* When I last looked into this I saw some quite creative workarounds, such as a script loop where for each file to be copied it changed the system clock to the date of the timestamp, so it was recreated in the destination.

  • cb321
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This might interest you:

    https://github.com/c-blake/bu/blob/main/doc/cbtm.md
Can save & restore both btime & ctime via "underhanded" filesystem debugging utility scripting. (It is in Nim which might be an obstacle for some, but honestly it is a very simple program to port to whatever.)
creation time is a nontrivial problem. when i copy a file to a new location (or unpack it from an archive, download it, etc...) is the creation time the time the file is saved or the time it was historically created. and if it is the first, and then you modify the file by making a copy of it and deleting the original (so the inode changes), does the creation time change, or should it be copied from the old version?

so there are 4 different values:

the original time when a file was originally created.

the time when it was first created on this device.

the time when a particular inode was created.

the time when the content of the file was modified.

and you could add more: if the file contains a story, how about the time the original story was written?

or the time the content (and not the metadata, like the exif data of an image) was modified?

there are use cases for each. but of all of them the last modified time is the easiest to reason about.

On NTFS (under Windows) it's handled rather straightforwardly. When a file is originally created it's given a date created timestamp. If the file is copied naively the date created timestamp changes to that of the copy time, while the date modified remains intact.

However it's easy to preserve the date created timestamp during a copy using the native Robocopy utility, among many other methods. It's simply treated as date modified is: modifiable and arbitrary.

This makes restoring from backups sensible. Have a drive that has died? Can do a file-based restore without the need for images and preserve such metadata. Individual file unexpectedly deleted? Restore it and regain the timestamps. The benefit is one has a transferable reference for when files were originally made, even if they lack internal metadata that stores this (such as eg: EXIF for images).

Under Linux, even with its now kernel-based NTFS support, it just adds NTFS-specific data like date creation timestamps as peripheral extended attributes, which Linux file managers broadly don't expose or handle well. While native filesystems like EXT4 which support creation time are impractically limited to unmodifiable date creation timestamps based on their first creation on that particular instance of the filesystem, without hacky and fragile workarounds.

That is despite `touch` being ubiquitous on Linux for modifying date modified timestamps (showing that in practical terms, it's considered similarly arbitrary metadata) which from what I've seen Linux users appear to have no disagreements with about its utility.

As a Windows user who would like to migrate to Linux this aspect makes it frustratingly a non-starter, as even if one uses SMB to access the files (adding its own layer for such compatible metadata, regardless of the underlying filesystem) Linux file managers still don't handle well extended attributes so management for such files under Linux isn't at parity.

March 20, 1996. Before that I worked on so many different computers that I didn't manage to keep a continuous archive. Early on, my files would have been on punched cards, then 9-track tape, then 8" floppies, etc. I do have some usenet postings from 1981 that are still viewable. The oldest is here: https://groups.google.com/g/fa.unix-wizards/c/o2fAr_mGPa8/m/... At least I no longer feel I'm "naive in terms of UNIX" as I stated in my posting :)
You probably had a few audio cassettes with data squirts too. I find it intriguing that few people alive today have ever used diskettes, and of those far fewer remember a time when there were crazy-many diskette formats, even on the same medium. Hard sector vs. soft sector. When do you tape over the write protect notch, when you want to write or when you want to protect?

I was always an island computer geek isolated from the mainland (except BBS long di$tance) so we had to start our own commercial ISP in the mid 90s to bring it. My first USENET was a post to alt.flame in September 1994: "Bigfoot! Watch out, boy! They are looking for you in Des Moines. Time to move on. Warning: the Kansas city account is being monitored by professors from the UT Anthropology Dept. Don't use it. Use the Finnish anonymous server through East coast account number 3 to forward new address. Courage, beast."

So there was an MIT Center for Cognitive Science! Did you ever find intelligent life on Earth?

I don't really care for other made stuff, but the oldest surviving file I've made is an ASCII art collection, released on 1996-06-15 :) I originally lost it, but thanks to textfiles somebody had archived it.

I really should go through some old 3,5" disks to see if they still work to see if there is anything there.

I have a GIF of the Wembley Goal [1] that I downloaded on September 25, 1998. This was actually the day when I was on the Internet for the first time.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost_goal#/media/File:Ghost_G....

Shirley it's always an operating system file.
A masterful comment, well done good sir/madam.

For the young'uns, "Shirley" is a reference to a cultural phenomenon in the early 80's through early 90's around a line that would go something like this: "Surely it's an operating system file. Yes of course, but don't call me Shirley!" It was started by a popular movie, but became widespread throughout the culture.

Alternatively, it could have been a speech to text accident and I'm reading way too much into it. I choose to disregard that possibility. Shirley you understand.

  • croon
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> For the young'uns, "Shirley" is a reference to a cultural phenomenon in the early 80's through early 90's

Airplane (1980)

  • jjav
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Fun question.. I have files copied off floppy disks from the late 80s, so those would be the oldest, but they have newer timstamps.

In terms of actual timestamp, the oldest I found was "Aug 18 1994", a text file with some notes from a concert that I wrote to send to friends.

-rw-r--r-- 1 uid uid 21714 Aug 18 1994 concert

I wish my old floppies were in good enough shape for that. They got to an unreadable state before I thought to copy them.
  • jjav
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The files from the 80s floppies have timestamps in 1999, so they were only a bit over ten years old back when I copied them off the floppies.

I did test some of the floppies in later years and still seemed to work. I still have the floppies but no longer have a working 5.25" drive to try them on!

Don't leave us hanging man share them notes ;-)
Not quite what you’re asking, but I’ve got animations I made in Deluxe Paint III on the Amiga still kicking around, 33 years later, and some Dark Forces wads from nearly 30 years ago. So much more has been lost over the years from media rot, but a few bits (bytes?) I’ve managed to hang on to.
Probably something from either the CBT Tape[1] or the MAME ROM set or Software List.

As for files I created myself, probably emails from 25 years ago, as I lost pretty much everything I had from the '80s and early '90s in a fire (and all my older emails migrating from older ISP/university email accounts, and didn't really do anything worth saving in the late '90s).

Stretching the definition, I did recently uncover a video tape containing an award-winning media fair project I did with a couple friends in the mid '80s that I hope to digitize just as soon as I obtain a VHS deck I'm certain won't damage the tape.

[1] https://cbttape.org

The oldest program I wrote that has been used routinely since then was a Basic application to do precise calculation of some chemical assays.

This was on a HP benchtop gas analyzer where I had added the HP Basic option which was needed to handle the complexity of petroleum data like only companies having mainframes had been able to, up until 1979. Most other research operations did not need Basic since the underlying expert system was adequate for less data-intensive work. Those who had a bare-bones analyzer were way ahead of most of the world though, which was still going with analog chart recorders and simpler mathematical calibration techniques that had been well-established.

Interestingly, there are still plenty of non-petroleum gases and other analytes where the raw analog data is so simple that no computer has ever been needed at all, some needing not a calculator nor even a slide rule. But people naturally have all-computerized systems in the modern world anyway, including the complex software that for such simple analysis provides more room for error than the analog days. In theory and in practice as directly observed.

But the chemical assays were not related to the gases, I just liked having a personal desktop system that would compute, and wrote a couple hundred lines that would get it done in a way that was completely auditable. The workflow included manually entering data that had been gathered from bench work in the non-gas labs.

Slightly different syntax allowed my app to run on the P-E equivalent to the HP, and I managed to keep at least one P-E running until 2014 so I could operate the vintage analyzers in my own lab. But stopped running my old chem app on them in 1993 when my employer got their first office PC with Windows 3.1 and GW-Basic. So that was the first actual DOS version of the same old thing, which is the one still in use on my FAT32 partition when I boot to DOS, as well as run from the command line when booted to 32-bit Windows.

When it comes to timestamps a couple old EXEs that have been carried forward on the FAT32 volume are Tetris and Battle Chess from 1989 which I can still run any time since.

That looks like it for files that are actually useful still.

Somewhere I must have a 20GB IDE disk with my data from the 90's. The disk's circuit board burned out one day (damned PSU with bulged capacitors let the magic smoke out). I bought an identical disk on eBay and managed to transplant the good circuit board onto that disk, and had my data again. But then a college friend needed a disk so I took off the good circuit board, put it back onto the eBay disk and lent it to him, and of course he moved countries with just the promise to return it to me.

Years later I managed to find another disk of the same model, but I can't find the board-less disk with the data... did I throw it away?

A utility script I wrote in 2008 and eventually gets copied over in backups that I restore, despite being 7 or 8 systems ago. "dedupe.php"

It very slowly and inefficiently compares hashes of files in its directory (and subdirectories) and deletes duplicates. I don't think I've actually used it in years, but it invariably gets restored along with some old family photos that happened to be in the directory it lived in.

Ironically it is older than any of the files remaining there.

Somewhere around 2005-2008. I was a teenager and got really serious about my computer so I saved my lawn mowing money to buy a staggering 400GB(!) Seagate.

The drive was always a secondary bulk storage drive that just kept moving into each new computer I built. It finally died a few years back and I still have a dump from it. Nothing super interesting that far back, just schoolwork and some photos. I didn't get into programming until much later in life.

Ignoring OS files, it's probably class projects or postal files from the late 90s when I was in college. My family first bought a computer in 1982 but the jump from that to the DOS/Windows world didn't include carrying over any files. I did have a small program published in a computer magazine in 1985, which I have typed in and run on an emulator, so perhaps that sort of counts.
Here's an old video that I have. The timestamp is long gone, but I know it's from 1997 +/- a year. It's MPEG-1 with no sound. We were clowning around on the lab, testing a new encoder. Check out the SPARCStation 20 in the background.

https://www.w6rz.net/melissa.mpg

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A SNOBOL4 implementation that Charles Simonyi and I did during 1968-1969, and a revised version, 1971-1972.
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1985-10-26+09:15:00.0000000000 /usr/share/doc/node-progress/Readme.md (clearly an error)
I've got too many with broken timestamps to be sure, but I know I have stuff from the 90s.
Just did a find, the oldest file I have is "words.rht", dated 1983-01-03. It is a file from Wang WP for the Wang PC.

Outside of that, the oldest file in my home dir is "de01file.cpy" from 1994-01-06, something I saved for reference from my old Job.

  • ilt
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Not an answer to your question, perhaps a bit tangential though, what's the oldest thing that you remember?

> Oldest thing that I remember was perhaps my parents dropping me off to pre-school before leaving for work and me crying - circa 1985.

I have memories of coming back from nursery to watch a particular children's programme and my mum minding another child regularly. I also remember visiting Spain/Barcelona around that time (aged 3)

My first computer memories, were playing attic attack on a spectrum when it first came out and my uncle getting a miniature handheld golf game, which must have cost at least £60 in 1982 approx and then a c64 soon after. My cousins also had an atari 2600, even then I thought it was terrible! The defender clone was good though.

It's difficult to order many of those very early memories but given the location of some of them, opening a Fischer Price toy airport on my third birthday is the oldest I can put a date and place on. Fragments from before then include being crib age.

What I'm really curious about is the accuracy of some of those really old memories. How we see the world changes over time. The box that Fischer Price toy came in looked massive to me but would be tiny to me now. What other things do I remember through the eyes of a child that are significantly different from reality?

Nobody believes me but I remember my first independent footsteps; I wanted to investigate the water stain on the concrete I'd just seen my dad make earlier, as it was gone now in the heat.
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haha this is surreal - like the ghosts we used to see form on the walls when the paint chipped off of it - but this is so so early too and specific to remember
I remember being a small baby no older than 3 sitting in my buggy with the rain cover on, the sound of the rain and the smell seeping up from below. Really relaxing. Then I would fall asleep and be woken suddenly, hot and sweaty, by a cool blast of air as the cover is removed and the rain falls on my skin as we have arrived home. Rainy days knock me out to this day.
I guess the only sane way to measure this is the age of the file content, not timestamp. In that case anyone with any non-trivial sequence of sequenced genomic data wins hands down (millions to billions of years).
The puzzle is to figure out which parts are billions of years old, and which parts are 10 years old, and which parts are false reads.

In any case, astronomy has that beat hands down, as with https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maisie's_Galaxy ("Maisie's Galaxy (also known as CEERS J141946.36+525632.8) is a distant galaxy located at z=11.4 that existed 390 million years after the beginning of the universe.")

Source code to an implementation of TECO I wrote back in 1991 in Turbo Pascal. I've had a few hard disk crashes in the last 40 years, I might have older stuff on 5 1/4" floppy disks.
Mine would probably be the first chapter of the novella I started writing in 1986. I finished it in... 1988, I think? (No, it's never been published, and never will be.)
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There might be something older buried in there somewhere, but this was the oldest file in ~:

41493 Feb 1 2004 linus-says-linux-english.au

I thought it was funny that it is an audio file of how Linus says Linux 8-)

!I remember him saying "My name is Linus Torvalds and I pronounce Linux as Linux"... slightly off with the wording; listen here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Linus-linux.ogg

for a while after installing Slackware ~1998 I pronounced it with a long i Line-ux possibly until that recording spread this far.

Most of the system files from when I ran Unix v7 have a mod time of October 15, 1980. I have some files from v6 but the timestamps were not preserved. They would be from 1979.

    1969-12-31+19:00:00.0000000000 ~/.cache/paru/clone/aws-cli-v2/src/awscli-2.16.0/PKG-INFO
Mildly surprised it was an AUR package.
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Diary from the late 1990s. The original timestamps haven't survived moving across machines repeatedly, of course, but the files are named after the date I wrote them.
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Some text files, email, and an old ircII script from August 1997, some PGP encrypted data from '98, and an nmap-2.03.tgz from early '99. Happy days.
Can you still decrypt that pgp encrypted file? I assume GPG doesn’t support that file.
I have essays from high school in 1992. Unfortunately, I think they are Claris works, so basically I can kind of part the text But it’s pretty mangled
I have some papers from the late 90s. I purposefully saved them in rtf to make them more portable, but they are mangled now. Not sure if the standard changed or the files are corrupt. I suppose I should have wrote everything in plain text, but who has that kind of forethought in high school…
I'm somewhat amused to find a couple of files dated 2038. Wonder how that happened.
I just checked. It's an article I wrote for my high school newspaper in 1996 about Tipper Gore visiting our town.
Speaking of 1996, a while back I was digging through an old box of junk, and I found a high school newspaper with an article I wrote about Microsoft buying a bunch of Apple stock (this was back when Apple was floundering and antitrust regulators were giving MS the evil eye). I had some very uneducated speculation about what a Microsoft-Apple merger might look like.

https://www.neowin.net/news/a-quick-look-back-at-when-micros...

Most likely something I did a wrong `touch` on.
Oldest I have is a disk image for the BBC B micro. 1984.
Some pictures and clipart copied from old floppy disks. They are dating back to 18.01.1993
Oldest file on disk from my ACE Apple Clone is from 1980
Some Rust cargo files modified 1970, 1973 and some Chrome extensions modified 1980. Suspicious. Actual old stuff I recognise and copied down the years:

* 1980 STOMP.MOD music file[1]

* 1987 - hitchhik.exe the HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy text-based adventure game.

* 1988 - QuickBasic 4.5

* 1990 - a bunch of Screamtracker S3M/Mod/XM music files.

* 1991 - Moneky Island original SCUMM game.

The oldest which I created is some QuickBasic code which says 1999 but I think it was a couple of years older. A drawing and some Python and C# from 2002. Looks like my code from the mid 1990s and any school essays of the 1990s are long gone. About the oldest emails I have are 2002 as well.

[1] "stomp da diko-tek #hoffman / mono formerly known as.. dreamfish! / mono this is true minimal techno. this track started with a sample from retro dna - mix 2. i took a 2 beat loop, contured, distored & filtered it to create a clanky hard-edged sound (sample 3). the rest you'll have to work out yer self. surf the mono website www.scene.org/mono". That dates back before I was born.

were there .mod tracks before 1987? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MOD_(file_format)
I guess not; looking around I found that mod online here: https://netlabelarchive.org/1998/03/06/mtk-rel14/ and it's March 1998.

I wouldn't believe all the MODs dated 1990 anymore either then, though one I've checked is from about then ( https://demozoo.org/music/97104/ ), another is 1992 ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oadg4mc9ww - check this out it still holds up today despite being 4 channel 30+ years old, in a way that the techno one really doesn't).

Monkey Island was released in 1990 so that could be accurate, QuickBasic 4.5 was released 1988 (although no way I had it in 1988). Summary: the oldest things I have are my brother's mod interest, my coding interest, and some PC games.

Nice track and always lovely to have that flashback to the Impulse Tracker UI!
  • dgan
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I don't get it. Isn't the oldest file is limited by the purchase date of my computer? Isn't the question equivalent to "Ask HN: who has the oldest running computer?"
Not really, since the question was not: how old is the oldest file on your computer
Some of my archived email/files from uni ~1988 in archives...

Oh! And some slightly less ancient with original timestamps still on my server home dir (now Raspbian, but from some mixture of SunOS etc)...

% ls -alrt ~/ | more

    -rw-r--r--  1 dhd  dhd     1981 Jul 20  1989 .rootmenu.old
    -rw-r-----  1 dhd  dhd       56 Jun  9  1990 .XLog
    -rw-r-----  1 dhd  dhd       37 Dec 21  1991 .forward.example
    -rw-r-----  1 dhd  dhd     6019 Apr  6  1992 SCI_arrives.z
    -rw-r-----  1 dhd  dhd       42 Apr  9  1992 .mailrc.OLD
    -rw-r--r--  1 dhd  dhd      934 Apr  9  1992 .defaults
    -rw-r-----  1 dhd  dhd        0 May 28  1992 .pnewsexpert
    -r--r-----  1 dhd  dhd      615 Jul 28  1992 .bprofile
...
you might be interested in `ls -go` instead of `ls -l` - provided your ls supports that; removes user/group in output

fun to see the `.defaults`; i forgot about that one (edit, and i forget now even when/where i came across it)

  • dano
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1983-01-27 dec20/misc/stdio.h
An install file for Firefox.
The Enron emails dataset
Oh yeah, on one laptop there is a DOS app written in Dataflex[0] from the early '80's.

I don't really use it myself, it's leftover from an IT project.

This was from an industrial facility where I had done field training back in 1982. Their mainframe had a "public" terminal where contractors had access to their inventory control system, so whoever was on-site had to wait for their turn at the green monochrome dumb terminal, then continue to wait for our printouts to appear afterward.

Apparently sometime between then and 2019, I would imagine they might have replaced the mainframe with a PC-based server, but it would be difficult to be sure. Expected steps could have included first simply replacing the dumb terminal with a PC on the desk for contractor use instead, no differently than the rest of their office people would want.

But for all I know they very well could have had the latest modern server gear back there in a rack somewhere. You would never know the difference.

Regardless, by 2019 there had been no more public terminal for a while. Each contractor had their own laptop to access the facility system, still running the same desktop Dataflex program since 1983 on a DOS platform. Laptops weren't around back then, so that's a clue.

Without that, a contractor was useless, so the incentive had always been there since the first person figured this out in the 21st century.

At this employer, when we wanted to get in there, our IT guys had no luck at all. The plant couldn't help much, they cloned their own systems in a convoluted way rather than revive from decades-old files and that was it. I was provided with a Windows 7 laptop that successfully ran Dataflex to work from, but more than one person had probably never known how to prepare these to begin with. You definitely had to be able to take your data with you and print it later on a non-DOS printer.

First made it run on bare metal, then hammered away until it ran self-contained on a Windows 10 laptop and connected properly to the system when on-site, just like everybody else had who treated the old laptops having Dataflex like gold, since it was like their ticket in through the gate of the facility.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DataFlex

January 1, 2000 - Some videos I took last week on a GoPro where I never set the clock
passwords.txt
.txt!! Yikes lol
  • bavl
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system32.dll