Emulation as a Service Infrastructure (EaaSI)

Emulation as a Service Infrastructure (EaaSI) is a Mellon and Sloan funded collaboration between Yale University Libraries and a number of partner institutions (currently Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon University, UC San Diego, Notre Dame, the University of Virginia, and Cal State Channel Islands.) The goal of EaaSI is to provide legacy computing environments to users in-browser to access old files and run old software without needing the original hardware. EaaSI is essentially a “virtual” reading room where users can check out computing environments in a model similar to other online library services.

My involvement in EaaSI started at CMU in 2017, where I was node lead on the project and the driving force behind CMU’s entry into the consortium. While at CMU, I piloted the use of EaaSI with graduate students in Professor Daniel Cardoso Llach’s “Experimental Archeaology of CAD Systems” course. The use of EaaSI in the aforementioned course was accepted as a full paper to ACM’s Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) as “An Archive of Interfaces: Exploring the Potential of Emulation for Software Research, Pedagogy, and Design.” It received a “Methods Recognition” award, one of only five awarded for the 1,100 or so papers submitted to the conference.

I am continuing work with EaaSI at CI, where we are planning to use the system to access legacy files in the library and expose undergraduates to historical software systems.