They’re a scourge, but viruses are an integral part of computing history. It was inevitable that somebody would eventually start gathering them and putting them up for display, and now you can view some retro viruses in your browser thanks to the Malware Museum.
Hosted by Internet Archive, the museum features numerous iterations of DOSBox running specific pieces of malware. Each one has been neutered and no longer carries any destructive capability, but you can still observe their effects. It ranges from comical to cruel, from a text-eating ASCII centipede to a game of one-armed bandit which will erase all your data if you lose.
It is, of course, completely safe to view. Besides no longer being destructive, each piece of malware is contained in its own virtual machine. If for some reason you’d like to download a de-clawed virus as a souvenir, that’s catered for too.
A word of warning: some of these are quite noisy. DOSBox also emulates a PC speaker, so you might want to turn the volume down a tad if you’re wearing headphones or are sitting in an office with speakers.
Get your dose of computer culture by visiting the museum here.