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Last post Author Topic: Software Hall of Fame  (Read 20656 times)

Curt

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Re: Software Hall of Fame
« Reply #25 on: August 05, 2011, 02:53:00 PM »
InDesign is the successor isn't it?

-yes

Quote from: Adobe
Current PageMaker customers can upgrade to the Adobe InDesign® CS5 PageMaker Upgrade at a special price.

I learned to love PageMaker between 1993 and 1995.

Also, Jasc PaintShop from back then. The marker/selector 17 years ago makes nearly all of today's photo editors look as if progress has been paused or even reversed.

rjbull

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Re: Software Hall of Fame
« Reply #26 on: August 05, 2011, 03:27:20 PM »
I'd add Silver Xpress, FrontDoor and Portal of Power
I'd add BinkleyTerm, Squish, and GoldED  8)

+1 each for Vern Buerg's LIST and DESQview.  DV + QEMM + NDOS (Norton-ized version of 4DOS) was the most productive system I ever had.

Also: PC-Write, PC-File 5, Procomm Plus, Terminate, Visual Display Editor (VDE), XTree Pro, StereoShell, File Wizard, Horst Schaeffer's PBATS collection, Newkey, Early Bird, and many more...  [/end DOS nostalgia trip]

On Windows: Total Commander, Macro Express, PowerPro, EverNote, TED Notepad, Crimson Editor, NoteTab Pro, Magic Mail Monitor, TheBat!, MemPad, ArsClip, CHS, WebSite-Watcher, LinkStash, XPDF, BareGrepPro, Taskill, Hilitext, Kleptomania (now MIA), and others.

oblivion

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Re: Software Hall of Fame
« Reply #27 on: August 05, 2011, 05:26:43 PM »
That's because PageMaker was "it" back in the day!  ;D
My first DTP was called (oddly) Timeworks, and it ran under GEM. Slow, weird, but it ran on an 8086 box and wasn't bad for its time.

My first Windows DTP was Serif's PagePlus, and I've stayed with it ever since. MUCH cheaper than PageMaker. Just as capable, too. (Well, almost.)

Sidekick -- lots of people loved it, but I couldn't do anything useful with it hogging all that RAM.

Sprint -- I remember being impressed with Philippe Kahn's demo (have a secretary pounding text into it and whisk the plug out of the wall in the middle of the typing frenzy, then power back on to see just how much was lost (nothing.) But it wasn't a "nice" WP -- can't define what I liked and didn't like, it just didn't suit me -- and I went back to WordStar.

PC Outline I had a license for, but it didn't leave a significant impression on me. LIST, though, I had forgotten about but I absolutely loved it.

This is not helping me feel any younger... :)
-- bests, Tim

...this space unintentionally left blank.

f0dder

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Re: Software Hall of Fame
« Reply #28 on: August 05, 2011, 05:42:37 PM »
You were smart enough to use  DESQview and QEMM, bt you fell for SpinRite? O_o
You never needed to reinterleave an MFM HD, I take it? Spinrite was  8)
Nah, not sure if I've ever used a machine with anything older than IDE drives - definitely never owned one. Fair enough, SpinRite might have had some Raison d'être then.

I grant it lost a lot of its usefulness once RLL drives came along, and IDE and subsequent technologies have made it a niche "recover from low-level errors" thing that I think I've only ever needed to suggest somebody use once in the last decade or so, but I still appreciate the quality of the program -- from a distance.
My main problem with SR is that it's so g*dd*mn full of snake-oil. A lot of tech mumbo-jumbo, the aura of "zomg it's programmed in ASEMBLARHG! I'M A WIZARD!" (christ, get over yourself, assembly is hardly rocket science and only retards and kids did 100%-assembly applications even back then), and the program was built to show a lot of useless but "geeh, that looks techy!" stuff on screen.

Using it for "error recovery" is a stupendously bad idea, too - what it does puts insane amounts of stress on a drive, and is a pretty good way to kill a drive if it's already failing. If you've got something really messed up, what you want to attempt is doing a superfast imaging operation to a healthy drive, skipping bad sectors... trying to read bad sectors a zillion times with a failing read/write head? Yeah, THAT'S a good idea. (You might want to attempt such an operation *after* the initial pass, but it's not really rocket science). Oh, and as for the "recovering bad disks by doing magnetic reconstruction" mumbo jumbo? Geez.

Sorry for harping on this, but I've always had a really big problem with false prophets :)

Quote from: f0dder
disk was slow :)
That's what you get for not using Spinrite [DARFC]  :)
[/quote]The only thing SpinRite sped up on IDE disks was demise ;)

Nuts & Bolts - The best defragger, ever.
Oh yeah, that one was almost magic! I really like how it did extensive pre-planning before the defrag procedure so it could reduce the amount of data shuffled. Nothing quite like it has ever appeared for the NT-based OSes.

One app I really liked in the DOS days, and even used for a while in the 9x days, was the RAT - Resident Ascii Table. Was a great TSR for looking up ascii codes for the codepage 865 box-drawing chars (and other stuff) you used a fair amount when doing text-based DOS GUIs :)
- carpe noctem

widgewunner

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Re: Software Hall of Fame
« Reply #29 on: August 07, 2011, 10:33:07 AM »
... only retards and kids did 100%-assembly applications even back then ...

I find this statement to be more than just a little bit offensive.

mouser

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Re: Software Hall of Fame
« Reply #30 on: August 07, 2011, 11:11:20 AM »
For the original IBM PC:
Turbo C, XyWrite, BasicA.

800px-Tc10_1987_01.png
« Last Edit: August 07, 2011, 11:16:15 AM by mouser »

40hz

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Re: Software Hall of Fame
« Reply #31 on: August 07, 2011, 11:50:45 AM »
... only retards and kids did 100%-assembly applications even back then ...

I find this statement to be more than just a little bit offensive.


@widgerunner - FWIW, that's just f0dder doing his f0dder 'tech-ninja' thing. :D  

When he's in that mode, most of what he says gets said with tongue jammed firmly in cheek.  ;)

He's a very nice guy - and I doubt he ever intended to offend, or have that remark be taken seriously.  :)

« Last Edit: August 07, 2011, 11:54:25 AM by 40hz »

f0dder

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Re: Software Hall of Fame
« Reply #32 on: August 08, 2011, 10:04:01 AM »
@widgerunner - FWIW, that's just f0dder doing his f0dder 'tech-ninja' thing. :D 

When he's in that mode, most of what he says gets said with tongue jammed firmly in cheek.  ;)

He's a very nice guy - and I doubt he ever intended to offend, or have that remark be taken seriously.  :)
I didn't intend to offend anybody - except for people who still believe writing large parts of their applications in assembly is a good idea.
* f0dder admires firmly bulging cheek

In seriousness, 'retards' was perhaps a bit strongly worded. Let's rephrase it to "people who thought they knew better, but seldomly did." (I've been through the "kiddy" period, but fortunately I got smarter.)
- carpe noctem

40hz

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Re: Software Hall of Fame
« Reply #33 on: August 08, 2011, 10:32:59 AM »
I didn't intend to offend anybody - except for people who still believe writing large parts of their applications in assembly is a good idea.

And those who try to defend Spinrite.  :P

(Sorry. Couldn't resist. ;) ;D )
---------------------------------------------------------------

P.S. +1 on that point. :Thmbsup:




superboyac

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Re: Software Hall of Fame
« Reply #34 on: August 08, 2011, 11:47:39 AM »
I'll tell you the one that got me all into software:
Pegasus Mail
Hardly ever mentioned as still one of the best email clients around, and free!  I remember very vividly how I got into software:
I had just moved into a studio apartment in my 2nd year at Berkeley.  Whoever lived there before me used to get those enormous Computer Shopper magazines delivered.  You remember those?  They were like an inch thick, made of newspaper, and full of articles, ads, tech geek info.  There was an email client shootout, and Pegasus got the highest ranking.  So I decided to try it out, and I've been trying shit out ever since.

oblivion

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Re: Software Hall of Fame
« Reply #35 on: August 08, 2011, 12:47:40 PM »
And those who try to defend Spinrite.  :P

What Spinrite now is and what Spinrite first WAS are not the same thing. As I said above, Spinrite could non-destructively reinterleave a hard disk -- as well as being able to work out what the best interleave actually was.

Before sector translation made the process impossible, hard disk was both very expensive and performance was directly tied to the interleave of the thing.

Ideally, if you're reading data off a disk, you want to process the contents of the current sector and have the next one just coming under the read head when you're ready for it. A badly interleaved drive (and this is rarely something you did yourself, so they were often interleaved before they ever met the host PC) would have to turn almost a full rotation to get the next sector, so this made a lot of difference to performance.

You might be able to tell how unpleasant this was by the fact that I still remember it so well, despite never having had to worry about it for many, many years...

To reinterleave a hard disk, you backed it up, ran a low-level format -- generally by running the code positioned at D800:5 on the drive controller -- then fdisked, formatted, and hoped for the best. Even though we're probably only talking about 10- or 20 MB drives, this was VERY timeconsuming.

When a company called (cheesily) The Control-Alt Deli called me up and told me about what Spinrite could do -- that's a reinterleave without disturbing the data, so no backup (although I always did one), fdisk, format and test routine required, and given that I had a lot of PCs that all needed looking after and always needed another ounce of performance :) I was first disbelieving -- like, "how is this even possible?" and second, extremely cheerful about the time I was going to save.

What Spinrite's become since then is unimportant. I stand by my original statement that it was a genuinely revolutionary product that did an amazing job. And  :P to you too. :)
-- bests, Tim

...this space unintentionally left blank.

rjbull

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Re: Software Hall of Fame
« Reply #36 on: August 08, 2011, 04:20:03 PM »
I didn't intend to offend anybody - except for people who still believe writing large parts of their applications in assembly is a good idea.

There was a time when it was, though.  The leading DOS shareware word processor PC-Write was written in about equal numbers of lines of Pascal (I think) and assembler, the latter for speed.  My favourite DOS editor, VDE, was assembler, and so were Horst Schaeffer's batch file enhancers.  All these were vital tools for me.  Now, I suppose, some authors are so used to assembler that anything else seems "wrong."

40hz

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Re: Software Hall of Fame
« Reply #37 on: August 08, 2011, 05:43:24 PM »

What Spinrite's become since then is unimportant. I stand by my original statement that it was a genuinely revolutionary product that did an amazing job. And  :P to you too. :)

@oblivion - Just so there's no misunderstanding, the  :P was directed at f0dder for saying he might only be (jokingly) be acting rude towards people who are arguing for assembly coding. I couldn't resist pointing out (also jokingly) that he has a tendency to lose it whenever Spinrite gets mentioned.

I also do agree that with f0dder Spinrite's relevance to today's disk drives is questionable in the wake of many advances made since it first came out.

But I would like to also like to agree with you that it was (at one time) a very useful addition to a PC tech's toolkit.

I purchased several copies of Spinrite over the years. And I did often use it to fix low level interleave problems on those 'wonderful' drives you got to format by dropping into DEBUG and (for most drives) issuing a G=C800:5 command. After which you got to listen to that hypnotic little ding-dinga-dinga 'serenade' that went on for about a half hour while the drive controller did its thing.

Ah those were the days!  :-\

(Sure don't miss them.)  ;)

Onward! :Thmbsup:


dspelley

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Re: Software Hall of Fame
« Reply #38 on: August 12, 2011, 12:13:25 PM »
In the days when I had my IBM PC-XT with it's 10MB hard-drive:

Norton Utilities (circa 1982)

Later:

Ecco Pro
We are at the very beginning of time for the human race. It is not unreasonable that we grapple with problems. But there are tens of thousands of years in the future. Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions, and pass them on.
--- Richard Feynman (1918-1988)

wraith808

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Re: Software Hall of Fame
« Reply #39 on: August 12, 2011, 01:05:47 PM »
Norton Utilities (circa 1982)

Those were the good old days for Norton.  These days, they're definitely a different animal.

40hz

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Re: Software Hall of Fame
« Reply #40 on: August 12, 2011, 04:29:38 PM »
I always preferred the Mace Utilities myself over Norton. And PC Tools after that.

But the Norton Editor was a mainstay for me when it first came out. It was the first text editor I ever purchased.  :Thmbsup:

IainB

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Re: Software Hall of Fame
« Reply #41 on: August 12, 2011, 11:21:37 PM »
Hmm, well now...my votes - off the top of my head and from experience - would include:
  • ICL 1900 PERT.
  • Pong - the 1972 video game from Atari Inc.
  • VisiCalc on the Apple II (the invention of computerised cross-tabulation and "spreadsheets").
  • Logica's RAPPORT - which included FORTRAN-callable subroutines to access relational databases.
  • Sciconix from Scicon (a tool used in operations research - for linear programming and optimisation modelling).
  • TEM - The UK Treasury Economic Model. An econometric modelling tool (ran on a Univac 1108) that was put into the public domain in the mid-'70s.
  • PLATO from CDC (Control Data Corp.).
  • Lotus Agenda.
  • Lotus Magellan.
  • Framework III-V, from Ashton-Tate.
  • Microsoft Office products - Word, Excel, Access (because they are now ubiquitous and so useful).
  • Adobe Pagemaker on the Mac. (the first desktop publishing tool.)
  • MacProject on the Mac.
  • Microsoft Project.
  • CA Allfusion Process Modeller (formerly Platinum BPwin).
  • InfoSelect from Micro Logic.
  • Microsoft OneNote.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2011, 07:32:37 PM by IainB, Reason: Correction re Adobe Pagemaker on the Mac. »

barney

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Re: Software Hall of Fame
« Reply #42 on: August 15, 2011, 08:47:47 PM »
Sorry I missed this.  PCFile+, perhaps the original freeware/shareware relational database system:  I learned  :-\ relational theory on it as well as rudimentary SQL by using it.

I also used OS9 on a Tandy DOS 64K CoCo - multi-tasking, multi-window before Windows was, don't recall if 'twas earlier than or concurrent with DesqView.

None of 'em could hold a candle to current offerings, but for their time they were absolutely fantastic  :P.

Oh, yeah ... as I recall, OS9 allowed multiple OS windows - virtual machines  :huh:? what a concept  ;D! - so one app crashing didn't bring down the whole system.


40hz

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Re: Software Hall of Fame
« Reply #43 on: August 15, 2011, 09:24:58 PM »
@barney- Ah the little CoCo! That was a fun computer. I still have one packed in a box in the attic someplace along with a TRS-80 Model III from the same era.   8)

You might be interested to know OS-9 still exists and is in active development. Link to the homepage here.
 :)

MilesAhead

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Re: Software Hall of Fame
« Reply #44 on: August 15, 2011, 09:42:09 PM »
For programming on Dos, Turbo Pascal 3, Turbo C++ Pro 1.01.  The C++ Pro package came with Tasm, which made things a tad simper than using masm. Also got to actually use the C++ stuff I had been reading about for some time.

I don't recall the name of these Dos utilities but I remember there was a utility(probably from PC Magazine) that let you steal some video memory(I had Hercules graphics card with 256 KB ram) when running in "text mode" and use it as expanded memory on my 8088 XT clone. Also had a Dos disk cache program that would use the fake expanded memory.  Made it like getting disk caching for free.  Also PC Tools provided a file manager and defragger.

On Windows I'd have to say Delphi was a big deal.  Even now if I want to do Gui I try to find some tool where I can just drag the buttons on. I enjoyed writing Delphi components.  It was cool when you got it all working and could drag onto the form from the toolbox and it all went as expected.

I'd say the one thing totally ignored in PC development was the 80386 Segment Descriptor Table.  IIRC you could actually set up a 48 bit address space on a 386 if the OS used them.  But the lazy bastards just set them all to 0s.  :)

« Last Edit: August 15, 2011, 09:45:34 PM by MilesAhead »

barney

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Re: Software Hall of Fame
« Reply #45 on: August 16, 2011, 01:27:44 AM »
Yeah, PC Mag had a lotta stuff, went on for years publishing utility after utility.  Think my 1st ram disk, other than on OS-9, came from them.

At the time, say ~DOS 3.x, just building batch files was fun, sometimes remunerative.  First checkbook prog I ever built was DOS batch file, complete with GoTos ... and it worked for years!  Never could wrap my head around assembler, though, so I missed a lot in that respect.

Great fun on Delphi - the BBS, not the much later software - and CompuServe:  text only, many flame wars ... met Phil Katz, Ron(?) McAfee & Peter Norton there, another guy - Ross Greenfield? - when both viruses and utilities were starting to grow.  Went through, vicariously, the fight 'tween Katz & SEA (System Enhancement Associates), when he built the ZIP protocol and released it to Public Domain out of spite  :P.  Prolly my all-time nomination for utility of the aeon, though, would be Norton Commander.  It just worked!  Although a close second would be the 2nd or 3rd iteration of the Disk Doctor.  That tool would let you get some stuff done:  no over-automation, no "Are you sure?" dialogs.  It pretty much assumed you knew what you were doing and let you do it.

OK, so much for nostalgia ... back to work, damnit!

TomD101

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Re: Software Hall of Fame
« Reply #46 on: September 15, 2011, 04:26:56 PM »
Oh, the olde days. It all comes back to me now.

Started around Dos 2.x and MS Word 3.x something.
First thing I needed was a zip tool - the first there was, as my dad's word files didn't fit on 360 kb disks.
And then I found all those gems
Desqview and Quemm - spent hours configuring my autoexec.bat and config.sys to fit everything in 640 + 384 KB
PCToos, of course, and Xtree (Gold)
Norton Utilities, when the consisted of two letters to start
Fastback and PCbackup. STill have the disks, but no pc in the world is slow enough to start the program. It dies from speed overload instantly.
MS Word over WordPerfect in ANY release
Lotus Manuscript for long texts. Lost gem.
Turbo Pascal occasionally. Never was a coder.
Getting online into mailbox systems with 300 bd, later with a lightspeed modem at 1200 bd and a software that somewhat sounds like Qemm, don't ask
Oh yes, Harvard Graphics, before there was Power Point. Vector Graphics in slideshow software.

Windows came and I tested v2.0 and 3.0. Not impressed. 3.1 / 3.11 impressed the hell out of me. Many things got easier.
Word for Windows - a dream come true for a guy who created and edited 100 - 500 page documents - PRINT READY.
Office - every incarnation. Never could get myself to the other Office lines.
HyperSnap since 1997. MY screenshot app. No other ever got close.
When the Internet became www for all, I just found everything I needed somewhere.
Download it, test it, delete it or keep it. Some things stay forever, most don't.

My favorites over the last years
MS Office
Vista's own Mah Jong - only game I really play.
IrfanView
IZarc
Teamviewer - makes support fun again, believe me
ditto - clipboard manager. Even blackmailed my company in installing it. Threatened to quit. Worked.
Webshots - for recreation and beautiful pictures
CompareIt
Handy File Tools from Heatsink
Lupas Rename

pretty much the tools that are installed first on ANY computer I get my hands on.

Thanks for sharing and bringing back fond memories with this thread.
Thomas
Berlin, Germany
The more things stay, the more they change the sane.

Curt

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Re: Software Hall of Fame
« Reply #47 on: September 15, 2011, 05:12:27 PM »
MS Word over WordPerfect in ANY release

In the early nineties my girlfriend at the time was teaching colleagues how to use WordPerfect. When they complained, because they were used to Word, she would insult them and say, "Word is fine for beginners, but WordPerfect is the much better choice  if you care to learn how to use it!"

I was using Word. We are not together any more...

barney

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Re: Software Hall of Fame
« Reply #48 on: September 15, 2011, 07:51:00 PM »
Hey, I kind of enjoyed using WordStar ... but, then, I've been accused of having a masochistic streak  ;).

I do recall a dust-up on several of the BBSs I frequented about MS corrupting the HELP key from F3 to F1.  Didn't matter to me, but then, I never had a keyboard with a side load of function keys, either.

Heard your [ex-]girlfriend's protests quite a bit when MCI went to MS, Excel and Word.  At the time, both WordPerfect and WordStar were more capable then MS Word, QuattroPro la misma in.re. Excel, and Word and Excel both ran in individual windows on DOS boxes.  A real hassle to support, but as usual (then), MS got it right about version three (3).

I don't recall the DOS program name that became InfoSelect, but I used it a lot.  And I fell in love with Borland's Paradox, just couldn't afford to get it for my home system.

Actually, I kinda miss the old DOS autoexec.bat ... from bootup to shutdown, never left it.  I was in control!  :P

oblivion

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Re: Software Hall of Fame
« Reply #49 on: September 16, 2011, 03:54:44 AM »
Hey, I kind of enjoyed using WordStar ... but, then, I've been accused of having a masochistic streak  ;).

Nothing masochistic about WordStar. The command sequences were considered arcane by many but had a certain amount of logic -- like WordPerfect (and, indeed, Word) it was just important to take the time to learn what you needed all the time and remember where to find the stuff you didn't want or need to learn.

But far and away the most important thing about WordStar was the fact that you could do everything without moving your hands away from the home keys. (There were function keys and menus if you wanted them, but everything had a touch-typist-friendly shortcut.) A decent touch-typist using WordStar could therefore outperform a similarly-skilled person using absolutely any of the competition.

^PB-- bests, Tim ^PB ^KX
-- bests, Tim

...this space unintentionally left blank.