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Author Topic: Software longevity  (Read 5083 times)

xtabber

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Software longevity
« on: March 01, 2014, 09:46:57 AM »
The arrival of Beyond Compare 4 made me look back to see how long I have been using that software.  It would seem to be at least 16 years, since I found an email from Tim Thousand from February 1998 concerning a suggestion I had made for adding some features to BC 1.

That, in turn, made me wonder just how many programs that I still rely on have I been using on a regular basis for that long.  It's a pretty short list.

I've used Kedit and Opttech Sort since the 1980s, and while neither has been updated for years, they both remain essential in my work and are still maintained and sold by their developers.

I've relied on Quicken and Turbotax for financial matters since at least 1990, and probably started using them earlier than that.

I converted to Microsoft Word and Excel in 1994 and have stayed with them ever since.

My earliest licenses for the Opera browser (it didn't become free until several years later) and Treesize Pro date from 1999, and I may have used them before that.  I still use both on a daily basis.  I purchased Adobe Acrobat in 1999, and I guess that might count since, while I haven't used Acrobat in years, I do still use Adobe Reader.

I may have missed something, but looking at the dozens of programs I use regularly, no others have been around that long.

« Last Edit: March 01, 2014, 10:07:08 AM by xtabber »

Shades

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Re: Software longevity
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2014, 11:04:44 AM »
For me it would be Directory Opus, as I used it since my Amiga days. Then again, there isn't that much software that jumped (successfully) from one PC eco-system to another, as Directory Opus did.

At least, nothing springs to (my) mind.

cyberdiva

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Re: Software longevity
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2014, 11:36:35 AM »
The program I've used steadily the longest is probably the screen capture and image editing program HyperSnap, which I first bought in March 1997 and still use just about every day.  I suppose that the clipboard manager ClipMate beats out HyperSnap by a month: February 1997.  For years ClipMate was my most indispensable piece of software, but although I still have it on my computers, I recently switched to ClipCache on my primary computer, prompted by the unresponsiveness of the ClipMate developer, the disappearance of the ClipMate forum, and the fact that, unlike ClipMate, ClipCache supports unicode.

Other long-term software: Opera, which I first bought in March 1998 and still use, although my default browser is now Pale Moon; Mulberry, the superb IMAP email client that I started to use in October 2000 and continue to use every day even though it's now a bit long in the tooth; and UltraEdit, my text editor of choice since November 2000.  I've used the year 2000 as the cut-off for "long-term." 

MilesAhead

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Re: Software longevity
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2014, 12:21:45 PM »
The programs I can recall using the longest would be WinAmp, ERUNT, FreeCommander and EditPad Lite.  For programming, various versions of Delphi, and various Visual Studio versions since 6.  VB, C++, C# etc..

Of all the above I remember getting WinAmp first.  I'd say it goes back the farthest for me.

I'll leave out browsers because I've jumped around with those quite a bit.  For email I used Pegasus forever until I bit the bullet and accepted the fact people are going to stick html in their email.  Then I moved to Thunderbird.  :)

Shades

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Re: Software longevity
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2014, 01:39:57 PM »
If you want I can sent you a WinAmp v1.91 installer that actually comes from 1998...which still works fine on Windows 7 (I tried it myself).

About 600Kbyte of goodness  ;)

MilesAhead

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Re: Software longevity
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2014, 04:05:41 PM »
If you want I can sent you a WinAmp v1.91 installer that actually comes from 1998...which still works fine on Windows 7 (I tried it myself).

About 600Kbyte of goodness  ;)

Sounds like it would be fun to try. 

rgdot

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Re: Software longevity
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2014, 05:06:28 PM »
powerpro is near the top of the list.

widgewunner

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Re: Software longevity
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2014, 06:06:28 PM »
ZTree for Windows (reborn from XTree (for DOS)) .

Cannot. Live. Without.

40hz

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Re: Software longevity
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2014, 09:47:21 PM »
Peachtree Accounting (in one form or another) from about 1981 up until 2008.

Never really liked the product personally - assuming it's possible to actually "like" an accounting application. ;D And it seemed to get junked up quickly once the Windows versions came out. But it was a very capable general purpose double-entry accounting solution. One which enforced accounting standards fairly well. And for a while it was one of the least expensive SMB accounting packages that still allowed you to "drill-down" to transaction detail level and allowed BOM 'assemblies' in inventory - so that put it well ahead of the pack for many years. All in all a decent bit of software that got the job done.

I sure don't miss it. 8)

As far as something which got used in it's original version forever, I'd have to say it was the Mac-based Acta outliner which I bought sometime around 1986 or 1987. It's still my favorite single-pane outliner. It originally ran on a trusty Macintosh SE until I moved it to a snazzy Macintosh IIsi in 1990. I used Acta up until about 1999 when the IIsi it was running on finally died.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2014, 10:39:32 PM by 40hz »

app103

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Re: Software longevity
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2014, 11:47:54 PM »
If you want I can sent you a WinAmp v1.91 installer that actually comes from 1998...which still works fine on Windows 7 (I tried it myself).

About 600Kbyte of goodness  ;)

Sounds like it would be fun to try. 

No thanks! Putting my system at risk is not my idea of fun. All of those old versions have exploitable security vulnerabilities...lots of them.  :o

ewemoa

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Re: Software longevity
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2014, 03:41:40 AM »
No thanks! Putting my system at risk is not my idea of fun. All of those old versions have exploitable security vulnerabilities...lots of them.  :o

Good point!

MilesAhead

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Re: Software longevity
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2014, 07:39:17 AM »
If you want I can sent you a WinAmp v1.91 installer that actually comes from 1998...which still works fine on Windows 7 (I tried it myself).

About 600Kbyte of goodness  ;)

Sounds like it would be fun to try. 

No thanks! Putting my system at risk is not my idea of fun. All of those old versions have exploitable security vulnerabilities...lots of them.  :o

But is any kiddie hacker old enough to remember them?  :)
You could always run it using Time Freeze or some other sandbox, for grins.

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Software longevity
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2014, 08:33:55 AM »
If you want I can sent you a WinAmp v1.91 installer that actually comes from 1998...which still works fine on Windows 7 (I tried it myself).

About 600Kbyte of goodness  ;)

Sounds like it would be fun to try. 

No thanks! Putting my system at risk is not my idea of fun. All of those old versions have exploitable security vulnerabilities...lots of them.  :o

But is any kiddie hacker old enough to remember them?  :)
You could always run it using Time Freeze or some other sandbox, for grins.


I haven't used it in a while, but in the past I used a separate standalone machine with little important data just to mess around with stuff like that.

MilesAhead

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Re: Software longevity
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2014, 08:56:55 AM »
Quote
I haven't used it in a while, but in the past I used a separate standalone machine with little important data just to mess around with stuff like that.
I agree. Too often I've parked perfectly working PCs on the curb just for lack of room.  Next time I want to do it right with large benches.  Nothing on the floor.  Network the oldest PCs, perhaps running Linux, instead of trashing them.

My setup was 2 PCs on the floor and a small table with CRT and keyboard/mouse with kvma switch.  Usually one PC was running with internet access to bail me out of problems or new PC setup on the other.  Now with just a Lappy I don't want to take any risks.

ewemoa

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Re: Software longevity
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2014, 06:25:42 PM »
But is any kiddie hacker old enough to remember them?  :)

I see the smilie here -- so I presume you aren't serious.

app103

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Re: Software longevity
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2014, 03:24:51 AM »
But is any kiddie hacker old enough to remember them?  :)

I am sure they will know about the more recent ones that also affect all of the older versions.

And some of them can be exploited by a kiddie that has long since grown up and moved on to more sensible things, but his innocent looking, specially crafted MP3 file is still floating around out there on P2P networks and download sites, or in your collection, just waiting for someone to play it. In software that isn't vulnerable, it will play ok, but maybe the text in one of the tags might look kind of weird (javascript). But in vulnerable software, look out! Buffer overflow and code execution time!

longrun

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Re: Software longevity
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2014, 05:03:34 AM »
The first program I ever bought was Tornado Notes (now Info Select). I believe it was in the 1980s and I have notes going back to at least 1990. I upgraded through v5 and have stuck with v5 since. I've also used Opera since v3 (and am sticking with v11.64).

Shades

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Re: Software longevity
« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2014, 05:35:16 AM »
First, I do acknowledge security risks are introduced with installing old(er) software. However, in the WinAmp v1.91 case, there aren't that many attack vectors as it hardly does anything else than playing MP3's. What is not there...cannot be attacked.

   

40hz

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Re: Software longevity
« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2014, 01:24:13 PM »
First, I do acknowledge security risks are introduced with installing old(er) software. However, in the WinAmp v1.91 case, there aren't that many attack vectors as it hardly does anything else than playing MP3's. What is not there...cannot be attacked.

   

Shades raises an interesting point here. I sometimes suspect the constant upgrade/feature chase is just as big a source of security risk as so-called "outdated" versions of most software. And when some rush-to-get-it-out-new-features-bloated software in turn becomes outdated, the problem only gets further compounded.


TaoPhoenix

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Re: Software longevity
« Reply #19 on: March 08, 2014, 02:01:34 PM »
First, I do acknowledge security risks are introduced with installing old(er) software. However, in the WinAmp v1.91 case, there aren't that many attack vectors as it hardly does anything else than playing MP3's. What is not there...cannot be attacked.

Shades raises an interesting point here. I sometimes suspect the constant upgrade/feature chase is just as big a source of security risk as so-called "outdated" versions of most software. And when some rush-to-get-it-out-new-features-bloated software in turn becomes outdated, the problem only gets further compounded.

This might become one of the discussion themes of the year when official XP support dies in about a month. I am "one of many" who is mostly happy with my current config, but cue the fear when security updates are no longer available!


Innuendo

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Re: Software longevity
« Reply #20 on: March 08, 2014, 02:07:12 PM »
For me it would be Directory Opus, as I used it since my Amiga days. Then again, there isn't that much software that jumped (successfully) from one PC eco-system to another, as Directory Opus did.

I also used Directory Opus on the Amiga....Directory Opus v1! It's not only amazing to me how different it has become since that first version, but also how it has also remained true to its roots.