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Last post Author Topic: nostalgia hour: old software you loved  (Read 19396 times)

iphigenie

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nostalgia hour: old software you loved
« on: March 03, 2007, 04:33:13 AM »
I've just been sorting through old papers and one of the folders had old software licenses, old registration emails... It just got me thinking fondly of some old software I just liked (yes, fondly!), used a lot, lost... and some I still use...

So 3 questions

1) what are the earliest (independent) programs you "registered" - that can be paid registration, email registration, donation, postcard?

2) what are your favorite programs you no longer use?

3) what are the oldest programs you still use?
a) use a new version of / b) still use "as is"
« Last Edit: March 03, 2007, 08:12:26 PM by iphigenie »

nudone

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Re: nostalgia hour: old software you loved
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2007, 04:49:56 AM »
nice questions but i personally can't think of anything old enough for it to be interesting. i look forward to seeing the other replies.

iphigenie

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Re: nostalgia hour: old software you loved
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2007, 04:52:28 AM »
1) earliest software:

I'm not a 100% sure as I was using windows and OS/2 in parallel and it's hard to remember...

* squeaky mouse - navigation helper on windows 3 - moving the mouse cursor to dialog, help with scrolling, help with jumping down lists by typing a letter. Most of these features have now
* windows commander
* postroad mailer (OS/2)
* a fax software
i think i also had quarterdeck dashboard and cleansweep, but they're borderline "shrinkwrap".

The earliest software I remember spending money on was on a much earlier PC still, and it was Borland's turbo pascal. It cost and arm and a leg to me when i was in school and i saved for a long time to buy it (they didnt have academic pricing then) and a 20Mb hard drive. At 14? and I wasnt even that geeky but programming was fun... That was DOS! I'm sure I spent money on some other things too but I only remember that one cause it was so much money.

2) fondly remembered:

* squeaky mouse clearly is one of them, it was so incredibly cute as well as useful. I still have the executable. In my family we still have what we call the "squeaky mouse dance"... moving swiftly on...

* cookie pal would be another, before all browsers accumulated their own cookie management. It could still be useful if it evolved in being a tool where you can manage one blacklist, one whitelist which works in all browsers...

* webgal - a snippets management tool for developers, to store code bits etc. which the developer never moved forward. It was very useful to me, but I just might have been the only one.

I still have the executables for those 3 and everything I ever registered... although maybe not the os/2 ones.

3) oldest programs still in use:

a) I have had these through numerous versions, so the version i use is not old, but the "software relationship" is.

total commander - i'm not sure when i registered it, maybe i should ask. Somewhere around 1994 I think. And I still get upgrades for free! I'd almost feel bad about it, except I had several companies I work with buy 10-25 licenses and currently own 14 licenses on top of that one, so i think that evens it out.

object desktop - i used it under OS/2, around 1996? then when switching to windows I got it to get some of the tools I was familiar with, and I kind of have been renewing ever since. I think at the moment I use very little of it but it goes in phases...

slickedit - i love that editor. I'm stuck at version 6 cause i can't justify the upgrade costs at the moment. I remember discovering it as part of the IBM OS/2 developer connection in 96 or so
« Last Edit: March 03, 2007, 05:46:29 AM by iphigenie »

iphigenie

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Re: nostalgia hour: old software you loved
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2007, 04:55:56 AM »
nice questions but i personally can't think of anything old enough for it to be interesting. i look forward to seeing the other replies.

yes, i guess it depends on age and all. mine aren't very old compared to some people, probably, but seem antique when i realise it has been 12 years or more!
« Last Edit: March 03, 2007, 05:05:50 AM by iphigenie »

app103

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Re: nostalgia hour: old software you loved
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2007, 05:26:14 AM »
First program I ever paid for: McAfee Virus Scan 5 (they wouldn't tell me how to update v4's dats and made me buy v5 to get the info)

Oldest program I no longer use but wish I could: Nuts & Bolts Defragger (from McAfee Office 2000, which came with that Virus Scan v4)

Oldest program I still use...

I thought it was Dupeless 1.2 (1998) but then I remembered this little gem I like to play:

SNAG-0237.png

Keep in mind I didn't get my first PC till 1999.  :-[

iphigenie

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Re: nostalgia hour: old software you loved
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2007, 05:47:14 AM »
I remember nuts and bolts, i had that! I think i got it when i "followed" cleansweep and dashboard to McAfee

Good point, i listed software i have had forever but i use a new version. must dig up what's the oldest one as in age of the version i actually use...
« Last Edit: March 03, 2007, 05:59:29 AM by iphigenie »

Dirhael

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Re: nostalgia hour: old software you loved
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2007, 05:59:13 AM »
Norton Commander & QEMM-386 are two of the first applications that comes to mind on the PC platform. Good times :)

I'm not in the habbit of sticking with outdated applications though, so I can't really think of any really old ones that I still use.

nudone

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Re: nostalgia hour: old software you loved
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2007, 06:09:23 AM »
i remember using quarterdeck dashboard and cleansweep - on windows 3.1 - i think. of course, not using them anymore. they seemed like essential things at the time - so obvious they should have been part of the operating system. ghost was another thing that seemed so obvious microsoft should have included it with windows - i remember using it before norton took it over.

i remember using photoshop 4 for quite a while after version 5 and even 6 came out - pretty dumb but i liked how quickly it loaded in. it's still a pretty good editor i suppose even by todays standards.

i tried to get win95 working on a laptop not long ago as i thought it might be okay for internet use - didn't go very well so used win2k instead. but that would have been the oldest thing i could possibly have been using.

iphigenie

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Re: nostalgia hour: old software you loved
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2007, 06:18:53 AM »
I'm not in the habbit of sticking with outdated applications though, so I can't really think of any really old ones that I still use.

what about apps you followed through many versions and still use after many years, albeit in a new version?

Darwin

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Re: nostalgia hour: old software you loved
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2007, 08:14:18 AM »
I had Windows 3.11 for Workgroups tweaked using the following (still miss that setup, though it's probably like missing high school - if I went back I'd probably hate it!):

FMStepUp
FMToolbar
ToggleMouse
PLUG-IN for Windows
Instant File Access

The only two that still run udner Win2k/XP are FMStepUp/FMTToolbar and ToggleMouse (development only stopped a year or two ago and the one-time payment that I made for a license was good right up to the end), though I no longer use either. I never made the move to Win95 because I had 3.11 setup so nicely. The little notebook saw me through a Master's degree in England, an idle nine month stretch back home in Canada (95/96 - did all my web surfing and e-mailing with it) and only gave up the ghost in South Korea in 1998 when the basement flat I lived in got flooded in the August rains and the powerconverter was immersed. I could have had it repaired (and really wish that I had) for about $45, but I gave it to a school teacher to use in class - complete with five years of work and e-mail still on the harddrive! I'd never do that now and can't think why I did it then.

Oldest software that I use now...Windows XP Pro :)

PS Forgot about an app that used to give me long file name support. It *might* have been built into Plug-in or FMStepUp. No longer remember but it was indispensible. Just went digging and it was actually Instant File Access... Either PlugIn or FMStepUp was reengineered for Win95 (and 98?) but by the time I got to Win98 it had disappeared. I do rembember running a demo of it on a work machine that had Win95 on it...
« Last Edit: March 03, 2007, 12:40:28 PM by Darwin »

dk70

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Re: nostalgia hour: old software you loved
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2007, 09:22:48 AM »
Directory Freedom or DF for Dos and short file names only http://home.comcast....bitmason/dflyer.html In late 80s, early 90s it made Philips XT computer seem responsive. Written in assembler he says - Norton Commander was bloat ;)
« Last Edit: March 03, 2007, 09:26:09 AM by dk70 »

mouser

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Re: nostalgia hour: old software you loved
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2007, 09:29:10 AM »
one word: xywrite

dcm

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Re: nostalgia hour: old software you loved
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2007, 09:42:10 AM »
I started off with the CP/M operating system, and used Wordstar, Supercalc, and dBase.  I upgraded to a PC clone, and copied these data files to my PC.  Through the years I upgraded these DOS based programs, and I continue to use them today.  I can't find better Windows programs which allow me to customize them to the same degree.  (But I need to use Microsoft and Lotus products so that I can talk to people who use them.)

edbro

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Re: nostalgia hour: old software you loved
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2007, 11:58:55 AM »
I started off with the CP/M operating system, and used Wordstar, Supercalc, and dBase.  I upgraded to a PC clone, and copied these data files to my PC.  Through the years I upgraded these DOS based programs, and I continue to use them today.  I can't find better Windows programs which allow me to customize them to the same degree.  (But I need to use Microsoft and Lotus products so that I can talk to people who use them.)
Surely you jest? I had those same CPM programs on my Kaypro II. I still remember most of the Wordstar control codes. But, I can't say that it was more customizable than Word for Windows. With Word you can customize most everything easily through the options or macros. And, for word processing, nothing beats WYSIWYG.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2007, 12:04:18 PM by edbro »

Josh

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Re: nostalgia hour: old software you loved
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2007, 03:36:53 PM »
I have to say, the best word processor for me in the DOS days was ENABLE. Anyone remember this one?

MerleOne

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Re: nostalgia hour: old software you loved
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2007, 05:06:54 PM »
Norton Commander for DOS.  Also the last version of Central Point Software PCTools for Windows 3.1, which had so many powerful features.

Nighted

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Re: nostalgia hour: old software you loved
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2007, 06:04:46 PM »
I used to really love Pagemaker. It was really cool for making forms or tables that I wanted to print out. It disappeared when Windows 95 came along. :(

I think it's the pagemaker that Adobe bought, but Adobe's pagemaker seems nothing like the program I remember.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2007, 06:07:08 PM by Nighted »

Darwin

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Re: nostalgia hour: old software you loved
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2007, 08:47:42 AM »
I completely forgot about Norton Utiliites. I used them on a 286 machine running only Dos on a 40MB harddrive (that harddrive was such a huge leap from having to load all my software up on floppies) in about 1990. Used that setup for three or four years. I can't remember what version of DOS (4 or 5) and I can't remember the version of Norton Utilities. Just remember that I loved it and really missed it when I accidentally wiped my the program disks.

iphigenie

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Re: nostalgia hour: old software you loved
« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2007, 09:13:15 AM »
I had all the floppies for quite a few tools and games until recently. Including some 5" ones - ability office, turbo pascal... threw them all away last summer, together with the zx spectrum and tapes. They live in memory

rjbull

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Re: nostalgia hour: old software you loved
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2007, 11:18:03 AM »
Oldest ones are all DOS:

Newkey - best shareware keyboard macro program for DOS, about 1990.

Early Bird - reminder program for DOS, also about 1990.  Still use it a bit (Y2K-compliant from the start).

QEMM/DESQview - commercial - plus NDOS, best system I ever had.

Blue Wave OLR

GoldED message editor for Fidonet

Visual Display Editor (VDE) - Wordstar-style editor/word processor, still updated, still use it

PC-Write word processor, still use it

XTree Pro, long since abandoned in favour of a succession of Norton Commander clones.

Interesting point.  Newkey, which I registered in 1990, was the first program I registered.  I used it because I wanted to automate things, help certain programs talk to each other, put my own acceptable user interface on the results, and generally put sticking plaster (Band Aids?) over a poor OS that didn't want to be as automated as I wanted, and application programs that didn't work like I wanted either.  Times changed, computers got bigger, programs got more sophisticated.  Multitasking arrived courtesty of DESQview, and Newkey and DV wouldn't play nicely together.  After a bit of searching I found new ways of working, abandoning Newkey with respect and regret.  Later still, Windows arrived and spoiled everything.  The first Windows program I registered, in 2000, was Macro Express.  I used it because I wanted to automate things, help certain programs talk to each other, put my own acceptable user interface on the results, and generally put sticking plaster (Band Aids?) over a poor OS that didn't want to be as automated as I wanted, and application programs that didn't work like I wanted either.  Ten years between registering my first DOS program and my first Windows program, and Microsoft made sooo much progress... 



iphigenie

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Re: nostalgia hour: old software you loved
« Reply #20 on: March 04, 2007, 01:24:00 PM »
That's so true - most of the programs I have registered were utilities of some sort, more than applications that actually do something - and things which i believe should be in the OS.

But in a way MS are doomed if they do, doomed if they don't

If they take some tool or function that many people see as so necessary that they buy/install third party software, and put that in a tool that's part of the OS, they get screaming mobs accusing them of killing an industry etc. It happened when they announced they would add defrag, a firewall, skins... and quite a few other things.

Sometimes they tip toe the line and put a primitively simple version of the tool, sometimes they just leave it be.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2007, 03:55:00 AM by iphigenie »

mrainey

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Re: nostalgia hour: old software you loved
« Reply #21 on: March 04, 2007, 05:44:41 PM »
One program I really loved in my earlier computing years (~1985) was AutoCAD v1.xx.  It ran from two floppies on a Tandy 2000, and came with a great manual that taught me all I needed to know.  AutoCAD helped me earn a living for a number of years.

The Tandy wasn't too shabby either.

AndyM

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Re: nostalgia hour: old software you loved
« Reply #22 on: March 04, 2007, 08:55:01 PM »
HotLine (phonebook, dialer, call log).  Ran it on our 8088 PCs and Compaq Portable, ran it for years under OS/2, and still run it under XP.  It's got to be pushing 20 years now.

And I still run SuperKey in the command window I use for HotLine.  Works better than AutoHotkey in this one situation.  Pretty sure I bought and registered SuperKey a bit before Hotline, so I guess that's my oldest still in use.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2007, 08:58:36 PM by AndyM »

dcm

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Re: nostalgia hour: old software you loved
« Reply #23 on: March 05, 2007, 09:22:38 AM »
edbro, I would like to be able to use macros in MS Word, but I haven't had much luck in replacing my DOS Wordstar macros, which allow me to search a database and merge based on user defined selections.  Maybe I need to learn VBA...

Ruffnekk

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Re: nostalgia hour: old software you loved
« Reply #24 on: March 05, 2007, 09:48:37 AM »
The programs that come to my mind are:

DOS:
- Norton Commander
- BlueWave (BBS Message Reader)
- ARJ Compression
- NE (No Edlin Ever)
- LXPix Image Viewer
- VGA Paint (Image Editor)
- DOSStart
- Directory Freedom
- QuickBasic
- IBM DOS

WIN 3.x:
- Netscape Navigator
- mIRC
- Paint Shop Pro
- Visual Basic 1 & 2
- PC Tools (my absolute favourite software at the time)

I don't have any of these anymore, so I can't tell you any version numbers. I must've used many more apps, but these I remember now...