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Software longevity

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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.

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.

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." 

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.  :)

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  ;)


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