Software – Old Software Is Just, Old Software

Remember the good old days when you fired up your PC, all 64K of it? Boy, they sure don’t make them like that anymore, the PCs or the software that ran on them. If you’re attempting to run any of those gems on a turbo 4 gigahertz Windows 2000 or XP model, you’ve got a very long wait before you see anything but a blank screen. But it sure was fun playing with some of those not so great pieces of, well, whatever they were.

Need some reminders?

Why don’t we start with Visicalc for the Apple III? This was basically a Lotus 123 knock off. It ran in DOS, or the DOS equivalent for Apple and did basic spreadsheet functions. It wasn’t too fancy and the only interface you had was your keyboard, so forget about drag and drop or anything like that. The color was a very ugly yellow border on a green background. You could only have one worksheet at a time as there was no windows. This was around 1984.

Then of course you had all the great IBM PC gems like Lotus 123 itself. The look was basically the same as Visicalc, except it did come first. This actually did run in DOS 3.0 when it first came out. Versions ran all the way until DOS 6.0 until they finally came out with Windows 3.1.

In 1985 a company by the name of Aldus came out with a piece of software called PageMaker. It was made for the MAC and was one of the first desktop publishing softwares made. PageMaker actually started a whole desktop publishing craze for the MAC. A couple of years later they did release a version for the IBM series.

Also that year, the C++ programming language came out. This was supposed to be an all purpose language that was more powerful than the BASIC language that came with your PC. C++ was supposed to be for the more “serious” programmer. While it was able to get more into the core of the machine, it still pales in comparison to the languages of today.

We now move on to 1987. That year a guy by the name of William Atkinson came up with a piece of software called HyperCard. This was something that was supposed to make it easier to design in house applications. The program was made interactive instead of language based. Basically, what programmers did was build stacks and links between pages. The software itself was actually given away free with every Apple computer until 1992.

Unlike old movies that just seem to get better with time, old software is just that, old. Almost none of it can be run any longer unless it’s been updated, in which case it’s not old anymore. And the truth is, a lot of the old software of the early 80s and 90s was pretty bad. It just about was able to do what you wanted it to and if you tried to push most of it even a little, it would crash and burn on you.

No, there is no need to keep any of this stuff around any longer.

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