Last week we featured a blog about the much loved Amiga, so today, in another trip down memory lane, we want to reminisce about some of our favorite programs and systems that just don’t exist anymore. At one point in time, we couldn’t imagine an online world without them, but now… they are no more. Some were fun, some were for work, but all hold a place in the technology hall of fame. So without further ado, let’s look at some of those programs and systems that are gone, but never will be forgotten.
These applications were either amazingly helpful, or even apps some of us made our living with. We’d never have expected way back when that these apps would not be around forever.
1) Microsoft Encarta
Before there was Wikipedia, there was Microsoft Encarta. I like to compare the Wikipedia to Encarta relationship like the Internet to the Encyclopedia Britannica… a quaint anachronism of knowledge from an ancient time.
2) Microsoft FrontPage
One of the first commercial website development packages. There’s still a ton of websites online that were built in FrontPage but with the advent of Dreamweaver and later services like WordPress FrontPage is no more.
Even older than FrontPage, HoTMetaL was considered by many to be the first serious website development tool. Amateurs tooled around in text editors, and serious webmasters used HoTMetaL.
4) Lotus Symphony
The first serious office suite, Lotus Symphony included word processing, spreadsheets, databases, charts, and even a communications package. It was the serious package, while Microsoft Works was the wannabe.
Sure, games aren’t exactly productive, but all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, and we all know how that worked out. Games have and will continue to be a critically important part of our digital lives. Some of these have been reinvisioned/rebooted for modern systems, but they are about as satisfying as the third reboot of “The Hulk.” We miss the original versions and have been known to spin up a VM or two just to have the real experience.
5) Duke Nukem 3D
Hail to the King, baby! The Duke was and still is the best of the first person shooters, if for no other reason than all the mirror cuts. The newest chapter in the Duke Nukem series just doesn’t do it for me, at least not like Duke Nukem 3D did.
Admit it, you can still hear the sounds of the doors opening and closing, and that half-grunt, half-click sound of approaching demons. And you miss it! IDKFA anyone?
7) Star Wars Pod Racer
I think I was maybe 30 seconds into the Pod Racer scene in the theatre when I realized the whole purpose of that scene was to become a video game. I didn’t like the move, but I loved the video game, and still have a copy that runs okay on a legacy OS I keep on an old netbook just for this one game. More on that below.
8) Microsoft Entertainment Pack
TaiPei, Pipe Dream, Rodent’s Revenge, SkiFree, Chip’s Challenge… all of these and more were part of the collection of 16bit games that came in the various iterations of Microsoft’s Entertainment Pack. I think I lost a measurable percentage of my life trying to avoid the Yeti as I skied downhill.
9) Dr. Floyd’s Desktop Toys
One of the all-time best game collections, Dr. Floyd’s Desktop Toys included Wallop, Kye, SnarkHunt, and the popular Cryptograms. The sound effects were so funny and unique that I can still hear “YOU’RE FIRED!” in my head, and I don’t mean the Donald Trump or the Lord Sugar version, depending on which side of the Atlantic you find yourself in.
Okay, while strictly speaking, Napster was not a game, who doesn’t think back fondly and remember being able to grab any song you want as an MP3 file, you know, back before it sank in that it was copyright theft, and that was, you know, bad.
Operating Systems and Browsers
Some of these operating systems are still running, though they are way past their end of life and should be put down for the good of all. Still, where would we be today without some of these gems?
Novell had what was arguably the best file and print server system ever, and had directory services long before Active Directory was a thing. Yet today, most people who hold a CNE don’t even list it on their resume (I have two MCNEs, and don’t even talk about it, as I don’t want to have to support something that has been dead for years!). Admit it, you still smile when you think about IPX/SPX.
12) XP and IE8
♫let it go, let it go, let it go-oh-oh! ♬ Yes, I miss it too, and I even keep an old netbook running it just so I can play Pod Racer (don’t judge), but in the enterprise, or even connected to the Internet, XP is dead and should be buried. The same goes for IE8, even though there are just too many lines of business apps out there that won’t work on any other browser. Companies need to upgrade this dinosaur, and if that means they need to upgrade old apps, then that is what they need to do.
13) Netscape Navigator
A victim of the browser wars, the one-time dominant web browser is now just a fond memory. Firefox might be the descendant, but it’s just not the same.
So, with this fun jaunt down memory lane, if there is one thing I know, it’s that you have some fond faves that I missed or even forgot. So leave a comment down below and let us know what you miss most from “the good old days.”