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Old December 26th, 2012, 04:00 PM   #51 (permalink)
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Netscape navigator...
When first released it was actually pretty awesome, having grown out of the NCSA Mosiac it was able to do things that no other browsers could manage for a couple of years, plus the Mozilla Firefox project owes it's lineage to it.
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Old December 26th, 2012, 04:04 PM   #52 (permalink)
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i remember Microsofts poor excuse for photo editing software they called Picture It! took forever to install and it did nothing but crop. O and Works sucked major too imo.
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Old December 27th, 2012, 07:39 PM   #53 (permalink)
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Netscape was ok in version 4.0 and up, but 2.x and such always caused Windows 3.1 to crash--anytime. loading java, crashed. loading flash (well macromedia shockwave player which was flash then!), crash. too many animated GIFs? crash!

speaking of modem noise, no matter what you couldn't mute the problem of your mother coming home (or wife depending on how old you are!), picking up the phone and going deaf.

usually for me it was like this:

AHH! NICK!! ARE YOU ONLINE AGAIN!?

MOM!

**click!** GOODBYE![disconnected from AOL]

one of the funniest error messages in Windows was 'Error: The Operation Completed Successfully' which would come up most when the printer driver got unresponsive for a moment before it sent commands to the printer.

Another was the self-contradicting error from Adobe DreamWeaver "Error: No Error Occurred"

then, Windows XP: "An Error occurred during the creation of the error report" and "An error occurred but the message cannot be displayed due to another error"
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Old December 27th, 2012, 09:32 PM   #54 (permalink)
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Error: Keyboard not connected, press F1 to continue.
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Old December 27th, 2012, 10:50 PM   #55 (permalink)
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Windows 95: [on bootup] "Windows has detected an undetectable error" (happened when i had a problem with installing a 56K Modem driver)

Xenix: Bugchk: Sckmud
"Shut her down Scotty, she's sucking mud again!"

Unix/Linux: lp0 on fire
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Old December 28th, 2012, 02:34 AM   #56 (permalink)
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Be careful knocking Netscape since it used the Mozilla engine like our beloved Firefox is built upon!
Thanks for making me feel old!

Actually the Mozilla project and the Gecko rendering engine are relatively new replacements that arose from the ashes of the old Netscape Navigator / Communicator products. (Firefox's original name was "Phoenix", then "Firebird", both of which were already copyrighted!) And while the original Netscape was bad, it was a whole lot better than the old UIUC Mosaic browser that was once the only graphical web browser available at one time!

Many years ago we used to FTP the latest version of Netscape Navigator from ftp.netscape.com, which was the only way to get it for free. Updates were so frequent that I used the DOS (or Linux) command line FTP program, and could type the long directory path by memory. I would sometimes find the latest release by guessing the dot-version number. Back then men were men...

Anybody remember the animated easter egg that came up when entering about:mozilla into the SCO OpenServer edition of Netscape Navigator?
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Old December 28th, 2012, 03:01 AM   #57 (permalink)
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Novell Netware, back in the day this was pretty much the only way of networking. Their own buggy, crippled, proprietary version of DOS as a bootloader. It could easily take an hour to network two PC's, imagine 200. About the only market leader that I thank Micro$oft for killing.
Actually, DR-DOS was a pretty well respected competitor to MS-DOS. DR-DOS and others failed in the marketplace because of Microsoft's anti-competitive business practices. The only thing wrong with the Novell bootloader version was that it had no utilities included. It worked just fine for its intended purpose, though. And you could substitute any PC-DOS compatible product if you wished. I used to use the remnants of MS-DOS that was included in Windows 95B on my NetWare servers until late-night "911" calls from panicked night shift techs (they got scared when the "Windows 95" logo briefly flickered on-screen) made it counterproductive.

As a server OS, NetWare was very stable and capable when configured properly, no mean feat for a cooperative multitasking OS! Later versions even had a nice GUI for all the paper CNAs with only mouse hands. NetWare was a very good and rewarding OS for the competent NetWare administrator. The fact that Novell was a pioneer in the LAN industry is to their credit IMO.
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Old December 28th, 2012, 03:06 AM   #58 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by nickdalzell View Post
Windows 95: [on bootup] "Windows has detected an undetectable error" (happened when i had a problem with installing a 56K Modem driver)

Xenix: Bugchk: Sckmud
"Shut her down Scotty, she's sucking mud again!"

Unix/Linux: lp0 on fire
My favorite:

"You don't exist. Go away!"
From early Linux distributions, later copied in OpenSSH.
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Old December 28th, 2012, 03:18 AM   #59 (permalink)
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EDIT: I didn't notice Microsoft Bob when I looked. Those who disrespect Windows 95/98 should try Bob for a day!

After beta testing the then-new pre-Windows 95 desktop as a shell replacement on Windows NT 3.51, I found the release version of Windows 95 to be quite nice, when configured properly, of course. My favorite Windows 95 release was the one on the Windows NT 4.0 Server CD.

Am I the only one here who made Windows boot discs from the ISO image of the Windows 95 CD and the image of the boot floppy?

Back when we were running Windows 3.1(1) on top of MS-DOS, I edited COMMAND.COM so it said "MS-DOG" on bootup. Nobody noticed...except my boss! He loved it...
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Old December 28th, 2012, 03:23 AM   #60 (permalink)
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Error: Keyboard not connected, press F1 to continue.
Before the PS/2 keyboard became the norm, it was possible to plug in the full-size DIN plug into a PC / XT / AT computer and keep on going. Nobody has ever explained to me why the PS/2 interface required a reboot.

Now we've come full circle. Every USB keyboard that I've used can be unplugged and reconnected without any dire consequences.
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Old December 28th, 2012, 03:35 AM   #61 (permalink)
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Before the PS/2 keyboard became the norm, it was possible to plug in the full-size DIN plug into a PC / XT / AT computer and keep on going. Nobody has ever explained to me why the PS/2 interface required a reboot.

Now we've come full circle. Every USB keyboard that I've used can be unplugged and reconnected without any dire consequences.
It's because of the lack of interrupts available at the time, Windows wouldn't load the PS/2 drivers unless the hardware was detected at boot.
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Old December 28th, 2012, 04:55 AM   #62 (permalink)
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It's because of the lack of interrupts available at the time, Windows wouldn't load the PS/2 drivers unless the hardware was detected at boot.
Thanks, but I'm afraid that doesn't help much. The keyboard interrupt, IRQ1, is part of the "original eight" that every PC, including those prior to the AT, had. Also, the big DIN keyboard connectors were common on generic PC motherboards well into the '90s and up to Pentium processors. The "Press F1" message occurred during POST, which is well before Windows comes into play.

During the mid-'90s there was an overlap period when adapters were used to use big-DIN keyboards with little-DIN motherboards and vice versa. One thing I remember is that using a "PS/2" keyboard on a big-DIN PC using an adapter worked past F1, but using an older keyboard on a little-DIN motherboard usually would not enable the keyboard and needed a reboot before the keyboard would function. So the problem seems to lie on the motherboards.

Thanks for your help, but it still is a mystery to me.
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Old December 28th, 2012, 08:12 AM   #63 (permalink)
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I think I have mentioned MS Bob. I saw it once and wondered just who MS thought their customers were. I wouldn't buy it. Annoyances.org told you how to get rid of the junk.

They left the freaking characters all over. "Kill Clippie" and those damn help avatars are in XP.
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Old December 28th, 2012, 01:40 PM   #64 (permalink)
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Microsoft Bob was mentioned in my first post on page one, after BonziBuddy

In Bob the animated cartoon animals were in Actor format just like Clippy and his little friends were in Office 97. In Office 2K they were upgraded to Microsoft Agent graphics like Bonzi was. One could say Bob was a testing phase for all of it.

Packard Bell also had a desktop UI similar but less functional than Bob did. It was called Packard Bell Navigator
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Old December 28th, 2012, 02:31 PM   #65 (permalink)
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Gingerbread
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Old December 28th, 2012, 02:45 PM   #66 (permalink)
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Gingerbread
Hey some of us still use this out dated POS (piece of software )
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Old December 28th, 2012, 03:27 PM   #67 (permalink)
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Gingerbread
But on the other hand, an almost universal root exploit, Gingerbreak.
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Old December 28th, 2012, 07:36 PM   #68 (permalink)
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Any version prior to it maybe. Cupcake, donut, eclair, omg don't remind me of Android's darker days!
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Old December 28th, 2012, 08:09 PM   #69 (permalink)
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God I remember using fryo. It was a disaster. What were Google thinking. But look how far it has come.
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Old December 28th, 2012, 08:24 PM   #70 (permalink)
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God I remember using fryo. It was a disaster. What were Google thinking. But look how far it has come.
Sadly, I remember looking forward to FroYo, the Intercept shipped with Eclair.
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Old December 28th, 2012, 08:34 PM   #71 (permalink)
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Froyo was what Eclair should have been. Eclair was an unstable, slow, laggy little POS
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Old December 29th, 2012, 01:56 AM   #72 (permalink)
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Microsoft Bob was mentioned in my first post on page one, after BonziBuddy
I stand corrected! Sorry I missed that.

Quote:
In Bob the animated cartoon animals were in Actor format just like Clippy and his little friends were in Office 97. In Office 2K they were upgraded to Microsoft Agent graphics like Bonzi was. One could say Bob was a testing phase for all of it.
The horror! The horror!

I had just about erased all memory of those nasty little CPU cycle-hogging monsters from my mind...
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Old December 29th, 2012, 03:22 AM   #73 (permalink)
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dotnet when it first arrived was horrible. I couldn't convert my vb 6 over to the dotnet framework. It was one of the biggest deterrents I had with programming in visual studio. I stayed with vb 6 for a while but eventually gave up on Microsoft and its proprietary systems.
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Old December 29th, 2012, 03:59 AM   #74 (permalink)
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dotnet when it first arrived was horrible. I couldn't convert my vb 6 over to the dotnet framework. It was one of the biggest deterrents I had with programming in visual studio. I stayed with vb 6 for a while but eventually gave up on Microsoft and its proprietary systems.
More like dotNOT. Dump the runtime DLL! PowerBASIC to the rescue!
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Old December 30th, 2012, 12:41 AM   #75 (permalink)
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i remember uninstalling or deleting any reference to 'dotnet' on Windows 98 thinking it was a domain name creation tool or worse, malware (the dot.net virus was common then) and only recently have i understood what it really was!
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 07:35 AM   #76 (permalink)
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old memories of past computing mistakes we all can look back upon and laugh. here's the Not Top Three from my experience:



BonziBuddy, that little purple gorilla that harbored a nasty little Trojan horse and changed your search provider, told bad jokes, and reminded everyone of another failing, Microsoft Office 97's Clippy the Office Assistant, both which used Microsoft Agent (Actor in older builds). remnants of Microsoft Bob resurfacing as well as failing again



Microsoft Bob, a nice try with making a simple yet dumbed down user interface for days when folks were shy about using a computer (my how times have changed!). if you look closely, Fido, the little dog Assistant in this screencap looks an awful lot like the little search companion in Windows XP. also a very old preview of another future annoyance found in Office 97



America Online, or should I say OFF line, or AOHell, as this became our de-facto service when Prodigy went belly up. although it was my first foray into chat and IM online, then a cool feature, the service got so bogged down that for at least a year, every user got busy signals or disconnected after a few minutes. cancelling was a royal PITA, and I am not sure how much environmental damage was caused by their often discarded discs sent in almost any mailing.

HEY HEY HEY I liked aol...well, when I was younger those chat rooms was the itch
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 12:56 PM   #77 (permalink)
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AOL got me into online chat (it was all new then!) but when it started kicking me off and having tons of busy signals trying to get back in, when it got so overloaded and you COULDN'T CANCEL AND GO TO ANOTHER ISP BECAUSE THEIR SUPPORT WOULDN'T HEAR ANY OF IT! that was when it became AOHell.

five years after i was stuck with AOL when others had broadband via our cable provider, 1) because mom paid for it, and wouldn't pay more than $19 for internet monthly, 2) AOL was 'eaiser' (she never had to be online other than to check her email, i was constantly online and it always kicked me off---all the time. AOL had crippled email, watered down chat that was often trolled, horrid message boards, and a watered down web browser that didn't support any plugins (not even animated GIFs). i had to use a winsock.dll hack to get IE or Netscape to work at the time, but that was patched when AOL had timers that kicked you offline if you were not interacting with THEIR software for like ten minutes, even though i was on the 'unlimited' plan.

i do believe when she finally did adopt our cable's internet provider she started appreciating having hearing in both ears as now the modem squall no longer hits her when picking up the phone!

I remember well the Netscape vs. IE wars; a shame IE won.
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Old January 6th, 2013, 06:05 PM   #78 (permalink)
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Lotus Notes gets my vote. Especially when used as the sole means of communication/organisation within a national enterprise of several tens of thousands of users using an ISDN backbone.

Special mention must go to the wannabe developer in the aforementioned organisation, who thought a good way to access a large SQL database would be via a home-brewed Visual Basic app running in Internet Exploder. Yeah, thanks for that stroke of genius....

Btw, I always had my modem "squawk" enabled; my home BBS had a round-robin pool of sixteen, so the trick was to rapidly dial/redial until you recognised a USR Courier rather than a Sportster. Those early 14.4kbps modems cost a fortune and we were determined to get the most out of them!
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Old January 6th, 2013, 06:14 PM   #79 (permalink)
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It may be hardware and not software but remember Intel Overdrive CPUs? you know, take any old 486, place the 'Overdrive' into it, and voila, Pentium? or sort of, as it didn't show up as a Pentium in most software requiring a Pentium unit, it would often crash saying something like "sorry, this software must run on a Pentium processor, and you're running a 486DX 100MHz processor, installer will now exit"
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Old January 7th, 2013, 05:18 PM   #80 (permalink)
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I do agree, AOL was pretty bad but it was also my very first internet provider. And I feel MSN is a pretty bad chat client too vs AIM which came out around the same time. Funny how AOL wasn't as good but their chat client was a hit.
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Old January 7th, 2013, 06:20 PM   #81 (permalink)
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Prodigy Service, long before AOL (ran in DOS) started the online walled garden that AOL took after, and i do remember it being a bit iffy myself. at the time there was no web browser, you could only send or receive E-Mail from people using the same service, your name was a number, and instead of AOL Keywords you had JUMPwords, the same thing really. it was good only for email, weather, stocks, some minimalist text-adventure RPGs, some online multiplayer, dictionaries, wiki-style encyclopedias, and message boards, their term for forums.

that last one was what started a debate on what truly killed Prodigy, AOL? or their overzealous attempt at censorship? to combat trolling and abuse, and to keep folks (rather kids) safe online, they implemented a list of 'bad words' that would automatically ban or issue infractions (which could lead to an eventual ban) for merely posting any comment, thread, or link with said word. no moderator had to see it, the service sent the infractions out automatically. one such instance of the filter going too far was on a wildlife forum, posting any topic about 'beavers' would get you in trouble. even if you were intending the name of the animal rather than the slang word. same thing with 'Roosevelt Dime' as the name 'Roosevelt' was, to this day i still cannot understand why, considered off limits. popular names, profanity, and words construed as dirty slang (aka, 69, beaver, etc) would get you banned.

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Old January 8th, 2013, 06:52 AM   #82 (permalink)
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How about WordPerfect for Windows? What a pain!
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Old January 8th, 2013, 07:16 AM   #83 (permalink)
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Only to those who fell for MS BS. I've used Wordperfect since DOS.
Any company that doesn't include something as stupid as Clippie is all right with me.
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Old January 8th, 2013, 07:39 AM   #84 (permalink)
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I remember WordPerfect for DOS being slow and cumbersome compared to WordStar on CP/M.

Didn't find DOS tolerable until 3.2 and even then preferred DR-DOS.
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Old January 8th, 2013, 05:26 PM   #85 (permalink)
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WP for DOS 6 had a very good GUI. You could really use it for page layout. I must have had 3 or 4 books on desktop publishing with WP.

The last time I saw MS Word on DOS - it was white letters on blue background and a half-a***d menu at the bottom of the page.
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Old January 8th, 2013, 08:44 PM   #86 (permalink)
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Now y'all are making me feel way too young!

I started with MS-DOS 5 (or 6, my memories of DOS are all kinda smooshed together). Whichever environment it was, it was running on a Tandy system with no hard drive.

I have vague memories of using Win3.0/3.1/3.11 on the computer we replaced the tandy with -- mainly memories of using it for a few minutes before one of my parents kicked me off the computer so they could use it, or I'd try to launch Wolf3D, Blake Stone or some other game and Windows would automatically exit to DOS to run it properly.

I think I was....9, maybe 10 years old at the time. I remember being so proud of myself once I'd finally memorized the old SoundBlaster16 IRQ and DMA settings so I could set up DOS games without my Dad's help.
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Old January 9th, 2013, 07:39 AM   #87 (permalink)
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I remember WordPerfect for DOS being slow and cumbersome compared to WordStar on CP/M.
WordStar was only a text editor though. It lacked the layout codes and printer drivers that WordPerfect brought.

I started my IT career working in a DOS/LAN environment, with clients like Knight Ridder and other news agencies located in the National Press Building using XyWrite on MS-DOS 6.xx. From there I went on to work in shops that had a mix of WordPerfect 6 and Word 6 (and beyond). The "copy protection" install disks made WordPerfect a real pain to install and configure. In contrast, MS Office 6.24 (IIRC) was a breeze. When I moved on to working at a law firm, WordPerfect 6.1 and 7 and MS Office 97, WordPerfect caused problems that simply could not be overcome on Windows 95.

A lot of WordPerfect for DOS users simply refused to give it up, and I can see why. One department head who I worked with kept DOS versions of his spreadsheet programs, and constantly complained that Windows-based applications weren't as good. My last big software project was to move a specialized business program that had been written for DOS and BTRIEVE onto a Windows Terminal Server host. The small company had been trying to make a Windows and a "web" version of their flagship program, and kept on failing. Last year I heard that they had finally released a Windows version that worked. To this day my old client keeps my WTS build running in a virtual machine "just in case".
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Old January 9th, 2013, 09:27 AM   #88 (permalink)
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WordStar had layout codes to beat the band and anything that wasn't supported in the printer drivers could be easily embedded. Not a single printing feature was out of reach with any printer of the day.

I published scientific papers, with properly formatted equations, using WordStar.

I also recall that the people telling me back then what WordStar couldn't do were also the people who were using pirated copies of it, without benefit of documentation.

One of the myths was that it saved ASCII files only. Like anything else, you had to force that sort of save.

What it was and what it was thought to be once its piracy became popular were two different things.

I was constantly fixing WordPerfect documents while waiting for it to catch up with features, all the while hearing about great it was. Yeah. No.

WordPerfect is among the software I have hated the most. It did less, it did it slower, it crashed often, it was function key happy rather than mnemonic-based and I was constantly forced to use it because it was so new and great. I learned and used every feature. It was a complete dog and I still hate it for the time I'll never get back that it cost me.
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Old January 9th, 2013, 12:54 PM   #89 (permalink)
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I remember writing COBOL apps in WordStar. I'll absolutely vouch for it's superiority for a long time after Word Perfect came on the scene.
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Old January 9th, 2013, 04:30 PM   #90 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I remember being so proud of myself once I'd finally memorized the old SoundBlaster16 IRQ and DMA settings so I could set up DOS games without my Dad's help.
You can't be that young if you had to endure that torture. Any time you changed hardware it was back to square one!

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Didn't find DOS tolerable until 3.2 and even then preferred DR-DOS.
Oh yes, I have fond memories of EMM386.EXE and its close relation HIMEM.SYS.....

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WP for DOS 6 had a very good GUI
Whereas WP v5.0 for Windows was a car crash of an interface.
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Old January 9th, 2013, 06:37 PM   #91 (permalink)
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I use dos 6 embeded everyday on my prototrak floppy disks FTW!!! (IM SERIOUS BTW)
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Old January 9th, 2013, 07:03 PM   #92 (permalink)
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Mine never crashed. I did newletters and desktop publishing. Word just didn't cut it. Neither did Publisher. I have WP Office 9 around and it hasn't crashed, either. I always do a custom install of most stuff, and don't bother with the extras. I usually strip the crap out of almost every program I can get to. I don't click on anything free, won't use any program that depends on IE to run, have no other MS junk on the computer.
Mostly Adobe.

There was a piece of crap. MS Publisher. No one wanted to deal with that format.

I've actually had the Acer tablet turn itself off more than any computer I've had. The tablet isn't rooted (yet)
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Old January 9th, 2013, 07:06 PM   #93 (permalink)
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Prodigy Service, long before AOL (ran in DOS) started the online walled garden that AOL took after, and i do remember it being a bit iffy myself. at the time there was no web browser, you could only send or receive E-Mail from people using the same service, your name was a number, and instead of AOL Keywords you had JUMPwords, the same thing really. it was good only for email, weather, stocks, some minimalist text-adventure RPGs, some online multiplayer, dictionaries, wiki-style encyclopedias, and message boards, their term for forums.

that last one was what started a debate on what truly killed Prodigy, AOL? or their overzealous attempt at censorship? to combat trolling and abuse, and to keep folks (rather kids) safe online, they implemented a list of 'bad words' that would automatically ban or issue infractions (which could lead to an eventual ban) for merely posting any comment, thread, or link with said word. no moderator had to see it, the service sent the infractions out automatically. one such instance of the filter going too far was on a wildlife forum, posting any topic about 'beavers' would get you in trouble. even if you were intending the name of the animal rather than the slang word. same thing with 'Roosevelt Dime' as the name 'Roosevelt' was, to this day i still cannot understand why, considered off limits. popular names, profanity, and words construed as dirty slang (aka, 69, beaver, etc) would get you banned.

I totally remember Prodigy! My buddy and I used that in middle school to download games...with dial-up of course. We would wait hours for games to finish downloading, half the time the games weren't even worth it. Good times.
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Old January 10th, 2013, 05:49 AM   #94 (permalink)
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I remember writing COBOL apps in WordStar. I'll absolutely vouch for it's superiority for a long time after Word Perfect came on the scene.
That reminds me of my love/hate relationship with Stardock Object Editor.

Back when I was coding in several proprietary languages and doing system administration that made having a text editor with the ability to search and replace non-printing characters that I could copy and paste into the dialog a really helpful tool. After lots of searching, I found that Object editor was the best tool (that I knew of) for the job. It could handle non-printing characters with aplomb, and could be set up to do auto-indentation, text highlighting and other programmer's editor things with text files.

The problem was that it was only available as a minor part of Object Desktop, and couldn't be broken out (at least not easily) as a separate app. I would have paid big money to have this as a stand-alone application. The subscription and installer program made what could have been a nice, elegant editor a pain to keep working when I needed it.
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Old January 10th, 2013, 05:58 AM   #95 (permalink)
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Windows ME. That dog of an OS was so unstable, I had to do a clean reinstall twice a year to get it back to working order. Good riddance.
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Old January 10th, 2013, 06:01 AM   #96 (permalink)
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There's an old joke about what you get if you put Windows CE, ME and NT together but I can't bring myself to spell out the punchline.
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Old January 10th, 2013, 08:54 AM   #97 (permalink)
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Wasn't Windows 2K built on NT? I liked 2K. Took one look at ME on a friend's computer and said NO.
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Old January 10th, 2013, 09:24 AM   #98 (permalink)
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Win2k was very good to me.

Infantile networking setup, and more of the same registry, and a whole lot of network babbling with other machines and vying for WINS supremacy (Win2k liked to believe that other Win2k boxes were liars and didn't have authority to specify that, so a lot of net bandwidth was lost with the arguing back and forth).

NT wasn't terrible for me, I always thought of it as the first working version of Windows, but yeah, 2k, much, much better.
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Old January 10th, 2013, 03:08 PM   #99 (permalink)
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Wasn't Windows 2K built on NT? I liked 2K. Took one look at ME on a friend's computer and said NO.
2K was supposed to be the final merge of Win95/NT but MS realized they weren't there yet, thus the ME (Millenium Edition) disaster. XP turned out to finally get MS to a single OS platform.
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Old January 10th, 2013, 03:25 PM   #100 (permalink)
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Ever run the original XP release on a box with slow enough graphics?

It came up as Win2k, then repainted each Window with the new skin. I'm not talking that it came up as the classic style - it came up as Win2k and then did a paint job, and then filled in the new goodies. That was so hilarious I couldn't even be angy. Setting the view to classic sped up booting by a lot though.

At WinpXP SP2, WinXP existed.

I guess that XP is basically my favorite of the Win breed, it's never really failed me.
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