Six Clicks: Dead software we loved (Gallery)

Six Clicks: Dead software we loved (Gallery)

Summary: I come not to praise these programs, but to bury them. And, boy, from the smell of some of these -- they really need to be buried!


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  • Lived free and died hard

    I wish to complain about this Norweigan XP what I purchased not five years ago from this very Website.

    What's wrong?

    What's wrong! E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace! E's kicked the bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile!! THIS IS AN EX-OPERATING SYSTEM!!

    Seriously, people (and with apologies to Monty Python and their Dead Parrot), I know 37 percent of you who are now using XP plan to keep using it. I also know some of you are planning on how to keep using XP "safely," even though Microsoft is no longer supporting it.

    Stop. XP is dead. Yes, like a zombie, you could keep it going but every day you do you're just asking for more trouble. You have watched The Walking Dead right?

    Enough of hanging on to the past! Move to Windows 7, try a Mac, check out a Chromebook, heck follow me over to Linux Mint. Do anything except stick with XP!

  • There no Word to describe it

    You know what other wildly popular program is now pushing up the daisies? Office 2003. I understand how you still want to use. I really do. You've used it for ages, you hated the newer ribbon interface, and—darn it! — it just works.

    All that said, here's the problem: Hackers are now much more likely to come at you through old applications than they are through operating systems these days. () That means you can expect to see Office 2003 specific malware-infected Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint Presentations anytime now.

    If you love the look and feel of Office 2003, I suggest you give the free LibreOffice a try. It looks and feels a lot like Office 2003 and the bad macros and the like that would zap Office 2003 will bounce off it.

Topics: Tapping M2M: The Internet of Things, Big Data, Enterprise Software, Operating Systems, Software

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  • Windows XP

    I have a terrible feeling Windows XP wont hit 5% until 2020, which is a very scary thought. By 2020 Windows XP will be 19 year old software. Microsoft needs to step up their marketing to tell people the dangers of using a OS with no security patches or fixes.
    Pollo Pazzo
    • No, fear mongering will not do the trick

      What is clearly needed is a return to something familiar, and useful without invoking the public ire. If that means allowing the sale of Windows 7 for another 5 years, while the designers pull their collective heads out, then so be it.
      • Constant GUI changes

        At least XP gave you the option of the classic interface.
        Ever since it's been a constant re-learning experience with familiar settings & their locations re-named, dumbed down & hidden ever deaper in an increasing number of sub menus.
        Why don't they sell upgrades of Windows that retain the option of a familiar interface?
        First time I ran W8 I had to Google to find it's shutdown location.

        Have since wiped W8 & switched to dual-boot Min/tXP on all our computers. Mint for online, XP off-line for our older outdated software in a familiar environment with far fewer hassles.
    • Why should they?

      They've supported it for 12 years, longer than most companies support software. They've done enough hand-holding.

      At this point, businesses should have migrated to another OS, and unless they have a major porn and/or pirating addiction, normal users shouldn't have any major issues with malware.

      People will move on when their machines die, which based on XP's release date, shouldn't take too long.

      Offline systems should be fine, however.
      • But this is still an artificial deadline

        MS could still support XP economically; it has the userbase and the fees wouldn't have to be very high (a few dollars a year).
        John L. Ries
        • Re: MS could still support XP economically....

          Same applies Apple could still support Snow Leopard which is superior to Mavericks in many ways.

          Snow Leopard is the purist form of OS X with a significant user base but Apple have still withdrawn support for a release from 2009.

          So I would say Microsoft owe nothing to the XP user.
          • Ries is right, 5735guy

            Ries didn't propose free support. He proposed (if I read him rightly), expanding the already-in-place MSFT model of offering paid support, to the whole XP audience. That would make the cost far cheaper, would make MSFT money, and would make it a hero.

            MSFT created this problem, by making its later OS iterations, dysfunctional. They change the INTERFACE in bad ways, resulting in so much cost to migrate, that people don't do it. They change the OS to eliminate backwards-compatibility, again adding to the cost, time, hassle of migrating. All this could have been avoided, had MSFT done the new OS rightly, in the first place: allowing backwards-compatibility, and NOT changing the interface; or, at least providing a way to preserve the old interface, as HAD BEEN their policy (you could keep/get back the classic interface from Win95 forward, all the way through Win7).

            So it is MSFT's fault, but at the same time, it's not fair that continued support, or any of the security patches even on current OS versions, be free. All Ries proposed, was for PAID SUPPORT to continue, given the disastrous changes in the later OSes, which MSFT imposed on everyone. That's only fair.

            MSFT by contrast, is made up seed-pod people, who won't admit their mistakes and fix them.
          • I didn't say otherwise

            Please don't accuse me of holding double standards I don't.
            John L. Ries
          • And...

            ...if Apple thinks it can make money selling support for old versions of OSX, then why not? To its credit, it doesn't push upgrades through guilt trips or progress for its own sake propaganda as MS seems to, but rather offers them on the merits (and OSX upgrades are a lot cheaper than Windows ones).

            We don't expect that OS vendors will support old versions forever, but the old line computer manufacturers supported them for *very* long time, for a substantial fee, of course. I think that's the example MS and Apple should be following; they don't have to charge as much, and shouldn't; but the decision of how long support should last and what it should cost should be a purely economic decision, completely divorced from the upgrade cycle (effectively, let the market decide when support should be terminated). All commercial software developers should sell upgrades as best they can, but the decision of when and if to buy is the customer's to make, not the vendor's to dictate. And in the end, I think that respecting the customer's right to make his own purchasing decisions without pressure for the vendor is at least good PR (call it CRM) and may even be more profitable than what has become the conventional approach.
            John L. Ries
          • Apple lets their old releases rot to the core

            No support? Sure, use your old pieces of consumer electronics. It's not their responsibility when they get hacked anyway. Just move up to the latest iGizmo.
    • Why?

      What's a big deal? I am still using DOS 6.22 and Windows NT 4.0

      Not to mention my Amiga 4000 ....
      • Don't forget to clean the heads

        regularly on the cassette recorder you use with your TRS-80!
        • TRS-80

          Z80 coding on TRS-80 got me a job and more way back in 1978 - still has pride of place in my collection!
          Dafydd Gibbon
  • UNIX is still kicking

    BSD is genetic UNIX, as is MacOS X, which is BSD-based. And it appears that there are still people out there who use Solaris (a System V derivative), but there's no question that Linux is now the second most popular UNIX family member after OSX (and the most popular on the server side) and proprietary UNIX's other than OSX are fading fast. It didn't have to be that way, but UNIX vendors got fat and lazy; and UNIX systems were hideously overpriced because they could be.

    The biggest part of the problem was that for many years, UNIX was treated as a cash cow even though it was an open secret that much if not most of what came with the typical UNIX system was derived from open source, and most of the rest was merely maintained, not really developed. GNU came along and lo and behold, many of the GNU utilities were superior to their commercial UNIX counterparts (and still are). Then Linux came into its own and was not only dirt cheap compared to commercial UNIX, but the better Linux distros were of comparable quality to the commercial UNIX systems. What happened next could have been predicted by any competent economist.

    I still maintain the UNIX ports of my employer's software (6 different flavors), but the vast majority of our UNIX customers are now running Linux. And I still have a soft spot for the OSF/1|Digital UNIX|Tru64 I learned on, may it rest in peace.
    John L. Ries
    • Sad for BSD but it is true no one seems to want it anymore

      As for Apple they don't seem to give a flying f about BSD they have their own kernel (Darwin)!
      • T0rpid: "Sad for BSD but it is true no one seems to want it anymore"

        Sony used FreeBSD to create PlayStation 4. And the various BSD projects seem to be rolling merrily along, although OpenBSD did have a significant funding issue some months ago. Which, fortunately, was resolved.

        PC-BSD, a desktop-oriented operating system based on FreeBSD, might also be worth installing on one's Windows XP PC for those interested in dual-booting and continuing to use Windows XP apps (offline).

        P.S. Just because Steven rarely writes about BSD doesn't mean that "no one seems to want it anymore".
        Rabid Howler Monkey
        • I was guessing you might say something

          Enjoy your BSD. I'm likely to take another look at it myself once things quiet down a bit.
          John L. Ries
        • BSD vs Linux

          From the reviews on my impression is BSD has some rough edges that make it more difficult to use on desktop directly. However, the reviews do point out that BSD underneath the GUI is actually very solid.
          • Linux_Lurker: "BSD has some rough edges"

            Both FreeBSD and OpenBSD are CLI-intensive and, therefore, I would not recommend either for *Nix newbies. PC-BSD has a lot less "rough edges" than both FreeBSD and OpenBSD for desktop use.

            Interestingly, DistroWatch does not mention the Debian Project's Gnu/kFreeBSD port which was experimental in Debian Squeeze, but is now stable in Debian Wheezy. I like Debian's apt package management system in Gnu/kFreeBSD much more than FreeBSD, PC-BSD and Open-BSD package management systems. And PC-BSD's PBIs are much more friendly than are FreeBSD ports and OpenBSD (PBIs are designed to be analogous to Microsoft's MSIs).

            P.S. Does Play Station 4 have "rough edges"?
            Rabid Howler Monkey
  • UNIX didn't die it evolved

    PCs took market share from UNIX because it ran on expensive hardware. In the nineties you had the choice of powerful workstations, costing thousands vs. weak, but affordable PC, costing hundreds. UNIX systems were FAR more powerful (I was running on an SGI at the time). PCs being cheap, the market economics were the engine that pushed the advancement of the PC hardware, improvements in PC hardware was rewarded with millions of sales. And PCs steadily increased in power until they overtook UNIX systems in computing and graphics power.

    But PCs were extremely unstable and buggy (CHO*M$*UGH), when I transitioned to PC development I was amazed with the low standard of PC quality. But even windows got more stable over time.

    There was never one 'real' UNIX there were always several flavors, each workstation vender had a slightly different version of UNIX. UNIX has changed and evolved and the current popular flavor is LINUX but UNIX didn't die.