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What Early Software was Influential? | 141 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
What Early Software was Influential?
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, January 27 2013 @ 04:17 PM EST
For me it's the one mentioned by Doc Searles in the first comment
to the article: MacDraw - vector graphics about fifteen years before
the term became fashionable; layers; I'm still looking for a replacement
that's as simple and powerful.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

What Early Software was Influential?
Authored by: UncleVom on Sunday, January 27 2013 @ 09:03 PM EST
For me from an office environment perspective.
The obvious Lotus 123 and another that was targeted at business rather than
consumers the word processor Multimate.

Multimate died with the transition to the GUI environment, but in its time set a
standard for functioning with alien formats and a wide variety of the then
current impact printers. I was surprised to see it still in use in some law and
accounting offices in the 1990's well beyond its "Best Before" date.

In targeting business Multimate set an interesting precedent and replacing the
stand alone Wang word processor was used as an initial lever.

Ignoring the consumer market and developments there IMO led to its demise. Word
Perfect ate its lunch and finally Microsoft Office flattened them all despite
some serious short comings.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

What Early Software was Influential? - RUNOFF ...
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 28 2013 @ 05:36 AM EST

My candidate would be "RUNOFF" from CTSS. This text formatting tool has to be the record holder in longevity and porting for the word processing field. I've personally used its descendants on GCOS/TSS (same name, Honeywell systems) and MS-DOS (a package called Perfect Writer). Versions are still available on *nix systems under the names "nroff" (MAN pages), "troff", and "groff" (GNU).

"roff"  (Wikipedia article, pivot point in the family tree)

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

What Early Software was Influential?
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 28 2013 @ 07:57 AM EST

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

What Early Software was Influential?
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 28 2013 @ 02:27 PM EST
When I started using the "IBM PC-Compatible" platform in
1989, there seemed to be a de facto "office suite" standard
that seemed to be on nearly every machine encountered,
namely Word Perfect, Lotus 1-2-3, and dBase III. The other
quite popular word processor was WordStar. Microsoft Word
existed at the time, and strangely enough was seen as the
cool, hip, "word processor for the rest of us".

Much as I shudder to admit it, I recall the most
revolutionary program to be Windows 3.1. Businesses had
previously put huge amounts of money into DOS-based desktops
but users were very envious of the Mac GUI. Note that at the
time, a typical PC cost around $3K for the bare machine,
plus about $500 for each application (all in 1989 dollars).
Windows was promoted (and received) as a way to keep using
existing software on a platform that was "just like a Mac".
Windows 3.0 was widely sold as a user-installed upgrade, and
the DOS machines at the time were touted as "ready for
Windows" if the specs were high enough. However, Windows
3.0 was horribly unstable. With 3.1, the most egregious
instabilities were fixed, and more importantly OEMs started
preloading Windows on essentially all newly sold computers.
This, together with app bundling to form MS Office, locked
MS into years if not decades of obscene profitability.

Windows 3.1 was horribly clumsy to use (made a bit more
tolerable with the Norton Desktop shell), but from a market
domination standpoint I think it was the most successful
piece of software of all time. MS proved that even a
steaming pile of waste can be immensely profitable if market
forces can be made to align in one's favor.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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