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Thread: Things (online things/software) that went obsolete in the Internet age.

  1. #1
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    Things (online things/software) that went obsolete in the Internet age.

    ICQ is ALMOST a thing of the past (being replaced by MSN or such); Picasa is not all that commonly used (with comparable things like Flickr, Facebook, etc).
    Can anyone think of more examples?

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    AltaVista, CompuServe, BITnet
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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    Lycos, Hotbot, AOL (insomuch as they wanted to be a separate, parallel internet), all those email based BBS (bulletin board) systems, etc.

    I'm going to be daring with a prognosis, but I think we can wager that online pr0n will be around the longest of all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kleindoofy View Post
    Lycos, Hotbot, AOL (insomuch as they wanted to be a separate, parallel internet), all those email based BBS (bulletin board) systems, etc.

    I'm going to be daring with a prognosis, but I think we can wager that online pr0n will be around the longest of all.
    Since "pr0n" was probably just about the first application of cave painting, the printing press, and the internet, I'd say it'll be in a similar position for whatever replaces the www.

    For defunct services, don't forget Prodigy and GEnie, both of which we once used.

    ETA: And in other areas, the publication of the annual paper phone book used to be a big event at the large company I worked for. It's been a good 10 years now since they had one.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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    What does ETA stand for?

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    ETA = "edited to add." It's often used when someones adds significant material to the reply after posting.

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    Letters.
    Telephone boxes (nearly) And keeping some coins in a seperate pocket "in case you needed to make a call".
    Going to the dump with rubbish from the garage (sell it on eBay)
    Dictionaries (for spellcheck purposes) or Thesauruses
    Soon - newspapers? Records, tapes, CD-ROMs, of music.
    Roadmaps - Satnav
    Film cameras - just before the silver ran out.

    John

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    Sorry #7, I'm not referring to futures or real things; just anything on the Internet that has disappeared.

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    Gopher, WAIS, archie, anonymous ftp (yes, the protocol still exists, and I'm sure it's being used, but it's not longer the great depository of archived information it was) ... usenet is not dead yet (there are still a few ngs I follow, but traffic is way down), but I don't see it lasting the next decade ...
    Geocities (are Angelfire and Tripod still around?), friendster (mostly dead, and myspace is headed that way), napster was dead but the name got re-used

    Nick

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    FidoNet.
    As above, so below

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    Wordperfect, Lotus 1-2-3, VisiCalc, IBM OS2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Wordperfect, Lotus 1-2-3, VisiCalc, IBM OS2
    We can hope those stay dead.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by rommel543 View Post
    We can hope those stay dead.....
    Actually, back when they were competitors, I liked 1-2-3 better than Excel, and Wordperfect was OK in its day.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Theodorakis View Post
    Gopher, WAIS, archie ...
    Wow, I had actually forgotten about those. Stone Age file transfer.

    And, yes, anonymous ftp is still around, but not as it zsed to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Wordperfect, Lotus 1-2-3, VisiCalc, IBM OS2
    Not to mention Ventura Publisher, Picture Publisher, and MS Works. (Was MS Works ever really alive?)

    I still use WordPerfect 5.0 (DOS) occasionally when converting certain documents to TeX. It has one or two functions that make life easy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Wordperfect, Lotus 1-2-3, VisiCalc, IBM OS2
    I remember using VisiCalc when we installed Lotus 1-2-3. After about 2 minutes using it, I concluded that VisiCalc would be dead very soon. Lotus 1-2-3 was that much better.

    But Visicalc also spelled doom for a predecessor. The mainframe timesharing spreadsheets (that easily cost tens of thousands of dollars per year in usage fees) were dead within a year of Visicalc coming out.

    Any predictions on what will spell the doom of Excel? I haven't a clue, but surely something will eventually replace it. Maybe some kind of cloud based program, which IMO is starting to sound eerily like those maineframe timesharing systems....

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    Quote Originally Posted by jfribrg View Post
    Any predictions on what will spell the doom of Excel? I haven't a clue, but surely something will eventually replace it. Maybe some kind of cloud based program, which IMO is starting to sound eerily like those maineframe timesharing systems....
    I do find that one of the funnier things about the whole "cloud-based" computing platforms. One of the big selling points of PCs were that they weren't just a dumb terminal, tied to a big server someplace. We seem to be going full circle.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    ... We seem to be going full circle.
    Except that you don't need a SysReq key (at least not yet), there's no grumpy dispatch operator, and you get more than 30 seconds of cpu before having to re-log.

    Oh the memories of waiting two hours for a free VMS terminal at 2AM at the university computer building.

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    ICQ... sigh.. and I even had a 6-digit ID!

    Floppy based OS distributions. Naughty GIF images. Collection CD's with loads and loads of crappy shareware sold for way too much money, after which you'd still have to pay for the shareware. Segfault.org

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Theodorakis View Post
    Gopher, WAIS, archie,
    Hah, beat me to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Theodorakis View Post
    anonymous ftp
    Many of the old FTP sites still exist, although some only in a MIRROR subdir on others. But yes, it has surely lost its significance. Good(?) old days.. always packing a couple of floppies when going to the university, because that was the only place where one could access the FTP sites.

    Quote Originally Posted by rommel543 View Post
    We can hope those stay dead.....
    Actually, some of the things Swift mentioned were, at that time, (IMHO!), actually superior to the software that is most used now. Especially Wordperfect and OS/2. Just not in marketing strategies, legal, and less legal. Not part of the internet as such, though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by slang View Post
    ... superior ... Especially Wordperfect ...
    Rumor had it that the DOS versions of WP were programmed directly in Assembler. That made the .exe much smaller than most other programs and it run faster and with less problems.

    Although MS Word 5 for DOS had gained momentum, Word didn't really leave WP in the dust until the Windows versions came on the market, i.e. Winword 2. The Windows versions of WP sucked big time; it didn't just die: it commited suicide.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kleindoofy View Post
    Although MS Word 5 for DOS had gained momentum, Word didn't really leave WP in the dust until the Windows versions came on the market, i.e. Winword 2. The Windows versions of WP sucked big time; it didn't just die: it commited suicide.
    Yes, I specifically meant WP in the DOS era, compared to Word in that time. IMHO WP failed as windows application by insisting upon its own well-known user interface instead of adopting the Windows standard. It felt like it had gone through some automatic source converter to "windowsfy" it. In hindsight a very, very bad decision, but perhaps understandable when experience with WordPerfect was still a big bonus on almost anyone's CV.

    Obligatory ancient joke: "F3!! F3!!!" ... <- Wordperfect user yelling for help.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kleindoofy View Post
    ...
    Have to agree there. WP 5.1 for Dos was great, but the first windows versions really felt like they'd been written by people who didn't actually know how to write windows software. Edit: not just the U.I., but also the overall clunkiness (lag) of it.


    One thing I miss is the macro programming model of Lotus 1-2-3. It was odd (though beautiful in its own way), but it worked and was easy to tweak. Programming Excel (and Word etc) works fine, but it just feels so much "harder" for the small/trivial tasks - the simple keystroke saver type stuff that macros were originally all about.

    Edit2: Come to think of it, WP5.1 also had a "quick-macro" feature that worked so much better than the macro recorder in todays' Word.
    Measure once, cut twice. Practice makes perfect.

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    I knew Lotus 123 quite well, and taught classes on it for a time, but was very angry with the company when they sued Borland on Quatro Pro (which was superior to Lotus and less expensive as well), instead of improving Lotus and competing honestly. They won that legal battle, but ultimately I think that attitude (sitting on their design too long) was one of the things that helped them lose the battle with Microsoft.

    In its time, Word Perfect was far superior to Wordstar (which I hated). WP died as a serious product when Novell bought it. One of the big advantages for WP is that support calls were free, and the folks answering the phone knew the product, and were extremely helpful. Novell stopped that, and just didn't seem to care about the product in general.

    OS/2 was an excellent product in its day. I think that if IBM had worked harder at it they could have taken the PC OS market away from Microsoft.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." Abraham Lincoln

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    BBSes in general. As well as modems.

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    I wrote my Ph.D. thesis on WordPerfect 5.1. I think at one time I probably didn't even need the "F-Key" template. I used a lot of WP5.1 macros, too. The best one I made was to automatically number my references. That was a huge time saver. (This was before Reference Manager).

    Other obsolete things:
    Procomm (and other dial up software)
    Heck, modems, for that matter.
    DeskView
    Memory managers (QEMM386. e.g.)
    WinSOCK

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    Those funny noises that came out of the modem as you connected. I sort of miss those.

    Compton's encyclopedia on just one CD-rom. I thought it was the greatest thing. My friend and I looked up "motorcycle" expecting greatness; instead it was on paragraph about motorcycles in general. At the bottom of the window, there was a cross reference - "see amputation". My friend belted out "My God! Mom got to them too!!!"
    Solfe

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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    Those funny noises that came out of the modem as you connected. I sort of miss those.
    I don't miss them. I hear them every time I have to access the internet from my main residence.... Hopefully I'll be stepping into the 21st century there before too much longer. I've been held back a bit by the mess in the office and my hatred of Compuserve.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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    "Darth Vader: Where are those transmissions you intercepted? WHAT have you DONE with those plans?
    Captain Antilles: We intercepted no transmissions... we have Compuserve! We barely get email!" - Riff Trax.
    Solfe

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    I don't miss them. I hear them every time I have to access the internet from my main residence.... Hopefully I'll be stepping into the 21st century there before too much longer. I've been held back a bit by the mess in the office and my hatred of Compuserve.
    Gaaah! I didn't mean Compuserve (which is of course defunct), I meant Comcast! COMCAST! Doh!
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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    Oddly enough, I just realized I still remember my CompuServe login id (73770,1343). I can't believe I have neurons whose job it is to remember that.

    Nick

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    I give you, "Netscape Communications" and its browser.

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