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Newer isn’t always better. Just look at Windows 8, which most people agree is a step backwards from the thoroughly enjoyable-to-use Windows 7 The Windows 7: Ultimate Guide The Windows 7: Ultimate Guide If you are afraid to upgrade from Vista or XP because you feel it is completely different to what you are used to, you should read this new guide. Read More . The mess Microsoft made with its latest operating system led many of us to stick with what we know, despite the older operating system losing its shiny luster. Is the same true of old software too?

We’re confident that plenty of you reading this are using old software that is well past its prime. And yet something draws you to carry on using it. We want to hear your story of using old software for this week’s We Ask You. And while we cannot guarantee we won’t laugh at you being a bit of a Luddite, you could win a geeky T-shirt for your efforts.

Respect Your Elders

We want to know, What Is The Oldest Piece Of Computer Software You Still Use? Whether it’s on PC or Mac, whether it’s well-known or obscure, whether it’s a game or a productivity tool, we would like to hear all about it.

This question was prompted by the responses to a recent article written by my colleague Justin Pot. He helpfully details how to get 16-bit software working on 64-bit versions of Windows Windows 3.Fun: Getting Really Old Software Running On A 64-Bit PC Windows 3.Fun: Getting Really Old Software Running On A 64-Bit PC Bit by bit, Windows' reverse compatibility is fading. Here’s how to fight that – and get incredibly old 16-bit software and games like Chip’s Challenge running. Read More , which prompted some people to then reveal the old software they still use today.

We know there are more of you out there using old software, and this is your chance to reveal your guilty secret. The software you name may not be glamorous or exciting, but it may prompt feelings of nostalgia in anyone else who once used it but have since moved onto something newer.


Tell us what piece of old software you use, and why you’re still using it to this day. Is it out of habit or necessity? Do the newer alternatives cost money or do they just suck? Do you actively enjoy using this old software or would you prefer to move onto something newer?

Have Your Say

All comments will be read and most will be replied to, before a follow-up post is published containing the We Ask You ResultsOne reader will even win Comment Of The Weekwhich will be included in the follow-up post!

We Ask You is a column dedicated to learning the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you. Unlike so many other websites, we value your opinions, as we know we can make use of them, thus closing the circle.

  1. Eddyg
    May 18, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    "Windows PowerPro" written (and still updated) by Bruce Switzer. I started using this amazing productivity utility on Windows 95 almost 20 years ago; I can't imagine using my computer without it.

  2. Derick Moore
    April 24, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    The Best spell check program ever, started out as Employee Written Software at IBM and was released as WordProof. I can be a terrible speller, but because of a good vocabulary, I need a spell checker that doesn't easily give up. If your best guess is even similar sounding, it will find your word. It was written for DOS, and it is small.

    And, I still use KEDIT for DOS, not just the windows or OS/2 version.

    Before my house burned down in the 'Waldo Canyon Fire' in June of 2012, I was still using a 'Digital Group' (Brown Box) Z80 platform to write assembly language programs for small Z80 projects.

    I also had an original 16K PC1 with cassette interface that emulated a PC Jr. Along with that PC, I had original boxed (purchased) copies of DOS 1.0, 1.1, 2.0, 2.1, 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.0, 5.0, 6.0, 6.20, 6.21, 6.22, OS/2 in a bunch of versions, Windows in another group, and an unboxed, because it wasn't 'released' version(s) of PC-DOS 8.XX.

    The employee version of PC-DOS modified by many contributors was impressive. It was a lot like Take Command, but available in the 1980s.

    I still use MS-DOS 6.22, and to a lessor extent 7.10 because my job, writing boot code for INT13h support is most easily tested in DOS.

    I could write on these subjects for a couple (or dozens) of hours, but I'm at work, and this is a wonderful diversion.

    Derick Moore

  3. Mark Worden
    April 21, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    I'm surprised no one mentioned WordStar. I started using about 1984 on a Kaypro 4 CP/m machine.

    WordStar still has a loyal following, a yahoo group, etc. I use WS6 daily, along with other Dos programs (Laplink 3,, g, fff - classic filefinder by Jim Derr).

    I use them in XP in a fat32 formatted partition.

    In Win 7/ 64 I use XP in Virtual PC 2007 (which is not supposed to work in Win7, but will -- this is the best virtual setup I've used for these programs.) . I also have one notebook running Win7/32, that runs these programs native on a fat32 partition.

    The biggest problem is getting a printer to support, I rely on laserjets with parallel ports. There are other workarounds, eg I have a copy of Wordperfect 8 (also and oldie but goodie) and WSWin which was a Windows version of WordStar -- both of which have conversions for The Dos version of WordStar.

    Mark Worden Roseburg OR

  4. Scott
    February 3, 2015 at 6:45 am

    ACT! 2000 (v5.0) from 1999. Its a fast 32-bit program that is easy to use and runs on Windows 7 and 8.1. The newer versions of ACT! (after v6.0) are extremely slow with really lousy programming and poor design decisions.

  5. Dave Appelb
    September 26, 2014 at 9:58 am

    Open Access version 4 (an office suite) from 1989. I had started with 1984's version 1 for the Apricot PC. Open Access was made by Software Products International in San Diego, Cal. Much better database than DBase 4, better spreadsheet that Lotus 1,2,3. Has some word processor features still lacking in Word Perfect or Word. E.G. Typing addr would expand out to my entire address.
    Open Access had so many features that it foreshadowed Windows 1 through 8. It has a notepad, calender, BBS system (like terminal), alarms, macro recorder, convert metric to USA, and intuitive menus. Also a robust programming language. I remember thinking of a program to write during my phone's first ring, writing it on the second ring, testing it on the third ring, then telling my program to run 400 times on the fifth ring.

  6. Tom
    September 24, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    WordPerfect 8, Japanese version. Corel never came out with a newer Japanese version. And Microsoft still hasn't caught up with WordPerfect's advanced features.

  7. Judio Loco
    September 20, 2014 at 6:47 am

    WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS. I'd run 4.2 if I could, but 5.1 seems about the minimum to reliably and easily install without tweaking DOS settings on every different computer. As powerful as any modern GUI word processor (not so good for heavy graphics inclusion, but sufficient for anything academic) and lean, clean, scary fast 'n easy to edit and proofread, and it don't need no stinkin' mousies. Pure keyboard commands, so it's all just tap tap tap (instead of click click click) from inspiration to publish. Hands never leave the keyboard. I am advanced proficient with Word (and current WordPerfect) but this is just purist heaven, and liberating for creating and editing. Not bad for something half a megabyte. Add the dictionary and thesaurus and it's still but a bit more than a megabyte. [Current system Win7 64bit]

    The oldest software I last gave up 'cause I couldn't get it to run anymore was Battle Chess. Anyone remember Battle Chess, where when a piece captures another they perform animated mortal combat? Cheap thrill, really only for mediocre players such as myself.

  8. E Matheson
    September 19, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    This isn't software and doesn't really belong on this list - but it still amazes me that the core of my recording studio is based on MIDI - a protocol that hasn't been updated since it's standarisation in 1983...

  9. A.Skauby
    September 11, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    Must be either "Eliza" or "Parry", on my old MicroBee 32 IC! :-)

  10. A.Skauby
    September 11, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    That would be either "Eliza" or "Parry" on my old Microbee 32 IC

  11. Yubin
    September 9, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Windows XP, without a doubt.

  12. Joel
    September 3, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    Ecco, the PIM

  13. Merlin
    September 3, 2014 at 7:57 am

    I just got rid of about a thousand (yes that's right) diskettes of 3.5" and 5.25" with software that went back into the days of DOS 2.10. Maybe I should have been giving them to a museum, but hey... it's too late now!
    Go figure how old I'm getting. I must be a dinosaur in computer terms. :)
    I also happen to have a Commodore 128 with about a 100 disks.
    Recently I played some C-64 games like "Bruce Lee" and "Aztec challenge" in an emulator.

  14. Luis O
    September 3, 2014 at 1:46 am

    My oldest peace of hardware is my Amstrad 486 4 Megs witch I use for stand alone software.
    That was used 2 years ago, but the one PC that has been working 24 / 7 is my third PC that is currently running the firewall.
    That would be my Cirux 5×86 133 with 16 Megs 3 Isa with LAN cards and 2 Pci LAN cards 1 Pci & 1 SCSI that connects to NAS running Linux firewall.
    This system has a peltier water cpu cooler that is why it still running.
    And yes I do have cable modem and new routers, but they are not that secured or flexible.
    On the fifth PC is AMD socket 7 Athlon I run my Roms for Mame games.
    And old dos 3.1 plus free dos this is multiple boot system, for games like fury and doom quake and other, this one I turn it into a table top arcade.

  15. D.T. Baker
    September 2, 2014 at 6:35 am

    Broderbund 3D Home Architect from the 1990's - runs on windows 98 and works so well, I maintain an old HP desktop dedicated only to that. To buy something newer, more complicated to design small buildings/foundations/roofs makes no sense.

    If the computer becomes unusable I'll be Windows free at last and find something simple that runs on an Apple Mac.

  16. Buck Rogers
    September 1, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    All the old DOS Games. I still have Pentium 1 with 550 MHz and 384 MB Of Ram and still use Windows 98SE. To run old legacy software Dual boot Vista and 7. Still continue to run Windows XP despite all the hipe and hoopla. Coming from Microsoft and yahoo!

    • Dave P
      September 1, 2014 at 7:02 pm

      What DOS games in particular still float your boat?

  17. Harry Head Banger
    September 1, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    I'm still using my old Commodore Amiga 1200 68040 PPC 240 MHZ 196MB Of Ram. Amiga OS 4.0.

  18. R A Myers
    August 30, 2014 at 1:24 am

    Basic. I wrote my first single entry accounting system in Basic for a Synertec 6502 single board computer and a cassette recorder. It still works on 32/64 bit machines. It's great for writing programs to do combined calculations, like trip costs for various average gasoline costs, destination, or, communications distance versus antenna height,

  19. Dmitry T
    August 29, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    8/16-bit games, device companions and nine-to-five workplace special soft aside, oldest piece of _DESKTOP_ software i use with any kind of regularity is MS Outlook 2002 .
    Interface is not up to current standards but core functionality is still there so i can sync tasks and calendar between my google|android account and my older PalmOS, WM and Symbian devices(with little help of several add-ons ). I was very surprised that decade-and-some year old app ( which i first used under Win98SE if my memory serves me right) still works _both_ with Win7 and GMail. As it's not essential i see no reason to spend cash upgrading despite 2010s version at work is definitely more productive and shiny.
    Honorable mention goes to WinAmp whose version from 2005 is still adequate for my offline music needs.

    • Dave P
      September 1, 2014 at 7:02 pm

      Good ol' WinAmp. It refuses to die thanks to the community still using it!

  20. DaveB
    August 29, 2014 at 12:37 am

    I still use Paint Shop Pro regularly (v. 9) from when it was still owned by JASC. Last copyright date was 2004.

  21. Tom W
    August 28, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    I still use a basic image editor called Irfanview. It's always among the list of programs that I install right away on any new computer, and is perfect for pasting / cropping quick screenshots. It has been updated regularly since I found it on XP, so it may not count as the kind of truly old that you're looking for.

    The only other old piece of software that I use on a regular basis is the command prompt. I don't believe the program, or the DOS commands it gives you access to, has really been updated since Microsoft DOS became Microsoft Windows. In my opinion, the command prompt is still the best way to do basic tasks such as ping, traceroute, telnet, robocopy, and chkdsk. I have a bat file pinned to my start menu that will ping google that I use to debug internet connection problems. I prefer the terminal window on Linux for usability, but command prompt is passable enough that I haven't looked for a replacement program.

    • Dave P
      September 1, 2014 at 7:00 pm

      You're the second person to have mentioned Irfanview, so it's good to know you're not alone out there in liking it.

      I guess if you know what you're doing the Command Prompt is pretty unbeatable for simple tasks.

  22. Michael
    August 28, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    I am still using Microsoft Picture it! Great picture editing software.

    • Leah
      August 29, 2014 at 1:54 am

      I love Picture It! but I have moved on to Gimp.

    • Leah
      August 29, 2014 at 1:55 am

      Does it count if I think about wanting to play some of the old CD-Rom games I still have like Scrabble, Life, and Monopoly?

    • Dave P
      September 1, 2014 at 6:58 pm

      What makes Picture It! so good?

  23. KT
    August 28, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    Sega Genesis hooked up to a 36" crt for when I need some Star Control, Nobunaga's Ambition, Might and Magic, Forgotten Worlds, etc. With an original Game Genie.

  24. suzybel
    August 28, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    I still use Jasc Paint Shop Pro 9.0 which came out around 2004. It works with XP and I use it on an old HP Pavillion. I tried it on Windows 7 but it didn't work well with Aero. The other is Alpha Clock which is a wee tray clock that you customize to look like an extension of the Windows clock. I had it on each of my XP computers and still use it on my old HP Pavillion & an old Acer laptop with XP which I have tethered to an old HP Photosmart printer that I can't get to work with any other OS, but it does let me print in black & white only if I choose.

  25. Gregory
    August 28, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    Starfish Sidekick 99 v6.01 - Used virtually every day on Windows 8.1 - Am unable to find a comparable program (as are others, from my reading of the forums) - Unfortunately, apparently, the source code is unavailable - Several forum folks have expressed an interest in updating the program if the source code was released -

  26. DonGateley
    August 28, 2014 at 6:26 pm


  27. Clint Norwood
    August 28, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    I've used Irfanview since 1996. It's the best image viewer out there.
    The oldest software that has remained unchanged is a small graphics program call Hot Banners which I absolutely love. Although it's an old windows program I have to run it in Ubuntu with Wine to make it work.

    • Dave P
      September 1, 2014 at 6:56 pm

      What makes it the best image viewer still to this day?

  28. Vishal S
    August 28, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    The Oldest Piece of Software that I use today is Turbo C++ ported to MS-DOS which works under compatibility mode on my Windows 7 Laptop. I use it for programming in C++, not because I can't use alternatives like GCC in Ubuntu or Code blocks because majority of my teachers (and educators in general in India) only understand and use code written for this IDE. Plus it is one of the most simplistic and easy to use IDE for this language.

    • Dave P
      September 1, 2014 at 6:50 pm

      Do you think there will come a time when you have to move on from using it? Would you be happy to do so or will there be a pang of sadness about dismissing this piece of software?

  29. SGKris
    August 28, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    Lotus Approach, the database software from late 90's, is one of my favorite and handy program. I have not found an equivalent software in terms of ease of use and functionality that I need.

  30. A41202813GMAIL
    August 28, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    I Bought My First PC In 1991.

    I Have A Partition To Boot Native DOS And Some Software Is From The Eighties.

    I Started Programming For Myself In COBOL And I Still Use Regularly The Compiler And Interpreter RMCOBOL 2.1A From NOVEMBER 11, 1985.


  31. Bob Brandt
    August 28, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    I have been using Q&A written in DOS since 1986 and use it every day. I upgraded to each new version as they come our and the last was Q&A 5.0 released in 1995. I have a number of databases that I wrote and even though I have a Windows program, "Sesame", I have not ported them over. "Sesame" was written as a replacement to Q&A and I am currently toying with the transfer.
    I have written database systems for several companies, one of which ran my system for 17 years in Q&A before moving to Quickbooks. I get complaints all of the time about Quickbooks and their want to return to the user friendliness of Q&A. They still use the inventory module as they cannot find anything for Quickbooks to do the job the way Q&A can do it.
    I run Q&A on my Windows 7 Pro 32-bit laptop in a window with no problems. Starting with Windows 7 it will no longer run full screen, but that is not any problem. I also run Q&A on my desktop Windows 7 Pro 64-bit computer in Windows XP mode. No problems there either!
    I love Q&A and will probably always use it - at least until Windows will not run it in any way.

    • Dave P
      September 1, 2014 at 6:47 pm

      You're still using it every day 28 years later? That is madness. Surely there is something better out there just waiting to be discovered, no?

  32. dragonmouth
    August 28, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    Apple DOS 3.2
    WFW 3.11


  33. Xoandre
    August 28, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    You want really old? Try this one:

    I have a 5.25" floppy disc with AppleWorks 1.2 on one side and my saved writings on the other. This disc requires an Apple IIe to operate and I was recently given access to my late father's storage facility, where he kept his Apple IIe, Apple LISA, Commodore 64, and his teal-colored iMac.

    I have been trying to make sure I have all the components together for the Apple IIe so that I can boot up AppleWorks once again and get a printout of those writings.

    I also have the original 5.25" floppies for Where in the World (and Where in Time) is Carmen Sandiego? as well as INFOCOM classic games collections for PC - DOS games like Zork I, II, III, Wishbringer, Leisure Suit Larry, King's Quest, and others. I also have the booklets with InvisiClues.

    Slightly more modern, on my Windows 7 PC I still use Macromedia Flash MX for Flash design, PhotoShop CS & Illustrator CS (no numbers), 3D StudioMax 7.0, and have just reinstalled Civilization III via Steam for a better gameplay experience than Civ IV. Eventually Civ V will be an option, once its price drops.

    My library of games and software extends back in time to when I was a child sitting in the Public Library, dreading when the person waiting to use the lone Apple IIe would end my 20 minute turn for the day, and hoping there would be a shift-change so i could get back on and continue working on my writings in AppleWorks.

    • Dave P
      September 1, 2014 at 6:45 pm

      So we're talking, what, 1985 for AppleWorks 1.2? I'd be interested to hear if you ever do get the Apple IIe up and running.

  34. D R
    August 28, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    The oldest program I have (that I still use once a year or so) is called 'PASH', I believe it stands for 'Point And Shoot Home'. It's a financial calculator that will break down mortgage amortization, interest, etc. It's an old DOS program that I have installed on one of my older systems, and I started using it sometime around 1991.

    The old, now non-existent Daytimers 98 software (c. 1998) is another favorite of mine. I use it to print the actual Daytimer pages. It's kind of fallen by the wayside now, but I tend to use it once or twice a year to print pages for friends who still use the physical Daytimer.

    I also still use Paint Shop Pro 7 (c. 2001?) because it has tubes, and I know the software like the back of my hand. I subscribe to Adobe CC, and have access to the latest version of Photoshop, but sometimes, using PSP7 feels like 'going home'. It's a nostalgia thing. :)

    • Dave P
      September 1, 2014 at 6:36 pm

      Has there really not been any better programs released since then that do the same thing as PASH? If so, that's astonishing. Or is more a case of if it ain't broke, don't fix it?

  35. Bruce
    August 28, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    I use a program made by a japanese company back in 1995 called Diskmapper. It shows a visual display of all folders and files relative to their size in one easy to see screen. It is the best way I have found to find bloat to date. Irreplacable. And it still works a charm even on Windows server 2012 and Windows 8.1.

    • Dave P
      September 1, 2014 at 6:33 pm

      That's great that it's still working. And from your comment it sounds as though you have checked out newer alternatives only to be disappointed by what's on offer.

    • DarkScribe
      September 27, 2014 at 7:55 am

      You should try Space Sniffer ( its freeware and works very well, I also like that you can scan for specific types of content eg only PDFs and it will only show you PDFs and their locations and sizes.

    • Bruce Anderson
      September 27, 2014 at 11:48 pm

      Thank you DarkScribe! Space Sniffer looks like exactly the same concept as DiskMapper, but modern and with more features. Many thanks I am downloading now!

  36. Harry
    August 28, 2014 at 11:49 am

    Visual Studio 6.0 from 1998, hacked for 64-bit Windows (see

  37. Henk van Setten
    August 28, 2014 at 11:06 am

    It depends what is meant by "old software" here: it could be (1) some piece of software that already exists for a long time, though having been updated sometimes, or (2) some piece of software that has never been updated since a long time.

    For (1) I would answer MouseImp, which I already used back in the days of Windows 98, and am still using (in a recently updated version, but with little changed functionality). Running as a little background program in the tray, it allows for very quick-and-precise scrolling through long documents: by pressing-and-holding the right mouse button, and then simply dragging.

    For (2) my answer would be the venerable and very potent, wonderfully configurable web filter (local proxy) Proxomitron, that was developed about 1997 for Windows 95, and last updated in 2003 (version 4.5). This 2003 version still runs permanently in my Windows 8.1 desktop tray today, although in 2011 I had to extensively patch the original exe file (using Reshacker, another oldie) to get a "new" version with a better usable UI.

    Runner-up: Flashpaste, the text snippet manage-and-paste utility best suited to my personal needs (can also double as clipboard manager). I still use the last free version (3.5 Lite) which I downloaded back in 2007. Yet another one that's still running in my tray! It works fine for me, so I never saw a reason to upgrade to the paid version (Pro, at version 6.0 today).

    • anao
      August 28, 2014 at 2:47 pm

      Omg, Proxomitron, I thought I was the only one using that!1

    • Dave P
      September 1, 2014 at 6:21 pm

      Either is fine!

      I really want to know the reasons why you're continuing to use these old programs though. Do they have any advantage over newer alternatives or is just a case of sticking with what you know?

  38. Ace
    August 28, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Still running the local Cable Co on a DOS 6.X software system and controller. Still works well and does what is needed. Why spend the money on something that does not need replacing. The boxes run 24/7 for the past 20+ years

  39. Adrian
    August 28, 2014 at 10:30 am

    On a regular basis, I'd have to the music editing program Cool Edit from the 90s.

    I still have a collection of Commodore 64 software which I fire up occasionally when I'm feeling nostalgic. During those sessions one title I keep going to is "Raid on Bungling Bay".

    Ah yes...good times.

    • Ken
      August 28, 2014 at 12:12 pm

      I was trying to think of the name, so thanks for that....but yep, ROBB is a keeper.

    • Dave P
      September 1, 2014 at 6:12 pm

      What is so special about Raid on Bungling Bay?

  40. Miles Levy
    August 28, 2014 at 9:44 am

    The oldest software I run under Dosbox is Turbo Pascal V 5.5.
    Had it in my collection since the 80's

    • Dave P
      September 1, 2014 at 6:11 pm

      And what's your reason for still using it? Is nothing else capable of doing quite the same job?

    • Miles
      September 1, 2014 at 8:33 pm

      To Dave P -
      Familiarity breeds content. Oh, yea, I still Forth but that creates write only code as one can not read the code after some time.

  41. RamónBuenaventura
    August 28, 2014 at 8:53 am

    I've been using Lotus Organizer since 1995. To my surprise, I have not met any compatibility problems with Windows 8.1.

    • Dave P
      September 1, 2014 at 6:11 pm

      That's astonishing. Perhaps Microsoft isn't getting everything wrong after all.

  42. Raymond M
    August 28, 2014 at 8:47 am

    ACDsee. I've been using it since Windows 95 and I use it everyday.

  43. Steve Wright
    August 28, 2014 at 8:01 am

    Macromedia Dreamweaver MX 6.0, 2002 I believe. Also Jasc Paint Shop Pro 7.02, the splash screen says copyright 2000 and Adobe Photoshop 7.0 copyright 2002 according to the splash. All suit my needs fine so I've never seen the need to upgrade any of them plus they all run perfectly on Windows 8.1.

    • Dave P
      September 1, 2014 at 6:09 pm

      Have you ever even looked into newer alternatives? I;m not saying you should have, I'm just intrigued to know if you have, and if not, why not?

      I'm amazed they all work perfectly on Windows 8.1.

  44. Renee
    August 28, 2014 at 7:28 am

    I think the oldest software I still sometimes use is an Estonian game Pori 4 from 1999. It's a game where you have to kill different kind of monsters before you can kill Creature, the strongest monster. You can also learn magic, sell monster skins and play lottery in this game. It may not have the best graphics in the world (it's written for MS-DOS in Pascal) but it's one thing I have taken with me from my childhood. :)

    • Dave P
      September 1, 2014 at 6:08 pm

      In your case I'm guessing it's pure nostalgia that keeps you playing this? I mean, it surely cannot compete with a round of Call of Duty online.

  45. Jon
    August 28, 2014 at 6:13 am

    I have to honestly say I don't really use old software. Since Apple has moved to Intel, and now 64 bit architecture, it doesn't make sense to hold onto and use old software. I stick with the latest, and when necessary, I changed apps to do what I needed. That said, there are a few old games I like to dabble with on occasion, simply for nostalgia's sake--games like Infotron, Cogito, Continuum, Arashi (a Tempest clone), or Fury of the Furries. I have an installation of BasiliskII on my hard drive to play these things, and to run Hypercard. Of them, the oldest is, by far, Continuum--it was made in the days of the Classic, 9" Macs, and that was where I first played it, on a Mac Classic. The © date in its Get Info window is 1992, but its original date is 1988, and since it's version 1.04, you can imagine it didn't change much between '88 and '92. ;-) But for normal things, I'm quite up-to-date.

    • Dave P
      September 1, 2014 at 6:07 pm

      I suspect most people are the same as you and stay up-to-date on most software. But this thread shows that in some cases -- perhaps for very specific needs -- people keep using the same software for 10, 20, or even 30 years. Which is astounding.

  46. Brian H
    August 28, 2014 at 5:12 am

    I still play a lot of older multi-player games like Quake1 and 2, Halo, Counter-Strike, and Half-Life. It's getting harder to find servers but there's still a few kicking.

    • Dave P
      September 1, 2014 at 5:45 pm

      There are still people playing the original Quake online? Feckin' hell, you have blown my mind.

  47. likefunbutnot
    August 28, 2014 at 4:11 am

    Slightly snarky answer: I use vi daily, even on Windows machines. I imagine that the core *nix utilities are probably as old as anything and I do use them regularly.

    Real world answer: I actually do work in IT and I do a certain amount of small business contracting work. I pretty regularly see law offices where the secretary's computer is still using Windows 95 or 98 and some equally ancient version of Wordperfect, sometimes even Wordperfect for DOS. When someone is talking about a 13-year-old Dimension 2400 as "the good computer", I know I'm going to find a treasure trove of that kind of stuff.

    I still have a Netware 3.12 machine in service. It was installed in 1995 and it actually ran continuously (as in no loss in power or reboots) for a mind-boggling 18.5 years, outlasting at least six DDS-2 tape drives. It's been off twice this year because the backup generator didn't kick on, and I took the opportunity to replace the power supply and image the SCSI hard disks to unused ones during the first outage, but it runs custom software for data terminals in my customer's commercial butchery operation and the business owner refuses to replace it.

    Another customer I deal with has an IBM System/38 (precursor to the AS/400, now called IBM iSeries). It runs order entry terminals that talk to his old-school photograph-printing system. I can't say that I've used it myself and I don't know how he acquired it, but I'm seriously in awe that there's a 30 year old combination of tin-cans and strings that can process arbitrary numbers of actual negatives of arbitrary format into everything from 5x7s to panoramic photos.

    • Dave P
      September 1, 2014 at 5:44 pm

      Why are the law offices still stuck in the late 1990s? Is it all about the specific software they use or are they just cheap bastards?

  48. JBMac
    August 28, 2014 at 3:17 am

    The most used app is Quicken 2006 - running in a Virtual PC in WinXP Mode (use it daily).

    I have a DOS amortization program (Interest Analyzer - 1994), and 2 DOS games (Pacman - 1990 & Chinese Checkers - 1991), that I run in DOSBox in my Virtual WinXP. I don't use them regularly though.

    • Dave P
      September 1, 2014 at 5:42 pm

      What is your reason for continuing to use Quicken?

  49. Hunter
    August 28, 2014 at 3:07 am

    I tried running PacMan World 2 on PC windows 7, but the disc (or something) was corrupted. I want to go back to my childhood and play the entire Zoo Tycoon series and expansions from 2003 (latest) I think.

    • Dave P
      September 1, 2014 at 5:41 pm

      I know what you'll be asking Santa for this Christmas...

  50. Jerocis
    August 28, 2014 at 3:02 am

    SnagIT v8.0, Release Date 26 January, 2006 (9 years ago ). It was best in class when I bought it, and there's been no reason yet to replace it.

    • Dave P
      September 1, 2014 at 5:39 pm

      Have you explored other options though? It's too easy to assume what we are used to using is still the best option out there.

    • Jerocis
      September 1, 2014 at 8:28 pm

      Dave P, There's difference between having the "best option out there" and having the one that's best for me. I have tried others. And just recently uninstalled a trial of SnagIT v12, which while it has great eye appeal and functionality, offers nothing that I require that would make it superior to its elder kin. This in no way detracts from v12. If I didn't already have v8.0 installed, I would have purchased SnagIt v12 immediately.
      I've also tried packages like Ashampoo Snap and others. Again, a nice packages, but as what I have is what I need, no reason to change. Actually, it looks like I purchased Snap, but I don't use it.
      Now, lest you assume that I'm some Luddite, avoiding progress, I'll mention that I am currently using Chrome v38-beta, I have Windows 8.1 (with all current updates) and MS Office 2013 Professional installed on both a Core i7 desktop and XPS 12 Core i5 convertible (okay, the XPS 12 is over two years old, but except for the ridiculous 16x9 screen, it's a gem). And my mobile phones are running KitKat and WindowsPhone 8.1.

    • Maryon Jeane
      September 6, 2014 at 1:11 am

      Hear, hear! I stopped upgrading SnagIT when the dreaded ribbon appeared after v.8 and still haven't found anything better in terms of what I want to achieve with the program and can achieve (even if sometimes I use tried-and-tested workrounds) quickly and with no drag on the system. I'm no Luddite either, I am a freelance and I use my PC for everything, home and work. For me, though, it's horses for courses and I'll use what's best and most efficient for the job in hand.

  51. Jon S
    August 28, 2014 at 3:00 am

    I still use the DOS-based music engraving software SCORE. I've used the same version since 1994.

    • Dave P
      September 1, 2014 at 5:39 pm

      20 years and counting? It must be good.

  52. Zhong J
    August 28, 2014 at 2:33 am

    For most people, it would be Internet Explorer. However, for me is a text editor because that's how you would learn to type on a keyboard.

  53. Joel H.
    August 28, 2014 at 2:33 am

    I still use Sidekick 99 (Starfish Software) for my client database. 10, 000 records and still going strong.

    • Dave P
      September 1, 2014 at 5:38 pm

      Having Googled the name of that I found a CNET forum where lots of people are talking about still using Sidekick, so you're clearly not alone!

    • Peter McWilliam
      September 8, 2014 at 6:59 pm

      I'm trying to load Sidekick99 onto Windows 8.1. with no luck- running OK on another machine with Windows 7 and virtual PC/XP Mode- any ideas what to do vis a vis Windows 8.1?

  54. Matt
    August 28, 2014 at 2:29 am

    Without a doubt the oldest software I still use on a regular basis is Spinrite. The last update was 2004 and there's nothing better for the task it does.

    • Dave P
      September 1, 2014 at 5:36 pm

      It's really the best there is, still? That's amazing.

    • Matt
      September 1, 2014 at 5:58 pm

      With out a doubt! If you need to touch every sector of a hard drive to check it's fine; and if it's not fine get SMART to acknowledge a bad sector then I've not found anything better that's non-destructive.

  55. Amrit K
    August 28, 2014 at 2:21 am

    First of all , It was tough to decide which one of my programs are oldest?
    At first I thought it was Vlc 0.8 in my Window XP Mode but that was released in 2006.
    My next guess was CDisplay which I use as comic reader and was released in 2004.
    While searching between programs I found Dangerous Dave which was released 1988. Just when I thought I was done , I saw a tiny game.
    A which run on the most powerful graphics chip: the human imagination.
    It was "Zork" (which I brought from GOG).
    A text adventure game from 1980.
    I remember when I was playing it few of my "Gamer" friends (gamer as they play Counter-Strike yet never heard of Half-Life) asked me what was I doing in Command Prompt!!!
    Today when games are all about high-end graphics , I really miss the good old DOS era.

    • Dave P
      September 1, 2014 at 5:35 pm

      Zork, eh. That is old-skool computer gaming at its finest. Is it still worth playing?

    • Amrit K
      September 2, 2014 at 8:54 am

      Of course, I also tried to remake it in C++ with a different storryline. :)

    • Amrit K
      September 2, 2014 at 8:57 am

      Of course, I also tried to remake it in C++ with a different storyline. :)

    • Amrit K
      September 2, 2014 at 8:59 am

      Of course, I also tried to remake it in C++ with a different storyline. :)

  56. Denver
    August 28, 2014 at 2:10 am

    Oldest application I use has got to be calculator!

    • Aibek E
      September 1, 2014 at 7:59 am

      how old is it?

    • Dave P
      September 1, 2014 at 5:34 pm

      As in the calculator app on Windows? Otherwise, not software :)

    • deshagueresigns
      September 3, 2014 at 1:46 am

      I tried Photoshop and the newer version of Fireworks MX, but I cannot get used to the UI. I know my way around Fireworks MX 2004 like a pro. When Adobe acquired Macromedia, they ruined it. I stuck to version 2004.

  57. firedeshague
    August 28, 2014 at 2:01 am

    Fireworks MX 2004.

    • Dave P
      September 1, 2014 at 5:27 pm

      For what reason do you still use that? Is there nothing better out there now?

  58. Cody
    August 28, 2014 at 1:37 am

    I still use system software written in 1972 for IBM computers. It is used daily for running reports and tracking enterprise data. Written in CoBOL and a beast to maintain.

    - Cody

    • Dave P
      September 1, 2014 at 5:20 pm

      What's the reason for still using it? Pure nostalgia? Or absolute necessity?

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