Take a gander at the screengrab below. If you have to ask "What is a command prompt", chances are you were born or grew up in the age of Windows
. Believe it or not, there are some people who are still using DOS programs. "What's DOS?" Hmm, this is the program on which a certain Mr Gates built his fortune; it helped make him for many years the richest man in the world.
If you are using an IBM compatible, your computer will still have a DOS prompt, although it is now called a command prompt and is hidden away somewhere you may never see it.
DOS programs are not Windows
-compatible, so you can't cut and paste from them, but many of them have an Olde World charm, like the dedicated word processor WordStar
, which is still big in India, as well as Venner Road, Sydenham.
Recently, the Internet Archive opened the Software Archive
, which was built by techno-historian Jason Scott. It includes books, manuals and magazines as well as actual software.
There are also smaller websites dedicate to the old version, like one called simply Old Version
, and another called OldApps
. How long have apps been around? Yet some are already obsolete.
You can download all this old stuff and use it for free - does anyone pay for software anymore?
There is another good reason you might want to do so. There used to be something called the 80/20 rule, which in a software context means that roughly 80% of users will use only 20% of a program's functions. Today, some programs are so enormous and have so many additional functions that even the most dedicated user will ever use only a tiny fraction of them, and some can be quite difficult to navigate. If you don't want to wade through reams of menus or install massive programs in a long and complex process, an older and simpler version may be what you're looking for.