What's Your Favorite Old School Software?

It seems that nowadays there's an app for everything and we have some amazing (and often free) software at our disposal. Nonetheless, it's hard to hold back our nostalgia for certain apps from the past. What apps do you miss?

As I was going through the daily feeds I noticed the software blog One Thing Well had posted The Panic Museum, which is where the Mac software company Panic hosts their discounted downloads. This got me thinking about the old software I used to love, when back in my youth—I'm pretending I'm not still in my youth, here—I hacked KidPix with ResEdit, exploited HTML rendering bugs in Netscape 1.0, and created interactive cartoons in Macromedia Director.

Nowadays it feels like beta software tends to work better and operate with greater stability than the final releases of titles we used in the 80s and 90s (or earlier, for some of you), but there was still something wonderful about it. In some ways, I still miss the days of 256 colours and 640x480. We had some great software back then, even if it wasn't actually all that great.

So if you have to pick one title you sorely miss, what would it be? Tell us your favourite—and why—in the comments.


    Jet Set Willy on the Amstrad 128!!!!Boy those were the days. I could instantly turn into an explorer after each and every school day!

    XTree Gold

      Definitely Xtree Gold!

      Ahh yes Xtree Gold, now that's a blast from the past!

        Exactly what I was thinking.

        Programming-wise I miss Turbo/Borland Pascal.

      By far the single most useful program I ever used back in the DOS days.

      That said... I certainly don't miss it.

      I think David's on a winner with XTree Gold.

      Also, Scorched Earth. Angry Birds doesn't compete.

        Ahhh Scorched Earth. Talking to the kiddies at Game the other day and they were playing a game exactly the same - with a different name and better graphics.

        No matter how much things change...

    I still think Norton Commander (for DOS) was as good a file manager as I've ever used.

      Agreed NC was awesomeness. Not until win 95 did we see a file manager that came close (sorry, never got my head around xTree)

      Agreed, Norton Commander was the best
      bait: XTree was generally used by the noobs in those days
      (cue: Xtree vs NC war)

    I reckon WordPerfect 6.0 for DOS was a great effort, and it required less system resources than they use in an MP3 player today. The 'reveal codes' function alone would be worth the price of admission. But now we're all forced to use MSWord, because that's what everyone else uses.

      Wordperfect reveal codes is the greatest power user feature that has ever existed in a word processor... I'm still using Wordperfect today (Office X5).

    Deluxe Paint III on the Amiga. Used to create loads of game graphics back in the day. Animation was great in it... and colour cycling! Awesomeness abounds.

    ResEdit was epic!
    After Dark (been waiting for a new port for YEARS!)

    Scorched Earth

    Nobody ever loads DOS/Windows 98/MacOS 8/9 onto a virtual machine and play around with them? Shame on you!

    The old DOS games were to die for..the Hugo series and stunt cars <3

    Oregon Trail!!!

    Also Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, the old ones on the macs that had the car racing game where your car only went as fast as you typed correctly!

    Duke Nukem

    or Lode Runner! YES

    Remember a piece of software called Stacker (I think)?

    It was basically an on the fly compression / decomp system for your hard drive.

    On systems with 20MB of HD this was a welcome addition.......I seem to remember they got purchased probably by MS.

    Big Red Racer! Great as a single player game with swamp boats, cars, hovercraft or helicopters but absolutely amazing as a multiplayer game. If you got fed up racing you could use the terrain to play hide and seek with the rest of the office (after work of course...).

    Sword Quest 2.

    So many lost hours. I only had the shareware version but I remember it was so addictive that even 2 of my brothers, who previously never played RPGs and not since, would take turns with me and we would play as long as we could before the next one would take over and continue the "The Quest".

    Never finished the game as a kid. About 2 years ago downloaded the full game from an abandonware site and finished it in about 2 weeks.

    Naturally I them went looking for part 1 XD

    Elite Spacetraders - still one of the games that most captured my imagination. A game that combines Spaceflight, Pirates, Trading, Mining, Big Guns and shooting things.


    BTW: +1 for Xtree Gold - a must have on the Amstrad 1512 (with a whole 512Kb of RAM, and a 4 colour screen!, My mate had a Amstrad 1640, 640Kb of RAM, and a 16 colour screen!)

    In my case has to Uridium for the C64 and probably Deluxe Paint & Silkworm for the Amiga

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