Nostalgia isn’t a huge part of the technology world. Outside of the realm of video games, it is almost always about the newest and latest thing on the block. It occurred to me the other day that on some of my computers I am using ancient software that I would have a hard time replacing if I were to ever have a system failure. Why was I using such outdated software you might ask? The primary answer was speed.
The best example of this is in a program that I thoroughly dislike, Adobe Acrobat Reader. Since the early days, I always thought this was a bloated, slow to load, useless program that deserved to go away. However, it continues to grow, and instead of getting faster with newer versions it got slower. So, I decided to stick with version 5 of the software. It actually got faster as time went on, however, Adobe was able to one-up me by making certain PDFs incompatible with previous versions with new features, but most of the time Adobe Reader 5.0 worked just fine. (As a side note, since I’m usually looking at PDFs as I’m browsing the Internet I now use Foxit Reader to look at PDFs.)
Well, how would I replace it if I needed to today? There’s oldversion.com. A website with a treasure trove of download-able old versions of a variety of programs all in one place. From chat engines like AOL Instant Messenger to old security programs. Maybe you have an old machine that you want to serve as an FTP server, but only has Windows ’95. Here’s a place where you can find an FTP client for that operating system.
This website suggests other reasons why old versions can be an improvement on the “upgrades” of newer versions including, digital rights management functions of Windows Media Player, advertising in chat programs like ICQ and programs that have disappeared.
So if you adhere to the adage “Newer is not always better.” You’ll be in good company at oldversion.com. Let me know in the comments what old version of programs you still use.