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June 11th 2014 3:49 pm

What are some of the apps you continue to use after all these years

As part of my morning routine, I catch up on news and RSS feeds every morning. I came across an interesting post by Shawn Blanc today about Longstanding Mac Apps [1]. The post details some of the apps that have long history with Apple's operating systems. For example, Word originally hit Apple OS in 1985! That means Word for Mac is almost as old as I am.

The post got me thinking a bit about some of the apps I continue to use throughout my time using computers. Shockingly the list isn't as long as I expected, but I definitely can recall some.
  • AIM - first started using AIM proper in '98/'99 while signing via NetZero when AOL would be too much of a pain to sign onto. This may not count though since I've moved onto Pidgin/Adium, but I'll count it
  • Photoshop - I think I first used a copy of Photoshop in 2002, though it may have been earlier.
  • Microsoft Word - I think regular use started to happen around '98, but it may have been sooner
  • iTunes (Yes, I actually use iTunes thankyouverymuch) - 2003 when iTunes first launched on Windows, I was so excited. I installed it, missed the checkbox for "auto-manage my music" and proceeded to spend the next 10 days organizing all of my music
  • Firefox - I really forget when I first started using this, but I'm thinking sometime around 2004 when it first made the name change
That's all I got! I think I forget a lot of the stuff I was using for long periods of time because I moved to OSX permanently in 2011 and I forget a lot of the stuff I was using regularly in Windows.

1: shawnblanc.net­/2014­/06­/longstanding­-mac­-apps/

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  • Aim - in very much the same way as Frank
  • Firefox - though I've switched to Safari & Chrome at times. All the firefox users can remember the dark days of Firefox 3
  • iTunes - I have apple TVs everywhere and iTunes plays a pivotal role of provided access to media
  • Word - I use very rarely.
  • GCC
  • man
I'm not sure if the last two count, but I started using them in '04 and I still use both of them today. Though I don't use GCC all that often.
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Firefox bros 4 lyfe

I definitely switched of Firefox in the dark days when it would just eat up RAM like its job
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Other than Windows itself I think the oldest software I use regularly is Google's Chrome browser since 2008.
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Aw, make me feel old why don't you? Actually, I don't feel that old thinking about this, as the fact that I have routines and use specific sites and apps/programs represents this... unbroken line. It's continuity. It's something concrete to hold on to.

So, which programs have I been using the longest?
  • Microsoft Word (1994). My family got our first computer twenty years ago and we definitely had MS Word installed so I could type up my school work. I still have those files, actually. Though I now split my time between it and Google Drive, I still need Word to deal with the occasional resume or script, and I have a bunch of unfinished fiction sitting around that I will get back to...eventually.
  • Microsoft Excel (2000). I actually didn't have this packaged with Word, instead getting it a few years later to deal with some files from my job at the time.
  • Photoshop (2000?). I remember using this to create images for my website, and by the time I actually took a college class on how to use it, I had already surpassed the teacher. Now, I'm behind the curve, but I still wouldn't use any other program.
  • Scrobbler (2007). I installed Scrobbler when I got a Last.fm account, and it's been on every one of my personal computers since, though it's really a "set and forget" type program.
  • Chrome (2008). I went from Netscape to Internet Explorer to Opera to Firefox to Chrome, and it's still my preferred browser even if it's no longer the clean breath of fresh air it was when it launched.
  • TweetDeck (2008). I figure this is appropriate given today's news (www.engadget.com­/2014­/06­/11­/twitter­-turns­-off­-twee...) but man, I've been using TD for six years now. It's the only way I can make any sense of Twitter, and I'm having serious withdrawal today as I avoid using it until I know it's been completely fixed.
Programs that I used for a long time, but don't use today (though I could always go back): AIM, Winamp, iTunes.
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I completely forgot about Scrobbler aka Audioscrobbler! It integrates into so many devices now I always forget there is an actual standalone application.
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  • Steam - 2005ish? It was around this time I built my first gaming pc and started using steam. Many steam sales later and I still use it.
  • iTunes - 2005 when I got my first iPod
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Didn't even think about Steam. Though I've pretty much stopped PC gaming so I guess I don't use it anymore.
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I am much more of a console gamer now myself, but I do still get a few PC games a year :)
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Me too, but whenever there's a Steam sale I migrate my recliner to the office (where my gaming PC sits).
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Firefox for sure. It was the first browser I became aware of outside of IE and I was mesmerized by its wonders (i.e. tabs).

The next would probably be Word '95, but I recently broke that streak. I've moved on to using other office apps (read: free), like Libre.
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In no particular order:
  • Firefox
  • Steam -- for both games and reliable VOIP
  • GIMP -- 'The GNU Image Manipulation Program'
  • OpenOffice/LibreOffice
  • Notepad++ on Windows, Kate on Linux/KDE
  • XBMC
That's it for 'apps' (programs, tyvm) that I've consistently used for years. I'm not sure GCC counts...
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I'm a huge Notepad++ fan. Any plugin you could ever want and you can customize the text and background to be "Hello Kitty" themed (which I can only withstand looking at for about 5 seconds until my eyes start to hurt).
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Some Visual-Basic PowerShell programs I created to manage unlock user accounts I still use them daily instead of clicking my way trough Active-directory.

Spinright https:­/­/www.grc.com­/spinrite.htm to fix hard-drives
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