Here are some reader responses to your favorite companies and products that are no longer with us:
Favorite: RAE Assist.
Runner Up: ISSCO Tell-A-Graph (Later purchased and buried by Computer
I miss WordPerfect. I'm still amazed that a product that had so many
worldwide users and two magazines devoted just to the product was so
totally overrun by Microsoft Office. WordPerfect was much easier to
use than Word and more predictable.
Here's a few I worked with over the past 44 years (and counting) that
are no longer with us:
The GE S-210 -- Bank of America used those systems for check processing
back in the mid-60's.
Philco -- The California DMV was running a Philco 900 when I started
working there. We replaced it with...
RCA Spectra 70 -- DMV's first on-line system (used mag cards for
You're missing out on the walking dead. SCO. They once owned a huge
swath of small business, but now, after Darl McBride said "All your
softwares are belong to us," everyone hates them and they probably
haven't sold enough Unix in the past 5 years to cover their electric
And the rapidly approaching dead. 3Com. Founded by Bob Metcalfe (my
own personal industry hero!), able to piss off enterprise customers in
a big way not once but twice, about to be consumed by HP.
What do I miss the most? It’s not really technological, but I miss
the Rubik’s cube. I could never figure them out and when I got
frustrated I would throw it on the floor or out the window. Can’t
really do that with expensive servers or routers now can we?
I do miss the Trash 80. I used to sit at the neighborhood Radio Shack
and play with their Trs-80 and program basic programming on it and
I’ll never forget the day the new Trash 90’s came out with color
screens and speakers and I programmed it to play "Flight of the Bumble Bee" over a
crappy little speaker. I had all 5 store clerks and about 20 kids
standing around me going oooh and ahhh.
Kaypro. I had a Kaypro 2x that I wrote my Masters thesis on. It was
still running strong when I gave it to Goodwill twelve years later
(as was the Juki printer that came bundled with it).
I bet this will be a blast from the past. One of my favorites from
the 1980s into the early 1990s is GeoWorks. At the time, GeoWorks
put Windows 2.0 and DOS to shame. Unfortunately, GeoWorks went the way
of other crusty dusty's from your list, particularly when Windows 95
hit the market.
We got a ton of letters on this topic, so look for even more responses in Doug's next Maibag.