Reminiscing About Tech’s Past

I find myself reminiscing this morning as I devour a few articles about the history of computing. Both are filled with passion and make very good reading. Moreover there is a great deal of history in each and you can learn some valuable business lessons from each.

The most passionate is an article from Jason Perlow explaining why he will never buy a Mac. Amazingly Perlow takes on Steve Jobs and calls him a snake oil salesman. He backs up his statements with facts and makes a convincing argument about why we may see Mac clones in the future. He also explains why Apple hasn’t taken over the world – hint – pricing and a closed business model.

David Strom has a great article about 25 dead tech products which includes Radish Communications and SCO UNIX. The article brought back lots of memories for me as I was there when Radish launched at a trade show – I just can’t recall which. I also was a programmer on SCO UNIX in late eighties. Another one of companies mentioned in the article was Stac Electronics – it was taken down by Microsoft. I never had a chance to use the company’s products but they certainly filled a valuable role in the market. This story reminded me that I would have added Quarterdeck to the list as they had some great memory and OS boosting apps which made it a pleasure to use a computer in the good old days. Microsoft took them out as well.

Then there is Borland Paradox – an extremely popular database program which cost $600 and was taken out by $99 Microsoft Access. Then there was WordPerfect which lost out to Microsoft Word – sensing a pattern?

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