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Unknown_K
April 27th, 2012, 03:18 PM
If you wanted to build the best 1980's software library for the IBM PC/XT/AT what would you pick and why (productivity and utilities not games)?

This stuff is probably hard to find these days outside of warez, but it would be nice to try.

XtreePro or Xtree Gold is my pick

Floppies_only
April 28th, 2012, 07:46 AM
If you wanted to build the best 1980's software library for the IBM PC/XT/AT what would you pick and why (productivity and utilities not games)?

This stuff is probably hard to find these days outside of warez, but it would be nice to try.

XtreePro or Xtree Gold is my pick

After I got Xtree, I would get a copy of Microsoft Works version 1 or 2 (1987 and 1989, respectively). Then I'd get a copy of Windows 2.00 to be able to print documents created and spell-checked with Works in WYSIWYG with a graphics printer. I don't know about Xtree, but the other two don't need a hard drive. I might search for a copy of Geoworks, as it does both with just one program, although it might not have the terminal program.

To defragment the drive (or floppies) and change its interleave I'd get The Norton Utilities version that is appropriate for the computer.

If I wanted to program, I'd get a copy of IBMs BASIC compiler.

I might add more later.

Sean

Chuck(G)
April 28th, 2012, 09:25 AM
Lotus 1-2-3 would head the list. It's why many bought PCs and XTs--in much the same way that a lot of Apples were sold to run VisiCalc.

Stone
April 28th, 2012, 10:03 AM
What about AS-EASY-AS? It was a 1-2-3 clone, just about as good if you didn't use monster spreadsheets and just a fraction of the price. Not only that, it was Lotus compatible. I've still got the shareware version, 4.00.

Chuck(G)
April 28th, 2012, 10:14 AM
What about AS-EASY-AS? It was a 1-2-3 clone, just about as good if you didn't use monster spreadsheets and just a fraction of the price. Not only that, it was Lotus compatible. I've still got the shareware version, 4.00.

No, the button-down finance crowd wanted real Lotus software, not some clone. A lot of those clones also couldn't do the fancy stuff that Lotus could--just the basic spreadsheet. When IBM demoed the PS/2, they didn't do it with As-Easy-As, they did it with Lotus, even though they somewhat sheepishly admitted that they had to resort to breaking the copy protection for the demo.

Unknown_K
April 28th, 2012, 10:21 AM
So which version of Lotus 123 2.x or 3.x?

I guess Harvard Graphics for presentations?

What is the best stand alone word processor of the 80's, Wordperfect?

Stone
April 28th, 2012, 10:27 AM
What is the best stand alone word processor of the 80's, Wordperfect?Not for me... I like simple... Professional Write was/is my word processor of choice.

Unknown_K
April 28th, 2012, 12:11 PM
Professional Write is what I used back in college during the DOS age (then went to AMI Pro in Win 3.1), still looking for the best or most popular in each category not the cheapest. In college during the mid to late 1980's we had 100's upon 100's of XTs with dual floppies in the computer labs so we ran our apps on one floppy and had our save disks in the other.

k2x4b524[
April 28th, 2012, 01:06 PM
XTree 2.5 and 3.0, norton utilites 4.5 advanced edition and 5.0 standard or gold *can't remember which it is*, i never got the hang of spreadsheets using lotus, but word for dos, or microsoft works are good. the earlier versions of central point utilities are good to use also.

krebizfan
April 28th, 2012, 04:08 PM
Best WP was split between WordPerfect, MS Word and XyWrite.

Spreadsheet would be Lotus 1-2-3 v2.2 until Excel came into its own.

DTP would be between Ventura Publisher and Pagemaker.

Did any paint program get any significant sales outside of PC Paintbrush? Simarly, Corel Draw seemed to be the first PC graphics program people wanted to use.

Chuck(G)
April 28th, 2012, 04:29 PM
Multimate Advantage, dBase II and III. Borland Turbo Pascal was also very popular during that time. For converting graphics formats, Hijaak.

DOS lives on!!
April 28th, 2012, 04:37 PM
My favorites are Norton Utilities 6.01, Harvard Graphics (I've got the full package), mTCP or MS Lan Client for networking, MS Word 5.5 or DOS's EDIT for word processing.

twolazy
April 28th, 2012, 05:06 PM
Best WP was split between WordPerfect, MS Word and XyWrite.

Did any paint program get any significant sales outside of PC Paintbrush? Simarly, Corel Draw seemed to be the first PC graphics program people wanted to use.

There were a few different programs. Most popular one is Publishers Paintbrush, which I used often. Much better then PC paintbrush, but no RLE support. I still have the disks/manual in near mint, and even still use it time to time for bitmap art. :D

What I would choose for applications:

Norton utilities 2.0 and Mace Utilities
Wordperfect for dos (always perfered wordperfect over word/works)
Aurora v3.0 for a light text editor, beats ms-edit, more features then PE OR maybe Wordstar v 1.x
Ventura and Corel
PC and Publishers Paintbrush
Autocad v 2.x-5.x
Lotus 123 v 3.0 *if you have a mathco, if not 2.x
Adobe acrobat for dos v 1.0
Windows 2.x
Borland dbase if a database was needed
Turbo Pascal and Turbo C
File Maven v3.5a or Laplink for xfer of files
Kermit and maybe Telix for Terminal progs

Chuck(G)
April 28th, 2012, 06:09 PM
List

Norton utilities 2.0 and Mace Utilities

Central Point PCTools, I think was No. 2 behind Norton--or perhaps was tied with it for #1. In particular, Central Point Backup--although I used Sytos most of that time. Fastback was another popular floppy-based backup package.

Wordperfect for dos (always perfered wordperfect over word/works)

I used Wordstar 2000 much of time--don't underestimate how many people used Wordstar, particularly if they migrated from a CP/M system.

Aurora v3.0 for a light text editor, beats ms-edit, more features then PE OR maybe Wordstar v 1.x

Never heard of Aurora--there were several very good text editors, say, SEMEdit and many "programmer's editors" as well as the editor that came with the utility packages, such as Norton. There were versions of emacs for the PC as well. The first Wordstar for DOS was 3.3; pretty much the CP/M version translated. I have both WordStar 4.0 for DOS and CP/M--there's very little difference.

Ventura and Corel
PC and Publishers Paintbrush

Never heard of Publisher's Paintbrush. PC graphcs support at the time of the AT wasn't very good. At the time, my wife was working with Framemaker on a Sun and it dwarfed just about anything VP could do. If you were serious, you probably used a workstation or a Mac.

Windows 2.x

You usually didn't use MS Windows unless you were forced to. If you used Ventura, you had GEM. Many other programs had their own graphics system (e.g. OrCAD for example). Windows 2 was terrible--Windows didn't gain much momentum until 3--and in particular, 3.1.

Borland dbase if a database was needed

dBase was Ashton-Tate until 1991, long after the AT timeframe.

Turbo Pascal and Turbo C

If you were developing for a Microsoft platform professionally, you tended to use Microsoft C. It was simply prudent.

File Maven v3.5a or Laplink for xfer of files

Laplink, Carbon Copy or a host of other utilities, some bundled for free. Never heard of File Maven at the time.

Kermit and maybe Telix for Terminal progs

Kermit wasn't very popular outside of the academic sphere. Procomm Plus was far and away more popular. There were also many programs to llink up with mainframes that supported SDLC/HDLC etc.

One thing that you have to remember is that the environment was very different. We work in a connect web- and net-centric environment today. Back then, it was almost all dialup with few wired networks outside of the corporate environment (where Novell pretty much held sway). So the nature of the work was different. You might do your editing on a PC, but you compiled and ran on a mainframe much of the time. We forget that during the 5150 - 5170 timeframe, a lot of organizations treated PCs as smart terminals or at best, thin clients.

MikeS
April 28th, 2012, 06:22 PM
In my world it was Supercalc, Wordstar, dBaseII and Kermit/Mex in the CP/M days, and 1-2-3, Wordstar (soon replaced by WordPerfect), dBaseIII+ and ProComm Plus when the PCs and clones took over.

Chuck(G)
April 28th, 2012, 06:44 PM
In my world it was Supercalc, Wordstar, dBaseII and Kermit/Mex in the CP/M days, and 1-2-3, Wordstar (soon replaced by WordPerfect), dBaseIII+ and ProComm Plus when the PCs and clones took over.

SuperCalc? (there's some of my code in that one, both in the CP/M and the DOS versions). Ever use SuperWriter or SuperProject?

twolazy
April 28th, 2012, 07:22 PM
Aurora is available here... http://www-personal.umich.edu/~knassen/aurora.html --- its a fairly recent program compared to others, but for what it offers its a great package! Almost exactly like IBM's PE but with macro support, and I think a spellchecker among other things. Very cool!

PC Paintbrush IV (later called Publishers Paintbrush) - Was made by Zsoft. Mostly just used by desktop publishers at the time. It eventually made its ways to windows in future versions. THE BEST graphical editor for dos. Very similar to its sister PC Paint 1.0 ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PC_Paintbrush ), but included alot more support , and includes a font creation tool.

"Paintbrush was later adapted to the Windows 3.0 operating system as Publisher's Paintbrush." -- Guess I was half right. Publishers Paintbrush is the same program, but for windows. I have multiple different copies of PC Paintbrush as well. Even have the original infrared mouse that came with PC Paintbrush 1.0 still! :D

BTW, if you ever used MS Paint, then you used an scaled down ancestor of PC / Publishers paintbrush! ;)

Wordstar - Guess it was version 4 then, weird the booklet/instructions I have I swear said 1.0 for Dos *shrugs Maybe I am confusing it with the webster (as in websters dictionary) editor I used to use. I had both and used both I remember that. I remember the webster having a much better spell check though...

File maven is a open source version of laplink in a way, but less requirements and text only. Comparable to earlier laplink versions, but more options like serial etc
available here http://www.briggsoft.com/fmdos.htm. If I remember right it had an option to upload a copy of itself to the other pc through the serial/parallel port, if you didn't have a way to get the program on there. I remember using it with an epson 8088 with a dead floppy. Was the only real way to get software into it!

Reason I say use the newer software then era correct, is for instance File maven and Aurora, both are still supported by their creators. Definite bonus in my book. :)

MikeS
April 28th, 2012, 07:31 PM
SuperCalc? (there's some of my code in that one, both in the CP/M and the DOS versions). Ever use SuperWriter or SuperProject?Nope, but I've got an original SuperSort binder beside me, as well as CalcStar and SpellStar and I think I've even got a DataStar package somewhere. Also Lotus' first all-in-one, Symphony, but that never really caught on.

Maverick1978
April 28th, 2012, 08:42 PM
Outside of what's already been mentioned... My favorite WP besides Microsoft Works was actually from IBM - Writing Assistant and it's big brother DisplayWrite. Both were wysiwyg, both had menus, and unlike WP (which I hate to this day), didn't require an inordinate amount of memorization of three levels of key combinations just to execute common tasks.

I think that Telix is probably too new to include in the XT/AT era, just FYI. What's not is Procomm Plus. I used both it and Telix extensively on these level of machines all the way up to my Pentium days.

SpidersWeb
April 28th, 2012, 08:47 PM
Think my choices have already been covered but:

#1 - Xtree Gold
Every time I use it I find some feature I didn't know existed, last week I discovered it can compress and extract files to PKZip 2.04 ZIP format.

Following that I like to load on the old machines:
FastLynx 2 (file transfer with remote upload - this usually goes on first, followed by XTreeGold)
Direct Access 5.1 (menu system, and it's not really XT era, but it's brilliant)
dBase II or III
Word Perfect 5.1
Harvard Graphics
Lotus 1-2-3
Norton Utilities (although SpeedDisk and Norton Disk Doctor are all I really use in 4.5, and Calibrate (LLF/interleave testing tool) in v6

For an all-in-one application I know MS Works for DOS is popular, but I quite like PFS:FirstChoice (WP/SS/DB etc), and PFS:FistPublisher for DTP - I have both of these boxed with disks but actually haven't installed them yet, just loved them 'back in the day'.

Another one I think I should mention is Central Point's PC Tools v6.0 - I found this in a shop attached to a rubbish-dump for $10. It has some very good data recovery software, backup software, calculators, etc but also provides copy'n paste between DOS applications. I also noticed watching Computer Chronicles it regularly made the top 10 in software sales.

Edit: most impressive WYSIWYG word processor for your XT - Ami or Ami Pro - they use the Windows 2.x libraries but don't require a Windows install, and I beleive this was the first true GUI word processor until it got owned by MS Word? I had it running on my XT - and while slow it was pretty cool! Only reason I don't put it on XT's is because of the speed issue - but an XT Clone or 286 and it would fly I suspect.

Chuck(G)
April 28th, 2012, 08:57 PM
DisplayWrite was the little cousin to the software running on the IBM 6580 Displaywriter (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_Displaywriter_System). Does the monitor styling look familiar? It used an 8086 with a minimum 160K of DRAM--and could run CP/M-86 as well as UCSD Pascal.

The interesting thing about the DisplayWriter is that it was prety much useless without the printer for producing documents. Instead of a smart program and a dumb printer, it used not-so-smart software and a smart printer.

And it used EBCDIC.

krebizfan
April 28th, 2012, 09:19 PM
Edit: most impressive WYSIWYG word processor for your XT - Ami or Ami Pro - they use the Windows 2.x libraries but don't require a Windows install, and I beleive this was the first true GUI word processor until it got owned by MS Word? I had it running on my XT - and while slow it was pretty cool! Only reason I don't put it on XT's is because of the speed issue - but an XT Clone or 286 and it would fly I suspect.

No, Ami was not the first GUI word processor, not even the first one on Windows; NBI Legend/Legacy was available on Windows for several years before Ami came around. The big difference was that Ami was the first feature heavy PC GUI wordprocessor that worked at a reasonable speed. Legacy became the basis for the Windows versions of Wordstar.

SpidersWeb
April 28th, 2012, 09:21 PM
Ahhh right, cheers :)

Unknown_K
April 28th, 2012, 10:34 PM
So what about task switchers like Borland Sidekick (Desqview needed a 386 I think)

krebizfan
April 29th, 2012, 07:40 AM
Desqview ran on an 8086 though having EMS was very helpful; it worked better on a 386 with lots of memory.

Software Carousel was the big name in task switching but lots of others existed in the brief time between systems having the ability to handle multiple DOS apps and task switching being built into the OS or GUI.

Early Sidekick was so much better than the competition in the whole popup market. Later versions forgot about the need to be small and quick to appear.

VileR
April 29th, 2012, 07:40 AM
For a text editor, I really liked E3 from IBM (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Dozen/E_%28text_editor_family%29). The interface is easy to adjust to, works just fine for simple and quick editing jobs, and has some nice tools that aren't too common in other popular editors (rectangular block selection, etc). And if you need power, it's very much extensible and programmable.

Graphics packages... PC Paint 3.1 was quite nice and flexible, with support for 20 or so video modes. On a later system I'd give Autodesk Animator Pro a try, but I don't think it would play nice with an XT/AT.


So what about task switchers like Borland Sidekick (Desqview needed a 386 I think)

wasn't that just a collection of TSR tools? certainly useful, but not exactly a full task switcher, IIRC.

Stone
April 29th, 2012, 08:16 AM
For multitasking I used PC-MIX on my 286 for years. This is not a task switcher. PC-MIX does not swap your programs out to disk. They always remain in memory. I would run my comm program (Telix), and whatever else was necessary, up to three programs, without the aid (or hinderence) of WinBlows.

8705

Try it. It will even run on a 5150. And with EMS support it works even better. I bet you'll like it.

Ole Juul
April 29th, 2012, 04:23 PM
- Libraries
- - Utilities

PC-Mag (PC-Mag)
DOSNIX (Vrooman)

Pick and choose, but DM (at 8k) replaces most file managers and listers quite adequately.

gerrydoire
April 29th, 2012, 05:25 PM
Lotus 1-2-3 would head the list. It's why many bought PCs and XTs--in much the same way that a lot of Apples were sold to run VisiCalc.

I recently bought an original copy of Lotus 1-2-3 ver 1.1, the entire thing is complete and in fabulous conidition, I thought it would look "pwetty" next to my IBM PC's :)

juicylemon
May 5th, 2012, 11:50 AM
If you wanted to build the best 1980's software library for the IBM PC/XT/AT what would you pick and why (productivity and utilities not games)?
A nice overview of DOS applications can be found here:http://www.danielsays.com/ss-gallery-dos.html. It contains LOTS of screenshots.

Caluser2000
May 5th, 2012, 12:15 PM
A nice overview of DOS applications can be found here:http://www.danielsays.com/ss-gallery-dos.html. It contains LOTS of screenshots.That's a nice page alright. Bought back a few memories.

k2x4b524[
May 5th, 2012, 01:22 PM
Alot of that stuff does look good, and useful too, alot of that i already have in one form or another, but that ibm fixed disk organizer i don't have yet, where can you get that one for example?

Unknown_K
May 5th, 2012, 02:23 PM
One category I would love to have is all the engineering type apps that came out for the early PC in the 1980's. Just the manuals for that software would be killer to have. Sadly I am sure it is all trashed.

Sometime this weekend I will pick a laptop and start cataloging all my apps in Excel.

Unknown_K
May 11th, 2012, 09:41 AM
Just got in a couple apps from BOEING (airplain maker made software?). Anyway I got Boeing Calc and Graph, Calc is supposed to be the first spreadsheet with pages. Never heard of this stuff before, hope the disks image ok (will find out later).

Some info:

http://www.boeingcalc.com/

Mark2000
May 12th, 2012, 07:09 AM
It's a shame Daniel's page doesn't have copies of the actual apps. I'd love to get my hands on Menu Works. Seems like it's not easy to find on abandonware sites.

Stone
May 12th, 2012, 08:29 AM
I don't have Menu Works but I do have Direct Access v5.0 which is very similar and one of the best menu systems of its time.