eBay Purchase #28 – Norton Navigator for Windows 95

nortonnavigator_introeBay Purchase Price: $19.95 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: Excellent

Norton Commander and Norton Navigator have some things in common. Both coincidentally were a motorcycle in the later half of the 20th century, and both were file management software applications acquired by Symantec that are now defunct. Out of the two, it would be fair to say Norton Commander was more commercially successful and competed head-to-head with XTree Gold.

XTree Gold was brilliant in the DOS era, though as with other applications failed to keep momentum transitioning across to Windows. This led to an acquisition by Central Point Software, who in turn were acquired by Symantec. Ultimately Norton Navigator loosely was a replacement for Norton Desktop and XTree Gold aimed at Windows 95.

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Classified: Norton Your Eyes Only 4.02

nortonyoureyesonly-introIn the heyday of Windows 95, there had been a running joke of its security features (or lack thereof). Multi-user account management was nothing more than creating profiles for storing desktop settings and documents. The request to enter a username and password at the Enter Network Password dialog box on startup was often mistakenly seen by less savvy users as a form of security, not realising it’s just credentials for accessing network shares in a workgroup.

Originally retailing for $90 US, Norton released Your Eyes Only (YEO) to up the ante in this regard. Whilst it didn’t overcome Windows’ limitations entirely it added an additional layer as a deterrent. Its main purpose was to keep prying eyes away from files you want private. A Windows 95-based PC with 8 MB RAM were the requirements, with 16 MB recommended.

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eBay Purchase #22 – XTree Pro Gold 1.3

xtreegoldpro-introeBay Purchase Price: $3.30 AUD

Country of Origin: United States

Condition: Good

When it came to managing your files, many were in one of two camps – XTree or Norton Commander. I was in the XTree camp; probably from someone purchasing a used computer and creating backups of whatever happened to be on it. Early DOS users only had the command prompt to navigate through files, which had been fine when PCs were still sold with only floppy disk drives. The introduction of hard disk drives despite being meagre by today’s standards brought about a desire to view and manage the contents of such drives in a better way.

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File Manager Returns

filemanager-largeiconThis isn’t something I’d expect from Microsoft, and it must have been a bit of a flashback for Ian Ellison-Taylor.

File Manager, once the default file management tool during the heyday of Windows 3.x and NT has come back to life for Windows 10. Now available in open source under a MIT license, two variations of the source code have been published on GitHub. The only dependency is for the Visual Studio 2015 C++ runtime to be installed on your PC.

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eBay Purchase #8 – Symantec pcAnywhere32 7.5

pcanywhere75-1eBay Purchase Price: $25 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: Very Good

Just recently I picked up a complete copy of pcAnywhere32 7.5 remote access software. The good news is the manuals are in excellent condition, and the original parallel port cable is included which can often go missing. The bad news is that out of the four floppy disks for the software itself, the second disk couldn’t be imaged due to bad sectors. Fortunately I could retrieve this elsewhere.

Symantec’s strategy in the late 1980s and early 1990s had been one of company acquisitions. One such acquisition was announced in August 1990 with the purchase of Peter Norton Computing Inc. who had a stronghold in the DOS disk utilities space. Symantec retained the Norton branding and had done so for a number of years.

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