Inspired By Atari: Microsoft Arcade

msarcade-introIn 1993 Microsoft released Arcade for Windows 3.1, as part of their Microsoft Home product line. Inspired by Atari, it was a small collection of games that had been played in the heyday of coin-operated arcade machines over a decade prior. The following year, it also was made available on the Macintosh. Dima Pavlovsky had been the sole developer.

Fitting onto a single floppy disk, Arcade was typically sold in its own retail package. However on occasion the disk was tossed in with some models of Microsoft Mouse, as had been the case with my copy.

Here’s a rundown of the included titles – Asteroids, Battlezone, Centipede, Missile Command, and Tempest which actually contains a little secret.

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Work Smarter Not Harder: SmartDraw 3.20

SmartDraw originally dates back to 1994 as a tool primarily for the use of process mapping, organisational charts, maps, and various forms of technical diagrams. The software still exists to this day, although the choice of diagrams has changed greatly and a web-based version is now available.

Today we rewind back to Halloween of 1997 when Version 3.2 was released, an incremental update from the original 3.0 release in 1996. The next major release was a couple of years away, so I’m led to believe this would be the last to support Windows 3.1. A native Windows 95/NT build was also available during the installation process. At the time it had been a much more affordable option compared to its competitors, Visio Corp.’s Visio Professional 4.5 and Micrografx FlowCharter 7.0. The point of difference apart from the retail price tag was to simplify the creation of diagrams to suit the occasional user.

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eBay Purchase #24 – Maxis SimCity 2000 Special Edition

simcity2000-introeBay Purchase Price: $31 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: Excellent

For the most part my software collection comprises of mostly operating systems and productivity applications. Games are a bit of an afterthought for me but I guess to some people more desirable. Let’s face it, most with an interest in retro computing would rather an original copy of DOOM, than Microsoft SNA Server.

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eBay Purchase #23 – Micrografx Designer 4.0

micrografx-designer4-introeBay Purchase Price: $19 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: Excellent

When it comes to illustration and vector graphics, Adobe Illustrator and perhaps to a lesser extent CorelDRAW spring to mind as the main contenders in this segment. Much like other software from the 1980s and 90s, there were other commercial offerings out there though over time were succumbed to corporate acquisitions. Micrografx was one such vendor.

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Macintosh Files in a Windows World: MacOpener 2.0

macopener20-1Prior to the turn of the century, it was generally considered an outright nuisance sharing files between Macintosh systems and well everything else. Apple provided Apple File Exchange and later PC Exchange in the early 1990s, system utilities that allowed PC-formatted floppy disks to be used initially with System 7.0. Whilst having the annoying habit of creating hidden files, it was good enough for moving around Office documents and JPEG images between platforms.

Users of DOS, Windows, and OS/2 were left neglected in the ability to read Macintosh-formatted disks, and consequently if you were frequently moving across files between platforms it was best to leave them formatted for PC. If you were determined to read Macintosh disks directly on your PC, you were left with no choice but to purchase a third-party utility. Whilst not the only option, this is where MacOpener comes into play.

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Windows for Pen Computing 1.0

mspencomputing-1The notion of using some form of stylus or pen for interaction has been around since the earliest days of computing. Rewind back to 1957, there was the Styalator using a stylus for hand writing recognition. In 1964 the IBM 2250 was provided with a pen for vector graphics that was sensitive to light against a CRT monitor.

By 1987 Go Corporation was founded with a focus on pen computing, and consequently developed an operating system named PenPoint OS with this in mind. Intel invested in Go, causing angst at Microsoft for supporting a competing product.

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eBay Purchase #18 – Microsoft Word for Windows 1.1a

mswinword11-7eBay Purchase Price: Unknown

Country of Origin: Australia & United States

Condition: Good & Brand New (2 x copies, Academic & Retail)

Word processing software has been with us since the earliest days of the PC. Electric Pencil and WordStar were such pioneers before Microsoft Word came about. Microsoft jumped in with Word 1.0 for MS-DOS in 1983, followed by the Macintosh in 1985. Windows and OS/2 releases didn’t materialise until 1989. The original Windows version was designed for Windows 2.x. As Windows 3.0 hit the store shelves in 1990, Word 1.1 soon followed as a maintenance release.

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