Home Features Friday Debate – What was the best PC software from your childhood?

Friday Debate – What was the best PC software from your childhood?

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Encarta-FFD

I recently uncovered a treasure trove box of CDs up in my cupboard, that I’d completely forgotten about. Inside of it were numerous albums, absolute bangers from an era of baggy pants, too much damn hair gel and a youth misspent on watching anime. I’m talking Limp Bizkit (Which confirms the existence of Firm Biscuits), The Dead Kennedy’s, Linkin Park’s brilliant Meteora and so much more.

Now yes, I could have just created a playlist on Spotify, but I was feeling nostalgic. Besides, Spotify has been kind of weird lately, dropping beats and latency as if it were infested with gremlins. So I did what any rational person would do: I burned the whole lot of my albums onto my PC, created a folder for them and synced them to WinAmp.

Yes, WinAmp. The software that made its bones by whipping a Llama’s ass. Times change, platforms evolve but you just cannot beat good design. WinAmp is still a masterpiece of design, a simple studio with so much to offer through its gargantuan library of plug-ins that have been preserved online. It got me thinking: What other ancient pieces of software do you still have fond memories for? Here’s a quick list of software that pretty much defined my childhoods:

  • Nero – For burning completely legitimate content onto a CD-ROM (Or DVDs if you grew up rich)
  • RealPlayer – For allowing us to watch more legally obtained content in glorious 144p mode
  • EJay – Because I was totally going to be a damn good DJ when I left high school just you wait and see
  • Daemon – I was hellbent on not listening to a Boeing 747 land whenever I started a game and preferred having a virtual option for loading my games
  • Encarta 97 – A godsend in an age before Wikipedia was invented
  • Art Explosion 200,000 – It’s art! But easier!
  • Sonique – Absolutely crap when compared to WinAmp but it did look fantastic
  • MIRC – I have no idea what that is, but Kervyn says it was the business for chatting back in the day

What’s the best software from your particular timeline? Any gems you’d care to share? Sound off below and let’s remember how much we hated that damn clown in Encarta’s Mind Maze game.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Critical Hit as an organisation.

Last Updated: July 31, 2020

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