While Microsoft Ends Support For Old Versions of IE, We Tell You Why To Still Use Them

While on Tuesday, Microsoft reported that they will be ending support for old versions of Internet Explorers this coming Saturday, the technology news cycle lit up with headlines such as: “Web Developers Rejoice!” “Finally!” celebrating that Microsoft will begin to nag all users to update their browser and end support for IE. I shed a virtual tear. For all you people still running Internet Explorer 4, I support you and stand behind you.

I installed it the other week. Some people say I have a problem. Maybe I can’t let go. Move on. Bigger and better. I have some news for you: this site still supports Internet Explorer 4.0. What? That’s right. You can download old versions using IE4 and hopefully even older. If you want to try it out, download IE4 from our page and have a ball. Then, you can navigate back to the same page using IE4 and download it again. How meta is that?

10 Hilarious Reasons To Still Use IE4:

1) You can get a ton more work done if you use IE4. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube…all those sites will not load. You cannot be distracted by the Internet so you will finally write that book or start the business you’ve always wanted to start.

2) Being a hipster is in. Being retro is part of being a hipster. You can be the ultimate hipster by using IE4.

3) You want to stick it to the man. Microsoft doesn’t support older versions of IE? You’ll show them. By using it. Yeah.

4) Your major was cultural anthropology, now you are writing a PH.D in some obscure field that no one else will ever invest 1000 hours of their life in. Having trouble coming up with an idea? IE 4. Research the type of people who still use it ;) . Start with yourself!

5) You want to relive Badger, Badger, Badger, Mushroom, Mushroom just like you experienced back in 2000. The origin of the Internet memes. Oops, that’s a Youtube link. Gotta find that old SWF file.

6) You have a problem with your kids viewing adult content at home. Just use IE4 and they won’t be able to view it anymore.

7) Your crazy ex is trying to contact you via a web messaging app. Sorry, there’s no “web apps” for you anymore and you finally have a good excuse.

8) Wikipedia wants you to donate $3 to their campaign? Sorry Wikipedia, you should have made your form compatible with IE4.

9) You’re a millionaire, but you pride yourself on being frugal. Don’t fix what ain’t broken. You still have that 166MHz P1 and you take pride in running it for all your millionaire duties (let’s say you made your money selling cows and not anything technical related).

10) Dennis Hopper called and told you that if your download speeds go over 10kB/s, your computer will blow up. (Okay, we are really stretching things here, but Speed remains one of my favorite movies).

In all seriousness, when IE4 came out; it was a solid web browser, although it still lagged behind Netscape. I remember trying to make web sites pretty with CSS hover-over texts and IE4 just wouldn’t support it like Netscape! What’s up with that, IE? Your download installer was pretty revolutionary as you tried to “download” the web browser from the installer, while common these days — it was completely obscure back in the day. Pioneering the way to auto-updates, Microsoft. Shame.

Do you still use old versions of Internet Explorer? If so, leave a comment and tell us why. For the love of God — answer the questions so many tech blogs are asking. Why?!

OldVersion.com Needs Your Help

I just received this incredible email from Luna. I wanted to post it below for our users to know that, yes, while we have taken a long hiatus — we are here. We care. We want to help and are seeking intelligent collaborators. If you want to help with the oldversion.com project, please email ov at oldversion dot com.

And thank you Luna — for inspiring this post!

“Yeah I just want to say hello, and as I’m here, I also want to thank you for this very site. (Thank you for emailing us. Your email was a pleasure to read.)

I don’t know if you’re still around here (we are a little consumed with the disease of busy-ness, but we are here), but as I speak we’re close to 2016 and the motto “Newer is not always better” had never been so true. I mean, softwares become heavier and heavier, so much than people are forced to upgrade their hardware more (we also have to upgrade our socks and jeans more frequently as they are intentionally designed with less quality so you keep buying more and more. Is more a disease?) and more frequently, even if this hardware is just fine. I realized that with windows 8 and now 10: I have been a Windows boy since my childhood, sticking to XP for a decade (a decade? you sound like us!) to reluctantly upgrade to 7 (64bit became mandatory, and I’m okay with that). But I know for sure 7 won’t last as long as XP. It revolted me enough to start looking at Linux (it was a pain for me, ever-windows lambda user having known nothing but GUIs, and absolute zero programming skill) because the pace of windows upgrades is fastening too much for no (other than financial) reasons.

I tell you this because I then realized writing software is not just about code technique, it’s also about philosophy and having a defined purpose (such as in life). As you said somewhere on your blog, soft updates are not always bad and are even good when they serve a certain purpose.
Philosophically, it’s obvious that not every change is good, and the “new” isn’t always for the better. But somehow, this real-life evidence isn’t considered in the world of softwares: “automatic upgrade” are default choices on an immense majority of software’s, and people skip the “why do I upgrade” question as if the new is always, automatically better. There is many reasons for it, one of which is the very famous “for your security”. Hell, who doesn’t want “security” ? With generalization of automatic upgrade we stopped thinking about the “why” and we just let the thing go: after all progress can’t be bad, and security prevails. (We can’t let security be an excuse for poor design – in life or in software).

I could go on but don’t want to wall of text you (please, don’t worry about it). I just wanted to say “newer is not always better” had never been so true, and with the “automatic update” thing going on, the need of archives like your site will be more and more needed. (Thank you, the automatic updates definitely make it harder for us to archive, but any ideas are welcome — send them to ov at old version dot com).

Anyway, if you read it all thank you (time is money so I owe you some - you can send us some ;) !). You must know you are not alone thinking the way you are, in fact every day we grow more and more, realizing this simple, yet easily forgettable fact: novelty must have a clear purpose ’cause it is not good or bad by itself. And corollary, the old must not disappear. You are a poet, kind sir. Thank you for putting this so eloquently.

Cheers, and I hope you will keep up the good work, and gather collaborators to help you in this time-consuming task, as there’s plenty of us who share your philosophy and crave to participate to an overall better world & Internet. Once again, the need have never been so big. If you’re a willing collaborator, please reach out. We are seeking ways to improve the site and help it serve the current community in search for old software. ov at old version dot com.

(And please pardon my broken english) Luna.”

Evernote releases Skitch 2.0, but is it for the worst?

This has happened countless of times, a great software turns sour after an acquisition by a big company, who release a new glossy, commercialized version only to disgruntle its current user base….Skype anyone? Well history repeats itself, Skitch prior to version 2.0 was praised as being the best image annotation program on the Macintosh. After the release of Skitch 2.0 it was apparent that the user base were not happy with what Evernote had done…

It took Skitch years to get out of beta and become a truly functional and amazing app. It took the developers only a couple of months after being bought out by Evernote to kill their much beloved baby.

This version 2 of Skitch feels like version 0.1 beta of some first steps into programming and GUI design.

To get the point as to why there has been much negativity about version 2.0, Evernote have removed much of the features that existed in previous versions:

  • No FTP options
  • No menu bar functionality
  • Clunky interface
  • More resources used
  • Forced use of dock icon
  • No longer being able to sign into Skitch.com
  • Forced to go through the Evernote Service to share images

As i mentioned before in my Opera Article, why mess with something that’s performing so well? Ok maybe you can tweak up the software a little based on users feedback, but to go off on your own tangent and bring out something completely different, is what Evernote seemed to have done and of course they have ultimatley payed the price by NOT listening to their user base.

Well on the brighter side of things, Old versions of Skitch are available here and Skitch 1.0.12 is the last version before the release of 2.0.

It would be interesting to know why you like or dislike the new version of Skitch 2.0, leave your comments below, thanks!

Oh my…What has Opera done?

I have been using Opera 11.64 for quite some time now and for the last week or so Opera has been nagging me to update to version 12. Well yesterday i finally gave in and said ‘why not?’. Today folks, I’m full with regret..and it seems from browsing the opera forums, I’m not the only one who fell into the trap of upgrading.

Opera seems to have headed in the same direction as Firefox, by making plug-ins as a separate process, so when one crashes or miss-behaves it doesn’t crash the whole browser. OK.. fair enough, sounds cool, but why oh why! does it consume so much more resources? Is this a trade off, stay secure but stay crippled? I tried watching youtube videos or playing online flash games (i love to play pool and letterblox on omgpop) and everything lagged to hell, to my horror i checked the task manager processes, and found the opera plugin container using 99% CPU, and over 200mb of memory!!
Here are some quotes from others who are experiencing the same problems with the latest version of Opera.

“Since the new Opera Version 12.0, whenever I open a youtube video this “Opera Plugin Wrapper” would appear in task manager and cause a high CPU usage…”

Regarding the plug-n container..

“As helpful as it seems, I don’t think the trade off is worth it. My CPU usage from the wrapper jumps to 70-80%…”

So what gives? you cant disable it, its here to stay..the only solution..is to downgrade! Some were also having problems with version 11 builds, such as having a lot of tabs open (over 50+) and they found Opera 10 to be less of a resource hog. But i for one will be going back to Opera 11.64, it gave me no problems whatsoever.

So until Opera decide to fix this problem, I’m not budging from using the older versions of Opera, what i don’t understand is, when something is working perfectly why break it?

Tim O’Reilly: What does it say about software that so many people want to go back to old version?

Tim O’Reilly recently posed an interesting question on Twitter. What does it say about software that so many people want to go back to the old version? Let me make a confession. I’m not a software aficionado by any means. I started this site back in 2001 because I thought it had a great chance to become a hit and there was nothing like it on the Internet at the time. It did become a hit. Within three months, a New York Times columnist reached out for a story, Kevin Rose offered to buy the site for $10,000 and suddenly I mattered a lot more in the Internet world. Life was good. Then I went to high school (I was still in middle school when the site first launched) and life sucked again.

Despite not being a software aficionado, running this site for the last decade has taught me a thing or two. For one, it’s easier to get a second date if you tell a woman “I run an Internet company” vs. “I run an Internet web site.” ;) . Also:

1)      Version updates for the sake of interface changes are RISKY.

Remember when AIM Triton was released and the entire interface of AIM was redone? Or how about the release of Winamp 3 and its disgustingly non-classical default interface? Office 2007? Windows 8? (I have not installed it yet). Tons of things can go wrong. New bugs, people unsure of how to complete basic tasks, etc.

Cyrus Farivar recently mentioned in an interview:

“An overriding principle would be that don’t let design get in the way of functionality. In other words, don’t just do design changes for the sake of doing them.”

Yet, publishers seem to do that all the time. Hell, even I’m guilty of this with this very site. It’s so tempting, especially when you have the job title and responsibility to continually innovate and change things up. I understand the drive to create something new, to switch things up, but if you’ve got something that works – don’t reinvent your own wheel, otherwise you may end up tripping over it and falling on your face.

2)      Publishers who tweak their software without listening to user feedback can run themselves into the ground.

Newer versions are useful. There I said it. I never argued otherwise. After all, the slogan of the site is “newer is not always better,” not “older is always better.” New versions can fix bugs, add requested features, the UI can be more intuitive and so forth. Yet, software publishers who do not communicate with their customers and are too hard-pressed and proud to go back on a previous decision are not following a winning strategy.

TweetDeck AIR version (before Twitter’s acquisition) is a great example. Twitter, why won’t you listen to all the griping souls?

3)      Developing for backward compatibility is challenging, so older versions are always necessary.

I started this site because the new version of Napster used 100% of my CPU power back in 2001. I couldn’t download any more Russian music on my 56K, what was I to do?

Start www.oldversion.com

4)      Additional ‘bloat,’ monetizing mechanisms can hurt your business.

I’m guilty of this. This site suffered a huge hit in January when Google demoted me for having all 3 ads above the fold (ironically, this is what their AdSense team recommended I do but I digress). I lost a lot of traffic. It’s tempting when it seems like such easy money. Avoid the temptation. It will only lead to unhappy customers seeking to downgrade (or switch to competitors).

5)      It’s hard to run a software company.

If you run a software company (or any company, for that matter), my hat goes off (I’m not wearing a hat). It’s hard. How do you balance pressure for increased revenues with your customers needs? How do you make decisions that serve your customers and the board (hint: your board’s interests should be aligned with your customers)?

How do you deal with all the people whining about a new release that your team has spent years working on? How do you decide to scrape something that you’ve invested millions of dollars into developing?

I’m grateful I don’t have to make these decisions! All I can suggest is that you listen to your core users and send us some money (we will fix something for sure if you send us some money).

So surely the existence of this site must say something about people as well:

1)      People are creatures of habit.

Peter Hershberg tweeted: “Among other things, it says that people hate change.” He later added that people update their software because they are “unaware of how much they hate change.” Jeffrey Mershon offered:sometimes new version truly is worse, but we are creatures of habit, and resist change.”

I tend to agree with Jeff (although maybe I should agree with Peter because he has more Twitter followers). We resist change, but we don’t necessarily hate it. Some people are more open to it than others, sure, but if we hate change so much then there’s no way that Obama could have touted change as his whole campaign and won.

If we’ve worked with Excel for 15 years and Microsoft suddenly updates all the keyboard shortcuts we’ve used and changes the menus around, we may have some feelings about it.

2)      People’s expectations are just as important as the software they are using.

People get upset, angry and frustrated when their expectations are not met. This applies as much to relationships as it does to software.

3)      People like free stuff.

Some of the software downloaded on oldversion.com are the freeware versions of a certain release. Example: PowerArchiver. The most downloaded version is 6.1 because it was released under the Freeware license.

4)      People value archives, legacy and history.

Old versions are cultural artifacts. Imagine you find a floppy disk stuck between the rusty pages of an old family heirloom. How do you find the software that is able to make sense of that data?

5)      Nostalgia can be fun.

I like to install old software on my Windows 98 VirtualBox and watch the status indicator tell me how much hard drive space I have left as I’m installing. It brings me back. Heck, apparently some people argue that Windows 98 is a great solution for audio editing. (see comments)

So, Tim O’Reilly – thanks for inspiring this discussion!

Our dear users: please feel free to comment below: what do you think it says about software (and people) that so many people want to revert to the older version?