In today’s museums we expect to see the skeletal structure of the tyrannosaurus, the painting of the Mona Lisa or the tomb of the Tutankhamun. But one may be startled to see the first copy of Microsoft windows version 1.01 inside a security cabinet sitting comfortably adjacent to the Millennium Sapphire! ….Or maybe not? Over the past 3 decades software has indeed changed human civilization forever.
Being one of the largest and most influential industries in the world today, I cannot think how we can overlook software as becoming part of our historical heritage. With software companies pumping out new versions of their software left, right and centre do we actually pause to think what happens to all those oldies? Yep..they get trashed and we never see them again…
In thousands of years time when either the world diminishes or aliens wipe out the human race. Someone is going to want to know about our human existence, maybe stuff like how we used to chat online and how it all began! But with the way we are heading I don’t think anyone will. Take chat software for instance, one may argue that it has played a part in how our modern language has evolved. You remember the early versions of ICQ Messenger? Simple chat box, type text and send? Well look how far we have come, with Yahoo messenger and MSN Messenger coming into the fold soon after we started seeing graphical emotional icons that we can simply click and show the other exactly how we felt And who could forget the short abbreviations of “LOL” and “ROFL” famous internet slang whom chat software started incorporating sound effects every time you typed “LOL” into the chat box, which I quickly had to turn off!
So old versions of software should not just be trashed, maybe they do deserve a place alongside all those famous historical artifacts that we see in museums. Maybe we won’t see any museums showcasing old software anytime soon, I guess we will have to make do with our very own virtual software museum, Oldversion.com. You see previous versions of software will in time come aid us in understanding the human past, social sciences of human society and development. So why not help us keep a vital part of our heritage alive by heading over to oldversion.com and maybe upload an old piece of history?….