Archiving older versions is an honor. I like to think of myself as the curator of a new kind of museum, carefully picking and choosing which software to put on display. There are some true gems of true gems of software history here and also some not-working software that have turned entire industries upside down.
Not everyone seems to understand the purpose of this museum.
I’ve had developers tell me that they were going to “personally kill me for archiving old browsers.” Over the last month, 11% of our users used Internet Explorer 6 to access our site vs 9.4% of our visitors that used Internet Explorer 7. Cross-compatibility can be such a headache for developers that I can understand why they would want me to die. I can only imagine — having my life sucked out of me in some horrendous way by a pissed off developer, simply because I started oldversion.com which allows users to download IE6. What the hell would I even be thinking at that time?
Developers have also pissed me off so much that just today, I talked about kidnapping my developer’s wife (her sister lives right across the street from my grandmother) and holding her for ransom until our project was delivered and cross-compatible with old browsers. Truth be told, I even like his wife (but don’t tell him that – he could get some wrong ideas!) so that should give you an idea of how mad I was. My good friend and consultant, Chris Buryta talked me out of it. It’s a good thing too, because I don’t want to be in jail. Or do I?
If someone asked me whether I am willing to sit in jail for providing old versions of software – my answer would be yes. Indeed, I would go to jail, although to be completely honest with you – probably for no longer than a month.
I want to make it clear: I think archiving old versions is critical to understanding culture and its progression and evolution. I don’t care how many people it pisses off. Being able to look at the progression of technological culture and its direct economic, social and historical affects on human society is an unexplored, exponentially growing and fascinating field. Software is an additional archeological artifact for anthropologists to examine. What can the progression of software tell us about where our civilization is heading? Please feel free to discuss this in the comments below.
Put me in jail for running this site if you want. The U.S. had no qualms about doing that to Megaupload founder. If I could make one small request though – put me in a jail with prisoners that look like this.
I would stay there forever.