Chris J Powell

Throwback Thursday – Tech the World has Lost – Part 7

In my exploration of the Tech that I have loved in the past that has gone by the way side I have looked at some of the fun stuff that has filled my life but I thought I would take a step away from the tech gear that has made my own life a little better and look to some software that was once an integral part of my life that has gone off the rails and disappeared into irrelevance.  Some will be focused on my personal life other bits may have been my “gateway” into the world of tech and IT.


When the Internet first became truly relevant in the lives of all my friends and small town acquaintances, ICQ was the go to app to connect with each other.  It is still around but the reality is…I have not installed it, used it or even thought about it in nearly a decade.  One of the original Instant Messaging Platforms the always present “Uh Oh” was there to remind us that someone left you a message or came online.  It was kind of like a validation and thinking back, it was like the text message notifications we get today on our Smart Phones.


The Application that got me focused on computers more than anything else was Lotus 1-2-3.  I had to use this spread sheet app back in the early 90s during my days as a Security Company Administrator.  I spent 9-10 hours building out data sets and compiling reports from this go to app.  When IBM shut the doors on Lotus last year, I felt a little heart broken as I had fond memories of trying to navigate through the DOS version of the program using short cuts and key strokes to work the magic of protecting the Greater Toronto Area.


When I got my first computer back in 1996 and connected it to the Internet, ICQ was not the only way that I communicated with the outside world.  Before meeting my now ex-wife, I would chat with people around the globe using MSN Comic Chat.  It was in many ways very strange, but also wildly interesting to have a comic strip created before your very eyes, and all you had to do was type in your message.  This was back in the days of Windows 95 so the computer was slow, the internet was painfully slow and messages were far from instant…but I would spend hours chatting up complete strangers.


While still on dial up I got into the world of File Sharing in the early 2000s.  Little did I know that my participation in this “illegal” activity would forever change how we purchase music.  With Google Play Music now offering a monthly subscription to their music files…I can’t help but think about what would have happened if Kazaa would have been able to do legally what they had done illegally for the first 5 or 6 years of the new millennium!

Today we look at the 1000’s of apps in the App Stores around us…and I wonder what will happen to the go to web apps and installed applications 10 years from now?  Will they fade into obscurity or will the morph into bigger and better programs and services?  How will the tools we use today to communicate, share ideas and access content change over time to meet the insatiable appetite we have for MORE.

I miss these apps and while most are no longer available, I did head out and see if I could grab my old User ID for ICQ…and unfortunately, the days of being able to scroll through the endless usernames are gone so I had to create a brand new account.  For those old school computer users…well my ICQ No. 690931457 feel free to connect with me.



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