The Excitement in the Early Days of the PC

While browsing around this morning I found a cool article that outlines the history of the ZIP archive format and, more specifically, the guy who created it, Phil Katz.

I’ve posted about this before on previous incarnations of the web site. The “compression wars” are one of the things I remember most about the early days of the PC. It was, for computer geeks, the equivelent of the O.J. trial. Everyone tried to keep up on what was going on, and everyone had an opinion.

Patrick Grote also wrote a great article describing the environment in those days. Patrick, during this time, was actually writing shareware software reviews and had reviewed a program I had written and released as shareware at the time. I still remember how great it felt to get a 9.2 rating out of 10 “for the promise of being better than Norton and following through”. What a great thing for a young kid to read as he’s learning C!

As I was writing this I looked around and found the original (1989) documentation for this program, which might be fun to read. When I can get to it, I’ll post the source code as well. It’s not pretty, but I was just learning.

I had a great time reading Patricks article, as I can remember the excitement in the air when all this stuff was going on. What an exciting time in computer history!

The computer industry is no where near as exciting from a cultural level as it was back then, when you could change the world from your garage.

By the way, I did receive one check for $10.00 for this program, in case anyone was wondering.

Update: The source for QF800 is on Working binaries for DOS can also be found there. I realized when I started looking around that I had donated this stuff to the FreeDOS project a while back, though I don’t think they’re using them.