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25 technology products: gone but not forgotten

These classics will be forever in our memories

We've rounded up the 25 best tech products that may be long gone, but we'll never forget them. How have they managed to hang on for so long?

PageMaker

What it was
Aldus's groundbreaking desktop publishing application, launched in 1985. Along with Apple's Macintosh and LaserWriter laser printer, it made it possible for mere mortals to create professional-looking documents (as well as eyeball-searing monstrosities) for the first time.

What happened
PageMaker's decline was slow and multifaceted. As word processors gained respectable graphics capabilities, casual users had less need for PageMaker, and QuarkXPress offered more sophisticated tools for professionals. Adobe, which had acquired Aldus in 1994, lost interest in PageMaker and built its own publishing app, InDesign, from the ground up. In 2004, it announced that it would cease further development of PageMaker.

Current whereabouts
Adobe's online store is still selling PageMaker 7.0, which dates to 2002. The price: £560. It touts it as: "The ideal page layout program for business, education, and small- and home-office professionals who want to create high-quality publications such as brochures and newsletters."

Which is a darned odd claim to make about a program that's incompatible with all current Macs (it's an OS 9 application) and Windows Vista. Dig deeper, and you'll find Adobe's real opinion of PageMaker, which is -surprise! - that you should use InDesign instead.

After Dark

What it was
Berkeley Systems' screensaver for Macs and PCs, introduced in 1989 and most famous for its iconic flying toasters. Ask anyone to mention a specific screensaver, and the odds are 99.9999 percent that this is the one they'll mention. It spawned multiple sequels and spinoffs.

What happened
I'm not sure if I know, exactly, but I suspect the inclusion of fancy screensavers in the Mac OS and Windows and the availability of gazillions of free ones didn't help the market for commercial screensavers.

Also, the theory that you needed a screensaver to prevent your monitor from burning in turned out to be rubbish. Anyhow, Berkeley Systems' last After Dark outing was something called After Dark Games, in 1998; it wasn't even a screensaver.

Current whereabouts
Berkeley Systems is no more, but Infinisys, a Japanese company, sells a modern OS X version of After Dark. But not too modern: it doesn't work on Intel Macs.

NEXT PAGE: Havard Graphics and AltaVista

  1. These classics will be forever in our memories
  2. Hayes modems and the Mini Disc
  3. Monochrome displays and Hercules graphics cards
  4. PDA's and Packard Bell
  5. Amiga and Floppy disks
  6. Zip disks and the Z80 microprocessor
  7. dBASE and Netscape
  8. MS-Dos and Lotus 1-2-3
  9. PageMaker and After Dark
  10. Havard Graphics and AltaVista
  11. Webvan and CompuServe
  12. VCR Plus+ and Circuit City


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