I still like to freak out other people's kids by telling them about the old days when the app store was an actual place at the mall and they had shrink-wrapped cardboard boxes with one app inside for like thirty dollars and watch their brains melt.

@djsundog i loved walking up to the app counter and saying "hello I would like one app please"

@djsundog if you lost the decoder wheel you wouldn't be able to play the game anymore

@baturkey @djsundog The single reason I was cracking games: I always lost the bloody things.

@baturkey @djsundog unless your buddy made you a photocopy of his photocopy of a photocopy of it. (I still never got anywhere in Neuromancer though)

@djsundog growing up in the 90s and 00s i never understood how those things made money when you could just download a pirated and/or open source version off of the internet

now i understand that it was probably mostly business licenses

@Leaf most people had no idea about the existence of the internet until the web and even then it was a novelty - no one but the most dedicated nerd had time to download a big program at 33.6k if they had access at all ;)

@djsundog oh yeah i’m definitely a post‐Web sort of nerd; when i was a kid you discovered software by doing a websearch for “X program” and whatever webpage you pulled up would inevitably say “just use Y open source thing; it’s free”

now people do the same searches but they do them in an app store, and it isn’t free

@Leaf I keep waiting to see what breaks the walls down this time but nothing appears

@Leaf @djsundog Well, also, a surprsingly large number of people didn't get pirated or open-source versions - I'd wager most people didn't know you could get them - and of those who did, many of them were on dial-up. :)

@djsundog what i’m saying is i’m young enough that i was always able to download apps off the internet but old enough to remember when the internet ones were always free

@Leaf @djsundog Photoshop had truly scary per-seat business licenses in the late 90's.

@djsundog the mecca of egghead with actual multiple computers setup to try out apps (and the screensavers...); the spinny rack of shareware floppies by the dollar store checkout.

@loppear @djsundog Buying RAM by the megabyte.

Going to the computer show and buying part by part to build a customized deck.

Taking all the panels off the case, sanding them down, and repainting them.

@djsundog I still have select boxes of these apps on my bookshelf.


My favorite stories involve pooling money from us kids to chip in for an Activision cartridge for the Atari 2600. I seem to recall playing Stampede - at least the screen display looks familiar - and new games might have been $40 in 1981 money.

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