• Please review our updated Terms and Rules here
  • Exhibitor application for VCF West 2022 is now open! If you are interested in exhibiting, please fill out the form here.
  • Here are the results of the VCF East 2022 Post Event Survey: Survey Results

Is software collecting ever going to be as popular as hardware collecting?

Unknown_K

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2003
Messages
8,507
Location
Ohio/USA
Do you guys think collecting original software (apps) is ever going to be as popular as collecting hardware? Seems like most people collect the base hardware, some take it further and want the original box and contents, but few seem to collect the vintage software (outside of a few games or maybe the OS). Is warez good enough for most people?
 

southbird

Experienced Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2009
Messages
316
Is warez good enough for most people?

Well this approaches legal/ethical considerations for sure. But in my case, I figure if the company is no longer profiting directly from a piece of software (and even better if the company has ceased to be), I consider it to have fallen into abandonment, and then I don't really see the point of paying for it. But to me it's not so important having the original factory produced floppies. Others may feel differently (and certainly there are some who request original DOS disks etc.) DOS and DOS programs pretty much are to the point no one is profiting off them with exception; for example, I did purchase the PALMZIP driver, which the author is still collecting funds from. But do you think Microsoft sees a penny for any purchased version of DOS 3.3 these days? No way.

Of course legally MS likely still owns a lot of IP around DOS, and that means they probably COULD bust you if you were to have an illegitament copy of DOS 3.3, even if it means nothing to them. You're pretty much protected by the fact that it is virtually untrackable and that it would be mostly a waste of their time and money to try to protect a long obsolete prodct just to prove a point.

But to answer the absolute core of your question, to me I'm just worried about getting the machine running, and I feel that any of the software which makes it run no longer has monetary value, so I don't feel it is necessary to actually put any money towards the software. The hardware is the irreplaceable part, but the software is genericized.
 

wmmullaney

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2008
Messages
589
Location
Columbia, SC USA area
I would say it varies from person to person... Most aren't, the hardware is usually the rare part, more nostalgia there ect.

I'm just as interested in collecting ancient mac 68k software as I am collecting that hardware. One of the main reasons one might is if there were a danger of that software going extinct. I see fewer and fewer sources for macos 9 abandonware games nowdays, especially after the underdogs went down (anyone have an archive?)

Things like old dos and apple II games seem to be well archived, I don't think anyone will be going nuts over amassing it...
 

Unknown_K

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2003
Messages
8,507
Location
Ohio/USA
Outside of games most of my legit software collection is in old mac software followed by old PC software. While the warez community pretty much archived and spread most of the PC stuff (especially games), the mac way of spreading software was pretty much low key swapping between freinds. Quite a bit of old mac software is probably lost to the ages, especially anything not mainstream.
 

Maverick1978

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2010
Messages
1,966
Location
Florida, USA
Personally, I try to collect the software for the machines that I'm interested. I've a fairly well-stocked collection of Amiga, C64, and PC software. I don't have to collect everything, of course, but for games/utilities that I like, I try to have original/complete copies. Once I have them, I produce bit-for-bit images as best as I can, scan the box/media/incidentals, then upload to preservation-minded torrent sites. Strictly legal? No... but as has already been said, the software and the hardware is essentially dead, and if the rights are held by any current companies, with few exceptions, they're certainly not mindful of the historical value of their IP. Like it or not, just as with preserving old film and written works, sometimes one has to step outside of the bounds of what is strictly legal and concentrate on the true value of what they're doing.

FWIW, I am currently trying to collect the complete DOS versions... so far, I've got about half. Given the prices of the remaining versions, it'll take a small miracle to find them for the prices that I want to pay (as most of us aren't lucky to have people donate to our madness - laugh!)
 

glitch

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
4,964
Location
Central VA
I like having the original manuals more than the original distribution media. Even if I do have original media, as with my Kaypro II, I always run off of duplicates. With program development packages like Borland's Turbo C, the manuals are worth far more than the media, especially considering the application itself can be downloaded for free, legitimately even.

There are some things I'd like to have legitimate copies of...I have a legitimate copy of PC-DOS 3.3 for my XT and MS-DOS 3.3 for my Leading Edge Model D. I'm still on the lookout for a copy of the Leading Edge Word Processor and Norton Commander, even though I've got full versions of both from archival sites.

I also try to make images of any software I come across...especially mundane stuff that's likely to have been ignored by previous archival sites since it wasn't wildly popular.

In general though, I'd say collecting the physical media will never be as popular as collecting hardware since hardware is the hard part to duplicate!
 

Ole Juul

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2008
Messages
3,982
Location
Coalmont, BC, Canada
Do you guys think collecting original software (apps) is ever going to be as popular as collecting hardware?

In a culture that generally doesn't abstract software as being distinctly different from hardware - no.

Seems like most people collect the base hardware, some take it further and want the original box and contents, but few seem to collect the vintage software (outside of a few games or maybe the OS).

I do think visible items like original boxes and disks will increase in interest, value, and certainly cost. When I first encountered the big colourful boxes, I was taken aback. I didn't understand it, and still don't. That is a very strange culture perhaps related to comics and baseball cards and such. As a cultural phenomenon, I think it will eventually become very interesting. My guess is give it at least a generation, maybe two.

Is warez good enough for most people?

I don't have much experience with "warez" as such, though there might be a piece of shareware or two on my machines which has expired. I have always collected software, lots of it, as files only. I value the collectors items such as donkey.bas and a few very early items which I would actually never even look at. lol

My really valuable stuff is early DOS assembler utilities, some of which are difficult to find despite their high utilitarian value. I notice that there is some DOS software which can now only be found on archives and with no download candidate. I think software easily gets lost when it is pulled from public distribution by the developer in order to sell it to some company that imbeds it in an application. So, what I am saying is that collecting software as files is very worth while and very important, especially if you want or need to use it. Collecting boxes is less so, but has antique and archaeological value which will increase with time.
 

tezza

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2007
Messages
4,709
Location
New Zealand
Not sure. I know for me, it's the hardware that attracts. You can touch it, open it up...fix it...turn it on and hear it explode. :)

I try to stock my models with software common to the the machine and era but I don't go for original disks, software packaging etc.

Tez
 

SiliconClassics

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2009
Messages
147
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
I collect certain types of software, mostly high-end graphics packages from the 90's like 3D Studio MAX, Softimage, Maya, PowerAnimator, etc. The boxes are huge and come with hundreds upon hundreds of pages of documentation, so they really look impressive lined up next to each other on a shelf (fulfills my teenage fantasy of having my own animation studio). I also collect games since the boxes are fun to look at.
 

Dave Farquhar

Experienced Member
Joined
May 23, 2010
Messages
456
Location
the midwest
Certainly abandonware mirrors the original intent of copyright law--17 years, then it falls into the public domain. And it illustrates why this was a good idea. Obscure software otherwise slips into extinction, and part of our culture is lost. Which is a shame since software is so easy to archive and preserve.

I would expect software collecting, especially full boxes, to pick up steam over time. It's the only way to re-create, to an extent, the experience of walking wide-eyed into Babbage's or Egghead in the 1980s. That is, if you have enough space to store it. And what else is everyone going to do after finding examples of each machine they've always coveted?
 

barythrin

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2005
Messages
6,256
Location
Texas
Funny how the conversations occur on other sites at the same time. The swcollect (software collectors mailing list) is also chatting about the trend and if it will grow, or shrink, and the future of our collections. I agree it depends on the person. Interestingly even in my youth when yes software would find it's way to friends and we'd be able to sample all sorts of games and applications for free but I've always enjoyed the fact that if it was really good we'd usually pitch in a buy it. The problem is the majority of the stuff sucked, so it wasn't a matter of "darn kids don't pay for software!" but more-so "dude.. this would have sucked if we payed for it.." and it would get deleted. We also got burned a few times as well after buying a game that changed something that we expected to be there and then it was a bad purchase (pisser).

When I was young and my parents would want less clutter yeah we threw away the boxes for our games, thought it was genius just keeping the manual and disks. Now thought since I'm in charge of the clutter (mostly) if it was a game I REALLY enjoyed then yes I want a physical copy (don't have to worry about losing it due to corrupt hard drive, etc) and the box so I can stare at it and have those memories. But I only really "collect" games that I've played, so the gold box SSI games I loved, a few other games (usually RPGs) that I have good memories of, and then occasionally cult classics for different systems.

I do agree though, despite what we do a lot of ware is going to disappear no matter the format, especially non-x86 stuff. I have a few thousand Amiga games that I need to sift through (and see if the disks are still good --these are all no box) but still it would be good to know if there are some that missed the massive archive attempts. Plus keeping those archives somewhere safe for future generations to use.
 
Top