Aug 30, 2022Liked by John Paul Wohlscheid

A fun fact about VolksWriter.

Long after it was largely obsolete and forgotten, a late marketing push was unexpectedly successful. A UK cover magazine ran a demo version on its cover disk. The company crippled the demo version by deleting a few files.

Then they duplicated the disk and it was sent out.

But the thing is... block-duplicated disks contain every sector of the original. So they contained the deleted files too. Meaning that you could run a DOS undelete tool, of which there were many, and guess the first character of the filename and un-crippled the program... getting a full completely-working version, entirely legally. I mean they gave it to you on a cover disk, right?

Once word spread about this "hack" the cover disk became quite sought-after and the app got thousands of new users in the UK.

TBH it wasn't an amazing app but it wasn't terrible either. But the company didn't make any sales of this small, understandable but foolish mistake.

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"The name Wilson chose for his new company, Lifeboat, was a spoof of two other software companies: Lifeboat and Peachtree."

according to the ad, the company was named Lifetree :)

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We sure take word processors for granted today. Love the classy look of that ad.

I was thinking about the Connectix QuickCam the other day. Were there ads for it?

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