In Loving Memory of Our Deceased Tech Products...Clive "James" Python, Bytemoth, and cavernscalledhome, 2020-01-17
This page is dedicated to remembering the tech products that were taken offline before their time. Many still had a lot of users and people who loved them. We can only hope that they are smiling upon us from Silicon Heaven.
- AOL Instant Messenger (1997 — 2017)
- AOL Instant Messenger -
or just AIM as regular users called it - was an icon of its time. Many people
enjoyed using the service made possible through America Online, where they
were able to live chat with their cyberfriends in a time before SMS.
AIM was turned off in the cold, cold winter days of 2017. All that still remains of the service is the AIM protocol, that looks like this; aim:goim?screenname=usernameClassic versions of AIM have been revived in a reverse-engineering project known as Phoenix, but it will never again boast the same number of users as in its heyday.
- MSN/Windows Live Messenger (1999 — 2013)
- Loved by many
Microsoft users, this message service ran on Windows, Xbox 360, BlackBerry OS,
iOS, Java ME and more.
Following the acquisition of Skype Technologies in May 2011, Microsoft added interoperability between Skype and Microsoft accounts, allowing Skype (which had features unique to its platform and a wider user base) to communicate with Messenger contacts. In 2013, Windows Live Messenger was discontinued and Microsoft began ceasing service to existing clients. The service in China remained active for another 18 months, and ceased operations on Halloween 2014.WLM's servers now have an open-source replacement in the Escargot project. However, as it's now something people must go out of their way to make use of, the number of people to chat with is lower than on more mainstream options.
- Xfire (2003 — 2015)
- Before Discord became the platform of choice for many gamers, there was Xfire. At a time when such features felt futuristic, it offered users the ability to chat while playing a game, browse detailed server lists, organize and share screenshots, download patches and demos, and even record and livestream video. But, more than all this, it was a community of people passionate about the games they enjoyed.
- Club Penguin (2005 — 2017)
For any child born in the late 90's
or early 2000's, Club Penguin served as a way to connect to the outer
world of 250 million+ people. Club Penguin was more than a MMO, it was a way of
life - a life that is sadly, no more.
Since the death of the official game, many unofficial servers have been made, known as Club Penguin Private Servers (commonly abbreviated as CPPS). This includes Club Penguin Rewritten, launched in February 2017. These servers have reached a million players as of October 2017, despite their legal status being in question.
Waddle on, Club Penguin.
- Vid.me (2014 — 2017)
- Vid.me was a regrettably short-lived video sharing site, that sought to tackle some of the problems faced by smaller creators on YouTube. While it was around, it did make quite an impact on those users. Sadly, because of drastic changes in the advertising industry, Vid.me was forced to shut down in December 2017.
- Sinclair ZX Spectrum (1982 — 1992)
- With a CPU speed of 3.5 MHz and a memory size of 16 to 128 KB, the ZX Spectrum was a child of the 80's. All it wanted to do was to entertain people with fun little games made by enthusiasts, not for the money, but for the joy of it. The ZX stopped being made in 1992, five years before Sinclair Research went tits up, as the number of employees fell from 140 in the 1980s, to 3 in 1990, to only 1 in 1997.
- GeoCities (1994 — 2009)
- In the 90's, GeoCities opened the flood gates for people to learn HTML and express themselves on the Web. Sadly, in 1999, GeoCities was acquired by Yahoo!, who decided to shut it down ten years later. GeoCities will never be forgotten by its former residents. Thanks to the efforts of Archive Team, it did not go quietly - we are still able to walk its evicted halls via Oocities, Geocities.ws, and the Wayback Machine.
- Rotten Dot Com (1997 — 2017)
- Our beloved shock
website, Rotten, sadly lost their server in September of 2017.
To quote Jason
Scott who worked on and off for the site...
Clive Python: You worked for Rotten right? So do you know what the fate of the site is?
Jason Scott: Lightning strike affected a system, no time set aside for maintenance
Clive Python: So does this mean the site will be offline from now on?
Jason Scott: I seriously doubt that.
Rotten was a vile thing that shaped the Web for the better, being the starting point for freedom on the WWW.
- Vine (2012 — 2017)
Vine was a mobile-based short-form video hosting service that allows its users
to create, upload and share looping video clips spanning up to six seconds in
duration - and that's all it could do.
Despite Vine only having a short life, it sure had an infamous one; raising terrible memes such as Deez Nuts, 21, What Are Those? and many, many more.
Originally developed by Dom Hofmann and Rus Yusupov in June 2012, the New York City-based start-up was acquired by Twitter in October the same year, being introduced to the public in January 2013.
October 2016 saw the announcement that "[in the] coming months [Twitter would] be discontinuing the mobile app". The death of Vine could be blamed on the news that 9% of its workforce were to be layed-off.
Just a month after the announcement that the video app would see the chopping block, the Beijing-based TikTok app saw its initial release. Much like the soon-to-be-killed-app, TikTok allowed their users to create short music and lip-sync videos of up to 3 to 15 seconds. This is partly why many of Vine's younger user-base jumped ship. The older user-base moved to YouTube, most noticeably the Paul Brothers, Jake and Logan, who have since have made a successful career out of the site and gained a large following.
While still very successful in its own right, the fact that the app has banned pro-LGBT+ content, along with admitting to have suppressed videos from people with disabilities, certainly can put worry on a person's face.
- Tay (March 2016)
- Tay was a chatterbot made by Microsoft and released on Twitter, the idea of the bot being to mimic a teenage girl. Tay caused subsequent controversy when the bot began to post inflammatory and offensive tweets through its Twitter account, forcing Microsoft to shut down the service only 16 hours after its launch.
- Netscape Navigator (1994 — 2008)
- Netscape was a fantastic web browser for its time. However, as the codebase grew messy enough to need a complete rewrite, it lost ground to IE. Thanks to the developers turning the code open-source before the company was absorbed into AOL, a successor lives on today in the form of the SeaMonkey suite.
- Opera "Presto" (1995 — 2013)
- Prior to becoming one
of the numerous Chrome clones at version 15, Opera was a great alternative web
browser with unique features and its own rendering engine, beloved by its
diehard users. It always strived to be lightweight and snappy in spite of being
fully-featured, taking up as little as one-quarter of the space needed by its
Version 12 for Windows recieved minor security updates in 2014 and 2016, but nothing has been heard since. Attempts to spiritually succeed classic Opera have resulted in the Otter and Vivaldi browsers.
- Tumblr (2007 — 2018)
- Okay, this place is still around.
But, let's be honest, it's in a zombified state. Tumblr was formerly the
destination for premier fandom content, hilarious shitposts, superb art and
aesthetics, discussion of LGBT issues and POC experiences, and all the
female-presenting nipples your dirty little brain could handle.
Unfortunately, after being removed from the App Store, the decision was made to forbid all image and video-based adult content. The site began hemmoraging users, its traffic dropping by 30% over the next six months. According to some users, likes/reblogs have dropped by half, and the once-vibrant art community on the site is now a shadow of its former self.
- Dendy (1992 — 1996)
- Living proof that anything is possible,
if you dare to dream, Dendy (known affectionately as 'Jr.' to friends) was also
proof that sometimes it's just fine to not dream at all and be fine living a
normal, ordinary life. Kept alive in the memory of dear friends and their recurring
nightmares about that elephant, Dendy provided what was often the first taste of
video-gaming culture to an audience of roughly 1.8 million souls; as well as
introducing various new terms, such as 'bootleg.'
Despite it all, many carry fond memories of Jr... And always will.
- Meridian 59 (1996 — 2000) (2002 — 2010) (2012?)
'That which is not dead, may eternal play; possibly, maybe.'
Meridian 59 was one of the grandparents of the old MMO world; heavily inspired by MU* and BBS styles, it cultivated a cultish loyalty amongst members that nevertheless went through several different iterations; a love of story, of player-versus-environment co-operation, and of player-versus-player worldbuilding.
Despite living on in a vegetative state due to the effects of the wonderdrug, 'Open Source,' each of these separate iterations might as well be a separate life, alien to all those who knew 'their' Meridian 59 best. As such, a living wake has been scheduled, so that the bereaved may continue, and move on.
- WikiReader (2009 — 2014)
In October 2009, Pandigital, as sponsored by Openmoko, came-out with the
WikiReader, an offline, text-only version of the English Wikipedia
(along with Wiktionary, Wikiquote, and Project Gutenberg). The device, that was
essentially a small white box that showed only text in black and white, was
presumably aimed at lower-income families in non-Western countries, along with
people who had no access to the Internet. With the starting price of $99 (along
with a twice-yearly offline update service delivered via Micro SD card was also
available at a cost of $29 per year, pretty much meaning that it would allow
the end user to view the latest version of Wikipedia at the time of
publication), it could be said that the WikiReader came-out too late, as two
years prier in 2007, Apple released their iPhone 1 with the slogan of "This is
only the beginning", and it certainly was, as more and more people would now be
able to have access to a smart phone that could also visit Wikipedia, along
with any other website that they desired., this was helped by the fact that
Internet access was growing fast.
Because more and more people would have a phone in their pocket, and also the price, plus the niche and quickly shrinking market, 2014 saw the end of the product, as the project itself was shut down and abandoned for unknown reasons. Existing WikiReaders no longer receive updates to their database, and the only way to get new updates is thanks to independent sellers who offer Micro SD cards with the latest version of Wikipedia - usually the Micro SD card can cost more than what the WikiReader is worth now (around $10).
- Windows 7 (2009 — 2020)
A decade may be an eternity in the computing world, but if your tools are built
to last, that can be a very enjoyable ride. Such is the case with this OS,
which still feels crisp and clean despite its age. Hailed by some as the last
good operating system to be produced by Microsoft, Windows 7 (NT 6.1) was
unleased upon us during the beautiful summer of 2009, perfecting the ideas and
design philosophies that had been previously attempted in Windows Vista.
Unlike later releases, 7 is a system with no confusion about what or where it is, and makes no attempts to keep tabs on you or sell you something. It got out of your way, and just let you use your computer, however you preferred to.
Abandoned by its creators, 7 now only clings to life by the strength of diehard users who outright refuse to 'downgrade' to other operating systems. Applications which support the aging OS will eventually stop being released, but for the time being, it remains a viable platform for the estimated 21-28% of computers currently enjoying an installation. May our friends have many years still to enjoy their curves.