One of my photos

Random nostalgia

August 30th, 2017 · Posted by Skuds in Technology · 1 Comment · Technology

Today I remembered, for no particular reason, Serif PagePlus. With the benefit of hindsight I think it may be my favourite bit of software ever. At the time it was truly remarkable. It seemed to do just about all the things that high end DTP software would do, or at least all the things a normal person would want to do, and it cost peanuts. It ran on a 386 or 286, or whatever primitive PC I had back in those days and it came with a whole disc full of extra fonts.

This was a big deal back then. We were all obsessed with fonts. The computer magazine cover discs always had a few, or a few dozen. It turns out that you only need a couple of good ones for 99% of the time, but I dread to think how much time I spent collecting and cataloguing all those fonts, and the bulk of them would have come from Serif.

Software copyright protection was basic back then so it was easy to get hold of cracked copies of everything, but Serif products were cheap enough that you would pay for them and they seemed to generate a lot of customer loyalty and affection, so thet you were actually happy to pay them because you felt you were getting a lot of value, especially as there was always a special offer for existing customers, and you got a lot for your money.These days software is largely downloaded and there is very little physical product, but PagePlus used to come in a box, accompanied by a proper printed manual and, even better, a book of examples and samples.

After a while I realised that I was forking out £9.99 each year for upgrades of a product that I liked but didn’t actually use very often, because my life didn’t really involve the need to do desktop publishing beyond what MS Word was able to do, and because the novelty of hundreds of fonts had worn off. I did still use the companion programs for vector graphics and logos a bit, but gradually I forgot all about it.

So I looked up PagePlus this evening and was a bit surprised to find that they continued producing new versions right up to 2015 and I was a little sad to see that version X9 was the last ever version, but at the same time I was happy to see that the company is still around and now has a new range of products doing basically the same things.


One Comment so far ↓

  • Skuds Sister

    What always suprises me is how many people are surprised that bookshops don’t still stock manuals for all the software anymore….