Today we have application stores up the ying-yang. But 15 years ago, trying to find applications for your computer was a lot harder. We did have two decent sources: Tucows.com and download.com (a CNet company, now owned by CBS). Since then, these two sources have grown to better catalog Freeware, shareware, and paid applications. This week, we say Happy anniversary to Download.com.
While the domain was registered on February 24, 1996, Download.com will officially launch on October 23rd, 1996 (Reference via CNet article). Since then, the website sees almost 10 million downloads of software a week. The top downloads being AVG and Avast antivirus software. A long cry from Hey, Macaroni (the dancing macaroni meme), WinZip 32 and Duke Nukem 3D – which was the most downloaded in 1996. WinZip is still one of the top 5 download pieces of software on the site.
For 15 years, download.com has kept a great archive of software, weeding out the obsolete, malware producing items. They have been sued for some software downloads, most notably the free music download program LimeWire. While download.com did not promote the download of mp3 music or movies, the peer-to-peer software is another way to download legally shared items. Of course, this has always been the conundrum of file sharing.
In retrospect, TuCows has been in operation since 1994, offering the same services. Other services have come and gone, but download.com has stayed strong. So happy 15 years to a source that I’ve personally used many a time from my IT career.
I am a Mac user and am still not totally convince I need a product like this. However I decided it is better to be safe then sorry so I downloaded avast! Mac beta. The download and install went without any problems. You may lose connection to the Internet for a short time, during the installation. Once installed I had it scan my Home folder and it did it with no problem. When I did a full scan of my computer, I did notice that processes did slowed down. I was running several applications at the time so the slow down was not unexpected. Fortunately nothing was found. I have had it running for two days in the background and the only reason I know is the icon on the menu bar. Whether you need an antivirus software on your Mac is something only you can decide. If you do decide you need one Avast! for the Mac is not a bad choice.