Speed up your Computer by running Old Software

love using old programs. In most cases, old software was built to work on older, slower hardware. That means it runs smoothly and lightning quick on newer hardware. Using new software in most cases means using the most bloated and slow version of that software.

This problem came to a head recently for me when my iTunes upgraded itself. The newest iTunes is an ugly monstrosity that constantly changes the view panels around. The newest sub-version froze up for about 5 seconds every time I wanted to scroll up or down.

So I backdated to iTunes 10.5, which I got from one of my favorite websites OldVersion.com. I would have gone back even further but my iPhone (running a legacy version of ios, 5.1.1) needed at least iTunes 10.5.

itunes10-5

And holy shit is it fast and wonderful to use. Compared to iTunes 11 which I’ve been stupidly using for the last 5 months it is ten times better. Here’s a short list of why.

  • Much more information dense, the new itunes has way more wasteful negative space everywhere which requires the panels to switch around all over the place.
  • Podcasts don’t automatically unsubscribe themselves when
  • Podcasts display ALL old episodes instead of just the last 20 or so.
  • NO delays or stutters or freezes, ever.
  • Syncing just one playlist actually works again. In iTunes 11 when you want to sync just a few episodes,  it tries to update ALL the episodes in that podcast. What the frack, seriously.
  • The program is lighter on RAM and CPU. This makes sense since the it was built to run on computers from 2011.
  • Navigation makes sense again. Everything is in the left sidebar, unlike iTunes 11 which has navigation all over the place for no reason. Look at this screenshot of iTunes 11 and try to find “podcasts.”
    redesigned_player_albumviewThat’s right it’s nowhere to be seen. “Podcasts” is actually in the drop down menu under Music. The podcast interface in iTunes 11 is shit, and if you breathe wrong, iTunes will kick you back into the Music section. Ugh

But this isn’t really a post about iTunes, it’s a post about using older software in general. These are just a few examples of extremely bloated software that you should try to use the old version of if possible.

  • Anything made by Adobe (use Sumatra instead of Adobe for your PDF reader.)
  • Anything in the Microsoft Office suite, in most cases.
  • Windows. My tablet updated from 8.0 to 8.1 without my consent and 8.1 is HORRIBLE. Keystrokes now have a 2 second delay which is totally unacceptable for 2014. Win 7 is the best, some people are still joyfully using Windows XP.
  • Skype. This software only gets worse as time goes on.
  • uTorrent. Newer versions are heavy with ads and slow.
  • Azureus. That’s the bittorrent client for Macintosh.
  • Firefox and Opera, probably. They are bloated pieces of shit nowadays. Chrome is still pretty lightweight and fast, because Google actually values speed above almost all else and has from the very beginning.
    google-search-in-2001

Links:

http://www.oldapps.com/ old programs for windows and Mac OS

http://findoldapps.com/ old apps for iOS

2 thoughts on “Speed up your Computer by running Old Software

  1. There is a trend in modern software to waste screen space with padding around controls, Metro-style, and also use bloated user interface engines. Sometimes in attempt to achieve cross-platform support, an application might get rewritten in Qt or GTK. With all the ads, uTorrent 3 is lighter than any Qt applicaction. I rather like the look and speed of wxwidgets in comparison. But FileZilla Client version 3 (wxwidgets) does not stand up to version 2 (Windows-native) in functionality or memory use.

    It is now also common practice to display HTML views (Internet Explorer controls) in software that is not a browser. (Utorrent does it for the “devices” section, WinRar self-extractors show the description in HTML, clicking a help/about button might cause a browser to open.) The main cause of modern software bloat is the invasion of the WEB and “CLOUD” in personal computers. It was my understanding that web-UIs for remote control (such as on routers) were not ergonomic and efficient out of necessity. They weren’t supposed to be used on daily basis, and anything would do to monitor few paramaters or issue a couple commands occasionally. Even if that UI took up the whole screen.

    Good post, overall, except I wouldn’t describe Google products as fast. They make WEB stuff after all. Web is synonymous with bloat. For example, refer to how Chrome upgrades itself without consent and keeps accumulating older versions on the hard drive. The simple and fast search shown on the screenshot has not been the default for many years. It is now infused with flyout previews and dynamically loading frames. You can still see the old version in Opera 8 (Google discriminates by user agent and probably OS). Also the WEB and “apps” hosted on it are the primary reasons why older computers and their operating systems must be retired. It’s slow.

    Opera up to its version 12 was not bloated, relatively speaking. It had a mail client, many settings, and diagnostic options inside a 10 MB installer. The WEB is where the bloat lies. And unfortunately Opera’s weaker non-compiling JavaScript engine succumbed to the amount of dynamic content that is present on the modern web. Firefox may suck because it is a Web-infused “xul” application, and not native. But there are no other choices. (Opera now is a rebranded Chrome.)

    As an alternative to Photoshop I would recommend… Photoshop CS2 (version 9), which has been released for free with serial numbers and no activation. (Search on Techspot.) I am actually still using Photoshop 7. It does everything I need, except that it has a rather limited 16-bit color depth support. But I tried the new free version, and it has improved significantly. I am surprised that Adobe would give all their CS2 products away.

    PDF-Xchange is a good PDF viewer. It too is not immunte to bloat. There is a new version called a PDF “Editor” built on a new engine. It may have a few more options, most of which require a license, and it uses more memory and takes longer to open.

    Microsoft Office 2000 still works well for me. Other users might prefer Office XP (version 10) or 2003 (version 11), but the bloat as well as copyprotection increases with the version. There an “XML format compatibility pack” for these older versions which allow to read Microsoft’s new formats introduced with the 2007 Office System.

    uTorrent v2 works very well, until BitTorrent, Inc. decides to push some kind of an enhancement that breaks older versions. Aside from the randomized peer-id, they have not done that yet.

    Most people unfortunately are brianwashed to update without asking questions, because evil hackers might otherwise take control over their systems and steal their money. Software developers have been spreading this FUD to increase sales of their new products. Particularly, Microsoft, and their despicable campaigns against Windows NT4 and now XP.

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