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There are times – especially when I sit and wait a few minutes for Office apps to start – when I sit back reminisce about using Microsoft Word on my old, trusty Mac Plus (and later SE). It was a peppy little program that did word processing very well without all the bloat that we see today. Sadly, Microsoft is not the only company producing software where newer does not alwas mean better. Unless you are diligent about keeping installers or install media around, finding copies of older applications is not always easy. Developers do not like to have old versions floating around as they can create a support nightmare.
If you are pining for a program that lives solely in the past you may not need to look further than mac.oldapps.com. The site (and its sister sites for other platforms) houses old versions of software for your Mac and boasts a library of 490 previous versions of 33 Mac programs (which are not limited to OS X). For example, you can go all the way back to the beginning of iTunes, flip back to more peppy versions of Acrobat Reader and even see just how ugly modern sites look with Internet Explorer relics.
As you browse their library and stroll down memory lane it is important to remember a this caveat: many developers use new, major versions to fix security bugs in their programs and you may be exposing yourself to vulnerabilities that your anti-virus/malware software offer no protection against. Be sure the functionality/usability you need is worth the potential security trade-off.
If you do use their library of ancient wares, read up on their purpose and consider using the PayPal link on that page to say “thank you!” (and help with hosting charges). Also, if you know of any other sites that offer old versions of Mac software or have your own story to reminisce about, drop a note in the comments.
[Props to Ryan Naraine for the serendipitous link today.]