Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Farewell 1-2-3, it's been a long ride

IBM has announced the end of support for 1-2-3 v9.x, Smartsuite 9.x and Organizer 6.1 .
Here is the link
All the products shipped between 2002 and 2003 so as standard IBM policy, support ends 10 years after GA.
I don't want to write the obituary of 1-2-3, that would take a very long post, and there are other people that can do it better than me; I have just a couple of memories to share.
1998, was a Unix system engineer and worked with BSD based workstations; first time I step into the secretary's office I see her working on a PC (almost never seen one before) with a kind of matrix, white numbers on black screen, so I ask "what is this that you are using?" and she replied "Oh, that's the Lotus". 1-2-3 was so popular back then that people identified the company with the product.
Move forward in time, is 1994, and I am working in Lotus as Support Engineer. Back then 1-2-3 was still by far the flagship product so I worked quite a lot with it. Can't remember exactly with what version, but someone decided that in the localized versions, also macros were to be translated ! You can easily imagine in what a kind of nightmare that decision threw us into

@if became @se, so you can imagine how well would macros run if you installed the italian version.... being in Support was a fun time back then.

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