Tech buzz words that disappeared

I thought it might be interesting to take a closer look att buzz words in the tech world that for some reason or other sudenly disappeared. What happened to them? Why did they go out of fashion? Will they be revived? Or where they insufficient?

I guess I have to start.
Here it is.

Fuzzy logic.


Looks at site title


It’s been co-opted in the US by government at all levels…

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Integrated Software

It was the descriptor for a whole category of DOS applications that included word processing, spreadsheet, and database management in one program: Lotus Symphony, Framework, Microsoft Works


I think all machine learning models are “fuzzy” these days, not just binary. Not sure if it’s a 1:1 correlation though, good question what happened to that whole field.

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TSR (Terminate and Stay Resident)

Another vestige of “DOS Days” where you could only run a single program at a time, with no “cut & paste” sharing of data between programs, much less utilities (as simple as a calculator) running at the same time. These TSR’s (like Sidekick) gave you handy utilities you could run “over” your monolithic DOS application.

I know this tribe knows all of this - for future generations of TabletPCer’s…

More trivia - Sidekick was released in 1984 for the small price of $49.95 - worth every penny by the way - $146.49 today, or basically two years of Microsoft 365

The one that makes me either scream, or laugh, would be

‘A Creator’s laptop/desktop’

Oh, you mean a laptop that’s no different but has ‘creator’ in the description? AGGGHhHHHH. Hope that vanishes asap.

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Sidekick. I have a vague recollection of that. You could call it up on the screen with som Ctrl+S (or similar) command, no?


Oh wow, yeah right. Was this the thing where the browser would basically add a comment pane to ANY and all websites? Basically a site/page specific chat? Pretty nice idea, but a bit prone to abuse/vandalism I’d think. Never took off.

Not so much Buzz words, but Tech Specs go out of fashion

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Not only the price, but everyone shelling out $3 400 were entirely convinced that it was an investment that would last an eternity. “Noo way I can ever fill it up with 10 MB for as long as I live”.


That’s it - included Calculator, Notepad, Appointment Calendar, Auto Dialer, ASCII Table and other tools. Think it was popped up by CTRL-ALT. It gave you a bit of multi-tasking in the single task DOS environment.

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:thinking: Apparently not! Then what was that? Definitely also a failed experiment.

Are you referring to Sidekick - no - it was a quasi-multitasking tool for the singularity of DOS in the 80’s. Let you pop up a window to take a note, check calendar, calculator, etc.

It was called, “Dissenter” -basically, your browser would generate a tab on every webpage you land on and when you click it, a comment section would open up, visible and open to anybody on the internet, and which the website author would be unable to remove.

From one of the early announcements:

"Gab, the social network that defends free speech online, has just launched Dissenter – a game-changing browser extension and web app that’s going to create a comments section for the internet which can’t be censored.

“Dissenter can create a Gab-based comments feed for any page on the internet. Since these comment feeds are hosted by Gab, they can’t be removed, edited, or hidden by the individual website owners. This means you can comment freely and enjoy the full protection of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.”

I thought it was a brilliant idea, but half the world went absolutely insane. You can guess which half. This was during the height of “safe spaces” and “words are violence” and all that. The idea that people might be talking about you behind your back, (while not using ‘your’ pronouns) was utterly unacceptable. Thought MUST be controlled.

Gab was Shut. Down. Servers failed and anybody who even considered hosting the add-on/app was immediately punished. I believe it escalated to credit and bank account freezing, all within a couple of weeks. -And interestingly, nobody remembers, (it took me twenty minutes of head scratching to pull up the information. The whole thing was hard memory holed.) In any case, Dissenter was Not Going To Happen.

Personal theory: Censorship was far too important. I am almost convinced that the CIA et al were immediately alert and quick to pull the plug using every frontline “What? But that’s not us” control surface they had running.

After all, this was 2019 and information warfare was about to go hot. A popular universal commenting app on every webpage which could not be controlled by the author…? That could have changed everything.

But yeah, abuse would have been part of the mix, for sure. The CIA bots would have had to have gone into overdrive to keep things under thumb. Psychopaths and Trolls would terrify people, Mobs would learn how to weaponize it, commercial interests would get involved and IP would be violated. And for a while, light would be shone on dirty laundry. In the end, it would have provided another example of the internet mirroring biology; you can’t stop the existence of viruses and mosquitoes, so immune systems need to evolve as a matter of survival.

I loved Sidekick!

“Customer Satisfaction”


“Customer Service”

PS - I’m always giving @Bronsky grief about sticking to WordPerfect, but back in the DOS days WordPerfect had the best CUSTOMER SERVICE with 800 numbers to live techs for anything from installation and repair (including printer driver issues) to use questions (down to how do I format text to do this - type questions). Absolutely brilliant at the time and not matched since.