Tucows put out to pasture

Any other tech-related topics
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
webfork
Posts: 9973
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 8:06 pm
Location: US, Texas
Contact:

Tucows put out to pasture

#1 Post by webfork » Thu Jan 21, 2021 11:50 pm

It doesn't come up much here on the site but Tucows has officially shut down. In my long history with freeware, it was never really my go-to but it did occasionally come in handy, even some recent old software mirrors.

The official announcement does note that they got rid of ads for the last few years, which I appreciate, but is more or less an advertisement for the domain name service they now provide: https://tucows.com/retired/ The short version is:
  • Very old software carries vulnerabilities with it, which is not something a site like theirs wants to be associated with.
  • The site is being mirrored on Archive.org: Tucows Software Library
I expected this to be just a blip and less important than the loss of nonags.org, but I really enjoyed poking through the archive.org site and looking at some of the available 20+ yr old titles.

It also makes me wonder what this site will look like in a decade and how people will look back on our contribution to freeware.

---

Related

* YCombinator thread: Retiring Tucows Downloads - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25862281
* The Download.com problem

User avatar
SYSTEM
Posts: 1986
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:19 am
Location: Helsinki, Finland

Re: Tucows put out to pasture

#2 Post by SYSTEM » Fri Jan 22, 2021 12:26 am

webfork wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 11:50 pm
It also makes me wonder what this site will look like in a decade and how people will look back on our contribution to freeware.
I think we do have some influence. Recently I saw someone recommend Universal Extractor 2 in a Discord server that has nothing to do with freeware. In early days of UE2, TPFC was one of the main sites to spread the word about it, so I guess we helped make it known.
My YouTube channel | Release date of my 13th playlist: August 24, 2020

User avatar
Andrew Lee
Posts: 2669
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2006 9:19 am
Contact:

Re: Tucows put out to pasture

#3 Post by Andrew Lee » Fri Jan 22, 2021 1:47 am

Oh boy, nostalgia.. what else can I say..

I think the tech giants are all trying to move us into their walled gardens i.e. app stores. Maybe one day, the notion that you can download and install stuff from outside the walled garden will become a rare novelty. I suspect the current generation (our childen) is already very comfortable with the idea of app store -only computing.

User avatar
Midas
Posts: 5960
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 7:09 am
Location: Sol3

Re: Tucows put out to pasture

#4 Post by Midas » Fri Jan 22, 2021 5:27 am

In the days of very, very old, Tucows was one of my main portals into the freeware path. But then it descended into evil ways, so I stopped mingling with it...

webfork wrote: The site is being mirrored on Archive.org: Tucows Software Library
Bless them for such charitable deed.

Andrew Lee wrote:Tech giants are all trying to move us into their walled gardens...
Bull's eye.

Andrew Lee wrote:I suspect the current generation (our childen) is already very comfortable with the idea of app store -only computing.
Judging by my own, they are... :(

portablefree
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:50 am

Re: Tucows put out to pasture

#5 Post by portablefree » Sat Jan 23, 2021 12:43 pm

SYSTEM wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 12:26 am
webfork wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 11:50 pm
It also makes me wonder what this site will look like in a decade and how people will look back on our contribution to freeware.
I think we do have some influence. Recently I saw someone recommend Universal Extractor 2 in a Discord server that has nothing to do with freeware. In early days of UE2, TPFC was one of the main sites to spread the word about it, so I guess we helped make it known.
Ab-so-lu-te-ly! :)

Just a quick word to the "fathers" (or "mothers"?) of TPFC: a great big THANK YOU for all you've done all these years, you've more than contributed to our learning. I, for one, learned all my "portable basics" here many years ago, I still use this knowledge daily, and I even try and spread to my students as much as possible :) Always a pleasure to come back here, find an update or occasionally browse the friendly, nice posts on the forum :)

So, yes, you've done a great great great contribution, really, thank you :)

Have a nice day everybody, be safe.

User avatar
webfork
Posts: 9973
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 8:06 pm
Location: US, Texas
Contact:

Re: Tucows put out to pasture

#6 Post by webfork » Sun Jan 24, 2021 10:44 am

portablefree wrote:
Sat Jan 23, 2021 12:43 pm
Always a pleasure to come back here, find an update or occasionally browse the friendly, nice posts on the forum :)
Hey thanks for the vote of confidence. For my own part, I promise that much of the work I do here is selfish as it helps make work more interesting by giving me tools to do my job. Also, some of the basic automation tools we highlight saves me the pain of a different kind of repetitive strain injury (boredom). Still, there's a lot of unavoidable maintenance work here on the site that just needs to get done, and knowing that it helps people makes it a lot easier. Thanks. :)

Specular
Posts: 434
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:54 pm

Re: Tucows put out to pasture

#7 Post by Specular » Sun Jan 24, 2021 9:01 pm

Tucows would be completely irrelevant if it wasn't for them running Hover. It's remarkable how long their freeware site remained online since I've literally never seen it linked to or mentioned for like 20 years.

User avatar
Midas
Posts: 5960
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 7:09 am
Location: Sol3

Re: Tucows put out to pasture

#8 Post by Midas » Wed Jan 27, 2021 11:13 am

One brief but excellent overview of Tucows past importance:
The company name was originally an acronym: "The Ultimate Collection Of Winsock Software", started in 1993 by a library employee in Flint, Michigan. As its name suggests it was a collection of mostly shareware Windows software, and the "Winsock" refers to Windows Sockets, the API used by Windows versions of the day for accessing network resources.

Post Reply