Gold Disk Astound 2.0 for Windows

My dad had some old software lying around: Astound, a presentation software that was big in 1994 and ’95. It came on floppy disks or a CD-ROM. And it came in a big box, plastic-wrapped, and a thick cardboard box inside.

Then it struck me: old software actually filled the box. Inside the big box, there were the software disks, on floppies and optical disc (and the CD came in a full size jewel case); and then there were two HUGE manuals, instruction books that filled the whole box. Under that were registration cards, a “Read me first”, and an FAQ. Yeah, there was a whole lot of documentation, and it was a lot more than I was used to.

Contrast this with Macromedia Studio 8, which I bought a few weeks ago. It’s a complete software, costing just as much as Astound did in its day. (Astound cost somewhere around $400.) It was $299+tax for the educational version I bought, but I suspect the real thing is just as paltry when it comes to documentation and actual box contents. It’s a big box, but it’s propped up by just a couple pieces of cardboard inside: not another whole box. And the actual contents? Just two CD-ROMs, packaged in a thin plastic slip cover (one cover, two CDs: one on each side). It’s virtually weightless. And paperless. There’s no manual or documentation – that’s all electronic. Everything is stored on the two discs, and no further instructions are provided.

2 Responses to “Gold Disk Astound 2.0 for Windows”

  1. Aaron Lin says:

    There’s something of pure delight in a box that is half empty. It’s more than just emptiness or absence–that “emptiness,” as you call it, is simplicity and elegance in its most refined form.

    On a side note, I thought that software manufacturers had agreed to cut out the oversized cardboard boxes. Aren’t they a lot smaller nowadays? (I haven’t bought anything in the longest time, so I don’t know anymore)

  2. Elliot says:

    Admittedly, it was slightly smaller. Still, the air-to-content ratio is much, much higher in the modern software box as compared to software back in the day.

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