Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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PCalc turns 5^2

25 years ago, James Thomson released PCalc by submitting it to the Info-Mac archive:

PCalc was my first ever application. I started writing in the summer of 1992 and it took me around six months to get it into a state where I was happy to show it to the world. Some of that code still runs today, deep at the heart of the machine.

That is both amazing and terrifying.

In 1992 I had finished college and while James was writing PCalc I was a reporting intern for my hometown’s daily newspaper. By the time it was released, I was finishing my first semester of grad school and had just bought a PowerBook 160, my first laptop.

I didn’t get to know James for a few more years. When I was a junior editor at MacUser I reviewed DragThing for MacUser’s shareware library and gave it the coveted five-mouse award, and deservedly so. This means I haven’t known James for quite a quarter of a century, but it’s getting awfully close.

Isn’t it cool to know that sometimes your favorite apps can grow and change and still survive across a quarter of a century? PCalc started on the classic Mac OS and has since gone to OS X, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Apple Watch. Most remarkably, it has allowed James to make his living as an independent software developer.

Congratulations to James on this amazing milestone.

—Linked by Jason Snell

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