Disclaimer: The images on this page are from the "Electronics Boutique 1996 Spring CD". This was a promotional CD catalog given out at Electronics Boutique & Waldensoftware stores in early 1996. The images are only 256 color because that was the depth of the source files (keep in mind this was 1996).
This page has items 1-21 from the catalog, the subtitle for this page could be "things that the internet made totally obsolete".
This will probably come as a surprise to some but there was a time when there were commercial competitors to Microsoft Office. Lotus SmartSuite 96 was among the last. For a long time Lotus 1-2-3 was the standard spreadsheet program, Excel had to play some serious catch-up. Lotus figured that by bundling the venerable spreadsheet with their other office applications they could become the leader on all fronts. As we all know, Microsoft Office won this battle. Anyone looking for an alternative has to go the OpenOffice.org route today.
If you just wanted a word processor there was the standalone Word Pro 96, which was a re-branded Ami Pro.
Marketing Builder featuring generic stock models.
Delphi is one programming language I've managed to avoid in my ~10 years of development. It's basically dead now.
Alright, on to "things that the internet made totally obsolete". Macmillan Digital World Atlas, see Google maps or any of the other dozens of map sites
Planet Earth is a collection of photos and stuff, also totally obsolete now.
Macmillan Visual Dictionary, a dictionary in three languages. Now available on Dictionary.com and/or Babelfish.
"Become a Master of the hottest new Web Technology" with the Java Starter Kit for $49.99. When Java was new it was primarily used to build annoying applets.
Next up is the Professional Web Development Kit for $89.99.
..or there's the lighter Web Page Construction Kit 2.0 for only $39.99. Oh, wonder if I can build "Web 2.0" applications with this?
The Seinfeld CD-ROM was a collection of junky screen savers, stationery, and fax forms. So basically it's a program about nothing (yes, I had to say that).
Life's Greatest Mysteries, which Wikipedia has rendered useless.
The World War II CD was a collection of video clips and radio broadcasts. Decent idea but I'm sure it's all publicly available now.
If you can't make it out to the real Louvre here's a $40 CD with grainy pictures and junk.
Wild Blue Yonder, something I also assume can be found for free today.
Nancy Grace wasn't around in 1996 so I guess weirdoes had to settle for CDs like Mind of a Killer.
I sort of remember the gigantic box that Isacc Asimov's Library of the Universe came in. It never sold because we had to find out-of-the-way places to shelve it.
The last four programs on this page are really, truly, useless. First off, the info is obviously 10+ years outdated. More importantly, it's totally free today on a number of sites. The first one: Street Atlas USA for $79.99.
TripMaker 1996 for $39.99.
StreetFinder 1996 for $49.99.
Select Phone for a staggering $111.99.