today I’m going to take a look at post-it notes, but not the paper kind that everybody is familiar with. no, it’s post-it software notes the convenience of post-it notes for your computer for Windows 3.1, 95, and 98. includes free trial edition of America online and this is version 1.5. it has a copyright date of 1999 on it. system requirements: 2 megabytes of RAM, 3 megabytes of disk space for Windows 3.1; 4 megabytes of RAM, 3 megabytes of disk space for Windows 95 or 98; color monitor… I don’t know why this wouldn’t necessarily work with a monochrome monitor but I guess we’ll find out. “don’t lose another important thought — get organized with post-it software notes, the electronic version of your favorite notepads. jot down your thoughts and reminders, then organize, print, set alarms, or send — even add keyboard shortcuts so you can access features quickly. it’s the simple, convenient way to get organized without interrupting your work.” now obviously this was not a successful product and you can kind of tell, because it was part of their smart saver series of reduced-price software so they had already marked down the price. I noticed it has a 1996 copyright date so they might have been trying to sell this for a couple of years without much success and that’s maybe why they had to resort to putting it into their smart saver series of special value edition software. the thing I find puzzling about this you can see it’s version 1.5 but they’re already advertising version 2.0: “check out the new features in version 2.0” — so they already had version 2.0 out but they’re still selling version 1.5, so maybe they just had a lot of extra copies of this lying around that were unsold so they’re just trying to sell it off. I don’t know. and this was back in the day when you did not get free upgrades, at least not for anything major. so generally back in the 90s if you bought version 1.5 of any kind of software, you did not get version 2.0 for free when it came out — you had to buy the upgrade. this was put out by the learning company. and version 2.0 advertised networking capability, which I don’t really understand the purpose of because even back then network messaging was a feature that already existed in pretty much every networking platform for computers, to send messages back and forth in real time between computers. so why did this software need to do that? I don’t know. they talk about setting up a LAN running TCP/IP in order to use that networking feature. I guess some people might have been still using token ring or other kinds of networks back then. so that’s post-it software notes, with 250 free hours of America Online 4.0… “must be used within one month of initial sign-on” so what does that work out to — 250 hours in one month? I just did the math and in order to use up 250 hours into one month assuming it’s a 30-day month you would have to be online for more than eight hours a day, every day, in order to take full advantage of that free trial. I like this: “all the things you could do on America Online: exchange e-mail worldwide, chat with a movie star” — I wonder how many movie stars were actually on America Online back then — “find the perfect running partner” — well, if you’ve seen AOL’s chat rooms I think people were looking for partners for more than just running — “book your dream vacation, get a great job, make a new friend, sell your old car, write to the president” — not anymore; he’s not using America online, he’s using Twitter most of the time. so I have my trusty old ThinkPad T20 running Windows 98 second edition sort of made to look like Windows 10. I’ll put in the CD of post-it software notes and let’s see what happens. all right… “design tool makes it easy to create designs with text and graphics to print on post-it signs and post-it notes on inkjet and laser printers” — yeah, that’s another thing that never took off: post-it notes that you print on instead of write on. now, just install the software. note it already mentions if you’ve previously purchased post-it software notes, all your old notes and memorable boards will be kept. I guess that must be for people who are upgrading from version 1.0 or whatever the older version of this was. I like the use of Comic Sans for the legal stuff. select directory… “PSNotes” all right, installation is complete. still using Comic Sans here… it even has a little startup sound… and it opens a readme file. it already has one note in the middle of the screen just blocking my view of that readme file. and that’s the thing: you move this around and it captures the focus so now whatever you’re doing, like I’m trying to move this document up and down, I have to reselect it to move that, and it always stays on top. and you can see how tiny that thing is like. I’ll zoom in on it. that reminds me of the pixel art that people used to do on MySpace back in the early 2000s. see, look how tiny that thing is. all right, I can close the setup.. oh, that’s great — Illegal Operation error. can I move these things? yes, I can move them around but, oh yes. can they be moved off the edge of that little window? but look at that — the redrawing wasn’t very good there. look at that… I don’t know if that’s a glitch or that’s how it was designed. it doesn’t properly redraw what was behind it. can I close this? OK, I can. it has a menu there: different fonts… make that bigger. I don’t think I can scroll though. yeah, if you make it smaller you can’t see the entire note, like I’m trying to. I’m trying to use the arrow keys or the mouse; it just cuts off whatever the rest of the note is, so you have to make it bigger to see the whole thing. I think it’s already self-evident why this software never took off. I mean, this kind of software could kind of work on a multi-monitor setup where you’re going to have your main software running on the main monitor and your notes off to the side. but back in 1999 this was the kind of monitor people had — I mean, most people probably didn’t even have 1024 by 768 resolution; most people were still using 640 by 480 or 800 by 600, so you had limited screen resolution, even for your main work. and then you try to add these things on top of it, it just gets too cluttered. minimize… OKy where does that minimize to? OK, it’s in the taskbar down there. it makes a little sound.. oh, that’s adding more notes. let me see how many notes I can add… oh, it’s still going… is that it? no, OK, I was just clicking too fast. so how many notes do I have now? see, these title bars are incredibly small and you have to get on to the title bar in order to move. if you click in the middle of it, it doesn’t move. so I’ve just created a whole bunch of little notes, and that’s the default size. so let me see how much text I can fit into that… maybe you fit about two sentences into each note. can I cut and paste? well, it does make it bigger if you type more, but then if you make it smaller it just gets cut off. so it’s a great way to clutter up your screen, just like real post-it notes clutter up things, if you just stick a note on your screen, and then stick another note, and just take a big one. and then if I want to remove it, just do that instead of these ones in order to get rid of them you have to do that — you have to listen to that for every one you get rid of. I mean that’s just silly. incredibly tiny button you have to click on, and this was a feature that already existed in pretty much every graphical environment: a notepad, with plenty of space to write your note. you can make it as big or as small as you want and you can just click the X to close it and it goes away. I mean, even the very first version of the Macintosh from 1984 had a notepad with eight pages in it for typing notes: “notice it looks like an actual note pad? yeah, it does.” so this was not solving any problems by offering new software that did not exist before. pretty much every computer in the late ’90s already had software to do this in a much more convenient form. they were just trying to cash in on the post-it note name by creating a software version of it, even though nobody really wanted it. so this was just a quick look at post-it software notes version 1.5 from 1999. but the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company — that’s what 3M stands for — has not given up on this concept. they now have the post-it app for your smartphone, so you can clutter up an even smaller screen with software versions of post-it notes that get in the way of what you’re trying to do.