These days, you end up seeing YouTubers who work with old hardware and the first thing that they do is erase the hard drive. Back in the day, we would never do that because the first thing that you do is go through the hardware and see what cool stuff is on there.

Availability usually determined what software you actually ran. You would go into stores, and they might have 10 boxes of software on the wall. And those were the 10 boxes of software that you can buy. And if you bought that box of software, it was going to take quite some time for them to restock the software so they were now nine boxes of software on the wall. So what was available was literally just what was available. I think that's one reason why shareware was such a useful sales method. You can actually get the product into somebody's hands, and from there they could directly get into contact with you to buy the product.

So taking a computer that was filled with stuff and just deleting all the stuff on there potentially meant taking a bunch of stuff that was really cool and just letting it go away forever. Especially when you were young, maybe there were games on there that you'd never be able to get your hands on otherwise. You definitely weren't going to just erase all that.

That's a direct contrast to today, where even if you wanted those original boxes you can head on eBay and find a treasure trove. You can head on amazon, and buy original software. You can go in the internet and download a whole bunch of stuff that you would have never been able to get your hands on back in the day.

I just feel the need to mention it because every time that I see some vintage computer YouTuber just immediately erase the hard drive on a computer, it's like "no, what do you think you're doing, maybe there's something really cool on there!"