amazing software

FORTH programming language

FORTH interactively compiled fast compact code that fit inside 8-bit microcomputers. FORTH compilers were so tiny that standard FIG-FORTH was virtually 100% bug-free.

C programming language

Though this author has never loved its syntax, multitude of software that has been written in C is amazing.

UNIX operating-system

Two programmers wrote UNIX which is far superior to any other OS, has remained superior ~50+ years later, amazing. (Or is this sad from POV of progress?)

GNU software

The GNU Project was the genesis of nearly all the free software we have today. The most crucial part was gcc, a free C/C++ compiler, from which all the rest was compiled.

GNU Emacs

What is amazing is discovering Emacs can do what no person would ever expect an editor can do.

Although this and other lunatics expect an editor to be programmed with psycho-therapist artificial-intelligence (AI), even they never expected an editor to argue with itself. Why of course Emacs can. Emacs is also programmed with Zippy the Pinhead AI, who will argue with and frustrate the psycho-therapist.


Zaxxon was amazing compared to primitive arcade games of 1982.

Grand Theft Auto (computer game)

Ignoring its damned title, breadth and detail of its 3D simulation of a city was amazing.

honorable mention

TPE (Turbo Powered Editor)

screenshot of TPE editor
One of the best editors for PCDOS. Would've been the best if its undo capability had not been limited. TPE was well-documented, easy to customize using a nicely-made configuration program. Had a mode to easily draw lines around titles (Emacs can't do this as well). Final version seems to have been TPE 3.4 (?).


  • Zippy the Pinhead was banished to /lisp/obsolete/ (Emacs 27.1 or earlier), but he can be let loose by M-x load-file yow.el.gz. Reply to psycho-therapist with yow or M-x psychoanalyze-pinhead.