Saturday, July 10, 2004

Whatever happened to Phil Katz?

I broke down and paid for Textpad today. It's a shareware text editor for Windows and it's pretty handy. It's not as fully featured as, say, MultiEdit, but then it's a lot cheaper too.

The whole shareware thing made me think of Phil Katz. If you've been working on the Windows platform for very long, you're familiar with his work - he created PKArc and the later PKZip. The latter was the de facto standard for compression for much of the pre-Windows PC era and is still around. I used it constantly for years, but I don't recall ever paying him a license fee.

I suppose it's not too late - the company he founded, PKware, is still around. Their compression product is one of the few that works well across multiple platforms.

But Mr. Katz has been gone since April 2000 when he was all of 37 years old. Here's the story.

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