Do you know CICA?
Perhaps some of you computer buffs
outside Japan may know more (than Japs like us) of CICA,
the abbreviation for the Center of Innovative Computing
Applications. It was the name of the ftp site collecting
a wide range of shareware/freeware for Windows3.1, which
covers utilities, fonts, demos, screen savers, databases,
multimedia authering tools, games, video drivers, and so
on. You could even find there such lovely things like the
portrait of Bart Simpson (click him, and he speaks in a
real voice!), dumpy Elvis Presley lying always listlessly
on your desktop, and somewhat funny wallpapers of Teenage
Mutant Ninja Turtles. (Do you remember their names? ;) )
Also released was quarterly CICA CDROM
on the market, including the contents of the CICA site.
Now that a cornucopia of multimedia CDROMs have ever been
published, "the collection of thousands of
shareware/freeware" is just a kind of cliché. But
while the early 1990's, a series of CICA CDROMs,
distributed by Walnut Creek CDROM, had been the largest
collection of the likes, and some of those had been
imported to Japan, our island country where only a few
domestic shareware/freeware programs for Windows existed
at that time.
Part of programs in the CDROM were infeasible under
the Japanese version of Windows for some reason, but the
others worked quite enough to keep Japanese enthusiasts
(yes, like us :) ) much amused, until PACK2000, a
Japanese counterpart of CICA CDROM compiled by Vector Design, debuted
and began to bring us Japanese version of
shareware/freeware collected from throughout Japan.
By the way I've not heard the name of CICA for recent
years. Looking out over Japan of today where a bunch of
monthly computer magazines with CDROMs containing
"thousands of shareware/freeware programs" have
been published, I think CICA may no longer look so worthy
for Japanese computer freaks.
But I still like it for its exoticism and, er,
miscellaneousness. CICA inspired us, and it really was
one of our motives for making and releasing freeware.
At present, the url of the original site
(ftp://ftp.cica.indiana.edu/pub/pc/win3) isn't active any
longer, but luckily the mirror ftp site at ftp://ftp.cdrom.com/pub/win3
is still available, although I miss finding the name of
Shipway (programmer of ZZ-Darts)