If you used the Internet using Windows in the early to mid 1990s, chances are you connected with a little program called Trumpet Winsock. It was one of the only ways to get dial-up access using Windows 3.1. I, like so many others, connected to the Internet for the very first time using it. And I, like so many other, had completely forgotten about that program until today.
Hacker News reader Jacques Chester discovered that Peter Tattam, the developer of Trumpet Winsock, actually made very little money from his creation. It was shareware and was widely distributed by ISPs and magazines, but very few people paid for it. Chester contacted Tattam and is now leading a fundraiser on Hacker News. You can send a donation to Tattam via PayPal at the address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peter Tattam, via the Tattam Software Enterprises website
Chester wrote on Hacker News:
My first experience connecting to the internet was using Windows 3.1, Trumpet Winsock and Netscape 1.22 (I think) to browse the nascent web. Later I wiled away (too many) hours on IRC.
At the time I didn't have two 50c coins to rub together. Today, partly due to that early internet exposure, I am a well-paid software engineer.
I think a lot of us have had a similar experience. Others were affected in more profound ways. The top ranked comment at Hacker News reads:
As a closeted gay teenager, Trumpet was the software that got me in touch with the people who literally saved my life. I could never thank this guy enough.
Amazingly, you can still download Trumpet from the official site.
Screenshots via the University of British Columbia