Programmed by Sybil Byrnes, Sybby’s Fruitware was a popular shareware title released in 1991. It was a collection of minigames–Peach Pitfall, Marine Apple Core, Appealing Bananas–along with a fruit-themed sticker maker, notepad app, and barebones art and music programs called FruitArt and FruitSound. Everything was usable without registration, but with a 20-minute time limit and the ability to save disabled.

Sybby’s Fruitware wound up being the first introduction many young computer users had to games, graphics programs, and music composition, and a number of workarounds existed to save pictures and musical compositions without registration. For example, images made in FruitARt could be copied and pasted into Microsoft Paint, and sound files could be copied and pasted into Microsoft Sounds. This led to the 20-minute time limit being easily bypassed and serving as little more than a save check in many cases.

While remembered fondly, Sybil Byrnes saw little success from Sybby’s Fruitware. Registered copies were rare, and the high cost of duplicating, boxing, and shipping the copies meant that her windfall was minimal. Eventually, Sybil Byrnes was diagnosed with ALS, and released the source code for Sybby’s Fruitware and her other programs. A fundraiser to help fund her treatment was eventually held, with a number of industry figures contributing, but she nevertheless passed away in 1999 at the age of only 47.

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