Besides text editors (see one of my previous articles) and video games the most used software on home computers is probably drawing software (at least before the rise of the internet). Don't be afraid, I'm not a professional graphical designer, so I won't be talking about all different versions of Adobe PhotoShop. Instead, I like to focus on those graphical applications that all professional graphical designers hate - and were used most by all common users :). It's also notable that graphical software had a huge part in the rise of the computer mouse, as you'll find out below...

== MacPaint (Apple MacIntosh) ==
In 1984 Apple released the Apple MacIntosh and its two 'killer apps' (as we would call it nowadays) were MacWrite (word processor) and MacPaint. What was special for the time (hard to imagine now) was that those programs were compatible - you could actually cut out pictures you drew in MacPaint and paste them into a MacWrite document! It's hard to underestimate the importance of these two MacIntosh programs for the success of the graphical user interface and the computer mouse. Maybe for the first time it showed everyone that the use of a computer hadn't to be difficult at all - you could just pick it up and start drawing immediately! MacPaint also 'inspired' the developers of PCPaint. In 1988 the development of MacPaint was cancelled due to of diminishing sales.

MacPaint (1984) for Apple MacIntosh - Apple MacIntosh with mouse
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== PCPaint (IBM-PC MS-DOS) ==
In 1984 one of the first PC paint programs with a graphical user interface (GUI) that had to be controlled by a mouse was released with PCPaint for the IBM-PC with MS-DOS. This application, developed by MicroTex Industries, saved files with the extension .pic and was later in its lifecycle also known as Pictor Paint. Thanks to a deal with a hardware manufacturer called Mouse Systems - a company that brought the mouse to the IBM-PC for the first time - PCPaint became the best-selling paint program for MS-DOS in the late 1980s. Mouse Systems sold their computer mice in bundles with PCPaint, which turned out to be commercially successful for both parties. PCPaint supported CGA colors (and later also EGA), where MacPaint was only available in black & white.

PCPaint 1.0 (1984) for IBM-PC MS-DOS - Mouse Systems' optical mouse
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== PC Paintbrush (MS-DOS) ==
In 1984 also PC Paintbrush was released for MS-DOS, a paint program (with file extensions .pcx) that would later involve into the famous Microsoft Paint. But before that happened Microsoft also bundled their mice with the competing PCPaint for a while. However, in 1985 Microsoft started to distribute PC Paintbrush. Of course, this move also meant that Microsoft now bundled PC Paintbrush with its computer mice instead of the competing PCPaint. But PCPaint still outsold PC Paintbrush until the late 80s. Together with MacPaint for the Apple MacIntosh, PCPaint is one of the most important programs for the rise and success of graphical user interfaces controlled with a mouse - something we still have a lot of advantage of today.

PC Paintbrush 2.0 (1985) for MS-DOS
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== Microsoft Paint (Windows) ==
Microsoft Paint is probably the most well-known drawing software for non-professional users. The program is beloved by many and hated by many others, but at least Microsoft offers it for free with its Windows operating system. The first version of Paint was released in 1985 for Windows 1.0 and actually was a licensed edition of the above mentioned PCPaint. In 1990 this version was succeeded by Paintbrush in Windows 3.0. This new edition supported color graphics (before it was only black & white), a new interface and support for both .pcx and .bmp files.

Paint 1.0 (1985) for Windows 1.0
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Like many other Microsoft applications, Paint became really well-known thanks to the enormous success of Windows 95. Since then the software is simply known as Paint, though sometimes you will still encounter the name MSPaint. An upgrade for Paint 95 made it possible to create animated GIFs, which was a fun addition. In Windows 98 Microsoft dropped support for .pcx files, and since the introduction of Windows XP (2001) you can directly save all your images directly in regular formates such as jpeg, gif, tiff, png and (still around) bmp. In Windows Vista (2006) Microsoft finally added a crop function in Paint. Since Windows 7 (2009) Microsoft added its 'ribbon'-interface (for quick access to common used functions, also known from Microsoft Office) to Paint.

Microsoft Paint (1995) for Windows 95
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== Kid Pix (Apple MacIntosh) ==
Another painting program I fondly remember using is Kid Pix, a graphical program especially aimed at children. The original was released in 1991 by Broderbund for the Apple MacIntosh. Later on Kid Pix was also released for Windows and the program still exists today! It is said the creator of Kid Pix came up with the idea of a simple painting program for children when he saw his son struggling with MacPaint. Therefore, Kid Pix is very easy to use. But also important is that is very fun to use - especially noteworthy are the stamp tool (to easily make stamps in the drawing area) and the 'Undo Guy' as standard undo button, that would utter phrases like 'Whoops!' or 'Yikes!' when undoing an edit.

Kid Pix 1.0 (1991) for Apple MacIntosh
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== Mario Paint (SNES) ==
Painting software for game consoles is almost non-existent, but the most famous exception is of course Mario Paint, released for the SuperNintendo in 1992. The game came bundled with the SuperNES Mouse and this mouse is needed to play the game, so keep that in mind when you buy the game second-handed. Mario Paint is a basic drawing program, somewhat similar to Kid Pix, but for a painting program on a console it is pretty good. It is not only very easy, but also very fun to use. Besides the possibility to make drawings, Mario Paint also adds fun additions such as a few mini-games and a basic music generator. If you do a quick search on YouTube, you'll find out that it is actually possible to create quite some impressive content with this basic painting program from Nintendo. (But let's be honest, most people -like myself- lack the patience and skill to do so.)

Mario Paint (1992) for SuperNintendo - SNES Mouse & Pad
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Besides Mario Paint there were only a few other drawing games for game consoles. In 1991 Sega released Art Alive! for the Sega Genesis/MegaDrive, a basic paint program without any bells or whistles (except for the cool stamps with characters from Sonic the Hedgehog and Toejam & Earl). Art Alive! is a little tedious to use, because strangely it doesn't support the Sega Mega Mouse and can only be controlled with the gamepad. In 1994 Sega released the sequel, Wacky Worlds Creativity Studio (only for the American Sega Genesis) that did support the Sega Mega Mouse. Wacky Worlds is a mini-game collection aimed at young children, including a coloring book, and supports characters from Sonic the Hedgehog, Toejam & Earl and Ecco the Dolphin.

Art Alive! (1991) for Sega Genesis/MegaDrive - Wacky Worlds (1994) for Sega Genesis
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The only other painting program for gaming consoles I can think of is Fun 'n' Games, released in 1993/1994 for the Sega Genesis/MegaDrive and SNES. This game is a blatant rip-off of Mario Paint, but is pretty decent. Like Mario Paint this package offers a drawing program, some mini-games and a basic music editor. Fun 'n' Games also offers a 'Style'-option in which you have to dress a drawn doll. The game can be controlled with the SNES Mouse and Sega Mega Mouse or with the regular controller, but the mouse is recommended.

Fun 'n' Games (1993/1994) for Sega Genesis/SuperNintendo - Sega Mega Mouse
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