how long until Zoloft starts to work, likelihood Zoloft will work for your condition, and Zoloft vs. other Antidepressants

Approved & Off-label Uses | Zoloft Index | How to Take and Discontinue
Crazymeds Comprehensive Zoloft pages

1.  Comparatively Effective

Two of the most important things to know when deciding on which med is the best for a particular condition1: how likely is it to work and how long will it take.

The odds of a med working for a particular condition and how long it generally takes to work should be fairly easy to nail down, and not need to be summed up by the Internet shorthand YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary). Aside from it being hard enough to get an accurate diagnosis when brain cooties are involved, why is it so difficult to figure out if Zoloft is right for you and how long it will take for you to know that?

  • Because no one is quite sure exactly what causes various conditions.
  • Which is further complicated when everything is a spectrum disorder (e.g. bipolar 1, bipolar 2, all the others planned for DSM-V).
  • And they’re never really sure about how Zoloft works in the first place.
  • Plus, if you have more than one condition for which you’re taking one or more medications to treat, things get really complicated.
  • None of which is helped by studies that produce contradictory results, if they aren’t questionable in the first place.2

Always remember: if your symptoms suddenly get a lot worse, call your doctor immediately. Any drug that makes your symptoms worse is a drug you probably need to stop taking as soon as possible.

See our page on the tests researchers use to measure the efficacy of medications, including during clinical trials to get FDA approval.

2.  How Long Until Zoloft (sertraline) Starts Working

Like all SSRIs: anywhere from a couple days to over a month, although you’ll probably feel more awake and energetic, or at least start sleeping a little better, in two to four days. If you don’t feel any positive benefit after four weeks for depression alone, or two weeks for anxiety or depression and anxiety, then you should talk to your doctor about either another SSRI or, if you already tried another SSRI or an SNRI before and it didn’t work, trying a med that hits another neurotransmitter.

3.  How Effective Zoloft (sertraline) is for its Approved Uses

Like all SSRIs Zoloft has about a 40–50% chance of working, factoring in having to stop taking it for intolerable side effects. Those are actually decent odds for serious brain cooties like chronic, severe depression and social anxiety bad enough to keep you from holding a job.

Zoloft is better for conditions in the anxiety spectrum than those in the depression spectrum. Which is funny given how agitated and nervous it makes a lot of people feel. It’s not just any anxiety Zoloft is good for, but social anxiety/phobia, which really is different from other forms. So they aren’t lying to you all that much with those cheesy ads featuring the sad and lonely blob.

Zoloft works well for chronic depression (i.e. every day for months on end). Like Wellbutrin, Zoloft is especially good for depression defined by sleeping too much, eating too much, and withdrawing from the world. Zoloft is more likely to work for you if you have anxiety combined with depression, although Celexa is somewhat more likely to work for anxious-depression (defined as being severely anxious and severely depressed, either simultaneously or at different times).

4.  Likelihood Zoloft (sertraline) will Work for Off-Label Applications

Premature ejaculation - pretty good. Going from under a minute to around 10 minutes with less risk of not being able to do anything at all as there is with Paxil and Prozac are decent results.

5.  Zoloft (sertraline) versus Other Antidepressants for its Approved Indications

Based upon the studies, the source material, and anecdotal evidence.

5.1  For all Approved Applications

  • Celexa vs. Paxil vs. Zoloft - which is better for medication compliance? Getting people to stay on their meds is essential in getting them to work. That seems obvious, but all the clinical trials in the world don’t mean shit if someone won’t get a refill. This study looks at just that, which med gets the most first refills for approved treatments: depression, social anxiety, and PTSD. The winner: it’s a statistical tie between Zoloft and Celexa, with 54.70% and 54.49% of people taking them getting refills. Given the size of the study - over 14,000 people - Paxil’s first refill rate of 50.99% is significantly poorer, but isn’t overwhelmingly so.
  • Celexa vs. Paxil vs. Zoloft - which med do people stay on longer? This is an indicator of which one generally sucks the most, not which is the most successful, as this is for people who still needed treatment. 14,933 people with depression, PTSD, or social anxiety disorder all taking brand and not generics. The results: Paxil sucks the most, Celexa sucks the least.

5.2  For Depression Spectrum Disorders

Zoloft vs. SNRIs (mostly Effexor) and other SSRIs.
  • Celexa and Effexor are better for depression, including depression with anxiety, than Zoloft.
  • Zoloft is better than Luvox,3 as are most other SSRIs.
  • There’s not much difference in efficacy as far as Paxil, Lexapro, and Prozac are concerned, although Lexapro generally sucks less than Zoloft, while Zoloft tends to suck less than Paxil and Prozac. One study found if you’re anxious and jittery Zoloft is more likely to work than Prozac, but that was done before everything but Luvox was on the market.
  • There aren’t enough data as far as Cymbalta vs. Zoloft is concerned, but my money is on Cymbalta. Dual-action antidepressants are usually better than single-action, and whatever affect Zoloft has on dopamine and sigma opioid, it’s not enough to make much of a difference in depression spectrum disorders, other than lessening some side effects (weight gain, sexual dysfunction, triggering mania) and worsening others (sweating, nausea and other tummy troubles, having a dysphoric mania when it does trigger mania).
  • Zoloft vs. Celexa vs. placebo Over 300 patients with MDD in this double-blind study took Zoloft, Celexa or a placebo for 24 weeks. Celexa was the clear winner, especially with anxiety symptoms. Zoloft’s main problem: the GI side effects sucked too much, and lots of people in the Zoloft group dropped out by week eight.
  • Zoloft vs. Celexa for depression. 50 people taking Zoloft vs. 50 people taking Celexa for six weeks. The results: Celexa is still king of all antidepressants. It worked faster, better, and for more people.
  • Zoloft vs. Celexa vs. placebo for depression. 323 people were randomized to take Zoloft, Celexa, or a placebo for six months in this double-blind study. The results: It may have been a statistical tie as far as how well Celexa and Zoloft worked for depression and how they beat the placebo, but Celexa worked faster, worked better for anxiety, and sucked less. No numbers in the abstract, but Zoloft wasn’t statistically superior to placebo on the Hamilton anxiety scale.
  • Zoloft vs. Celexa when prescribed by primary care physicians for depression. 400 people in this double-blind, 6-month-long study were given one or the other by their PCP. The result: Celexa was somewhat, if not statistically significantly better.
  • Zoloft vs. Prozac for severe depression or anxious depression. This was one big-ass study. Actually they pooled the data from five double-blind studies. They had a total of 1,088 people, with 654 considered anxious-depressed and 212 with high severity depression. The abstract doesn’t define “high severity” depression, but it was probably based on HAM-D score. The results: Zoloft barely wins, but has a statistically significant advantage among the “severely” depressed.
  • Zoloft vs. Prozac for depression. 118 people took Zoloft, 120 took Prozac for six months. The results: Although no numbers were given, Zoloft worked better, and helped those who were taking it sleep better as well.
  • Zoloft vs. Prozac for depression, which works better and costs less? 116 people took Zoloft and 115 people took Prozac for six months. The results: No difference in how well they worked, but the people taking Prozac saw their doctors more often, and Prozac cost a lot more.
  • Zoloft vs. Paxil vs. Prozac for depression. 573 people being treated by primary care physicians (PCPs) are randomly assigned one of the three SSRIs. If it didn’t work or suck too much over the course of 9 months they got to switch to another med that isn’t one of these. The results: Zoloft wins, but is barely more effective and marginally sucks less. There is absolutely no difference between Paxil and Prozac.
  • Zoloft vs. Paxil vs. Prozac for anxious depression. 108 people with major depression with severe anxiety were randomly given one of the three meds for however long this study lasted. The results: a three-way tie. The only difference was Zoloft and Prozac started working in a week.
  • Zoloft vs. Lexapro for depression. Double blind study with 212 people over 2 months. The results: Lexapro was barely, but not statistically significantly, more effective.
  • Zoloft vs. Paxil for depression with personality disorder. 176 people took Zoloft and 177 took Paxil for six months. The results: For one thing, taking SSRIs for six months works a hell of a lot better than taking them for only two or three months. Another useful piece of information (that shows up in other studies): if nothing at all happens in two weeks, you may as well forget whichever one you’re taking. Otherwise Zoloft was somewhat better and sucked noticeably less.
  • Zoloft vs. Paxil for delusional depression. A small, short study - 46 people and six weeks - but Zoloft kicked Paxil’s ass. Zoloft worked for 75% of people taking it, Paxil worked for only 46%, and 41% of people taking Paxil dropped out because of side effects.
  • Zoloft vs. Effexor vs. Wellbutrin - which is most likely to make you manic? 174 people with bipolar 1, 2 or NOS in the depressive phase were prescribed appropriate, flexible dosages of one of the three ADs along with whatever mood stabilizer they usually take. The results: Effexor is the most likely to induce some form mania. 15% of people who took it switched to full-on bouncing off the ceiling mania vs. 7% of those who took Zoloft and 4% of those who took Wellbutrin. For any form of mania it was Effexor 31%, Zoloft 16%, Wellbutrin 14%. For people with rapid cycling the ranking is the same, but they use obtuse statistics numbers. People susceptible to rapid cycling were no more or no less likely to become manic than those who aren’t. Unfortunately no data are given regarding mania symptoms.
  • Zoloft vs. Wellbutrin SR vs. Effexor XR for depression after Celexa didn’t work. Which AD is the best second choice after Celexa? According to this decent-sized (727 people, 239 took Wellbutrin SR?, 238 took Zoloft, and 250 took Effexor XR) study the winner is: Effexor by a nose, with Wellbutrin a close second. They both worked better and sucked less than Zoloft, but Zoloft wasn’t that far behind. Although when you’re looking at remission rates of 20–25% they’re not all that fantastic in any event.
  • Zoloft vs. Effexor XR for depression. Since Zoloft might affect dopamine enough to consider it a dual-action serotonin and dopamine reuptake inhibitor, someone thought comparing its efficacy with Effexor, which is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), was only fair. So, 82 people took Zoloft, 78 took Effexor XR in this 8-week, double-blind survey. The result: Effexor won as far as how many people it worked for. The abstract doesn’t tell us how well each one worked or how many people had to quit taking them due to side effects.
  • Zoloft vs. Effexor XR for depression, and which discontinuation symptoms suck less. Really? You’re comparing Effexor with Zoloft? Not Paxil, not Cymbalta, not even Luvox with its super-short half-life? The results: Effexor XR sucked a lot more when the people in the study stopped taking it, otherwise there wasn’t much difference. How much grant money did you get for that? How much came from Pfizer? That’s what I want to know.
  • Zoloft vs. Celexa - which one costs your HMO more? Who cares about efficacy, this is what it often comes down to. Back in 1999 dollars it was $931 per patient for Zoloft vs $1,035 per patient for Celexa. That probably explains why they had 15,222 people taking Zoloft and and 3,175 taking Celexa. The conclusion sums up their thinking:
    Despite potential cost savings due to a lower acquisition cost, initial treatment of depression with citalopram was associated with higher depression-related charges than was sertraline in the population studied.
  • Zoloft vs. Lexapro - which costs less to treat depression? The HMO bean-counters have decided that over six months it costs $919 dollars to treat someone with Lexapro and $1351 to treat them with Zoloft.
  • Zoloft vs. Lexapro vs. Effexor vs. the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) hypothesis of depression. A recent hypothesis of what causes depression and how meds fix it involves how much BDNF we have floating around and the effect meds have on it. The results: while all the depressed people in this study had lower amounts of BDNF than the professional guinea pigs healthy control subjects, the meds acted very differently. Zoloft increased it after five weeks, Effexor took somewhere around six months to change it, and Lexapro didn’t affect it at all. Yet all three were about equally effective in treating depression. So much for that idea.
Zoloft vs. TCAs.

As far as efficacy is concerned, there’s not much difference. Zoloft sucks a hell of a lot less, and is far easier to keep taking than TCAs, so taking those into account Zoloft a clear winner.

Zoloft vs. other meds. This is way too random to pin down.
  • Zoloft vs. reboxetine for depression. This was a small study of 41 people, 20 on reboxetine 21 on Zoloft. The results: Hard to say. Reboxetine is more effective and works faster, but sucks more - the one person who dropped out was in the reboxetine group. By the time the study was done both meds worked for about 80% of the people in each group. Turkish language version of the study is here.
  • Zoloft vs. moclobemide for atypical depression. In this double-blind study 197 people took either Zoloft or the MAOI moclobemide for three months. The results: Zoloft was significantly better. That is surprising, as MAOIs are usually the best meds around for atypical depression. Zoloft worked better (HAM-D score decreased from 35.9 to 14.5 in the Zoloft group vs 36.3 to 16.1 in the moclobemide group) for more people (77.5% vs. 67.5%). Zoloft also worked better for anxiety, sleep, and a few quality of life categories.
  • Zoloft vs. psychotherapy vs. Zoloft and psychotherapy for chronic moderate depression (dysthymia). Although not approved for dysthymia, SSRIs are used for it all the time and it’s close enough. The results: Zoloft alone worked best, followed by Zoloft + therapy. Zoloft alone kicked interpersonal psychotherapy’s ass, but maybe they just like drugs up in Canadia.
  • Zoloft vs. Solian (amisulpride) - which works faster for depression? Solian (amisulpride) is an atypical antipsychotic (AAP) available in Australia, the EU and other European countries, but not the US. In Italy it’s also approved to treat depression. The results: Solian works a lot better a lot faster. It takes Zoloft three months to catch up.
  • Zoloft vs. Valdoxan (agomelatine): which one helps you sleep better in depression with anxiety. Since Zoloft is pretty good at helping people with anxious depression sleep, why not compare it with a melatonin agonist? 154 people took Zoloft, 159 took Valdoxan for six weeks. The results: Valdoxan (not available in the US, or many other places) makes you sleep a hell of a lot better, and that seems to help with depression and anxiety caused or exacerbated by insufficient and/or crappy sleep.
  • Zolft vs. St. John’s Wort for depression. A randomized, double-blind study run by real doctors involving people with real depression. The results: Both were equally effective, but St. John’s Wort sucked less. What? Some herb you can get at Ye Olde Suplement Shoppe works as well as real medicine? Not quite. They didn’t use ground up St. John’s Wort or even random St. John’s Wort extract. They used pharmaceutical-grade Hypericum extract imported from Germany, which is sold in, you know, pharmacies. And while the Hypericum generally sucked less, 4 people were withdrawn from the study by their doctors due to drug-induced side effects, including suicidal ideation and drug-induced mania, compared with one person taking Zoloft. And while the Hypericum sucked less, it didn’t suck that much less, and has side effects comparable to any antidepressant on the market.
  • Here’s another one pitting Zoloft against Hypericum extract. The objective of the study totally gives away the desired outcome, “to demonstrate the non-inferiority of hypericum extract versus sertraline in the treatment of moderate depression.” Right. Give Zoloft to people who aren’t depressed enough to need real medication, and see if Hypericum doesn’t fail when comparing the results. The results being a complete tie, with Hypericum sucking somewhat less.
  • Zoloft vs. extended-release Desyrel (trazodone) for depression. This is a weird one. I didn’t think anyone still used trazodone as a primary antidepressant. Oh, wait, this study was done in Italy. In Europe Desyrel is still used as an actual antidepressant and not just an add-on for sleep, or a sleep aid by itself. 62 people took Zoloft, 60 people took Desyrel (trazodone) XR in this double-blind, double-dummy4, 6-week study. The results: a tie. Although people in the trazodone group slept a lot better. Big surprise there.
  • Zoloft vs. Mirapex for depression in people with Parkinson’s. Did these people have a grudge against Zoloft or something? Sure, the people with Parkinson’s didn’t have any movement problems, but still. The results: Mirapex (pramipexole) kicked Zoloft’s ass from Napoli to Pfizer HQ and back.
    • Zoloft vs. Remeron ODT for depression. 345 people in this 8-week long, double-blind study took either Zoloft or the then-new Remeron orally disintegrating tablets (ODT - about the only way you can get Remeron most places these days). The results: Remeron worked faster, but eventually they were equality effective. Zoloft sucked less in what people usually consider the most important AD side effects: weight gain and sexual dysfunction.

5.3  For Anxiety Spectrum Disorders

Although Zoloft tends to work better for anxiety, especially social anxiety, than depression, there aren’t nearly as many comparisons with other meds for anxiety disorders. Probably because Zoloft is better for social anxiety disorder/phobia (SAnD), while all the other meds with approvals to treat anxiety disorders are better than Zoloft.

6.  How Zoloft (sertraline) Compares with Other Drugs for Off-Label Treatments


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Approved & Off-label Uses | Zoloft Index | How to Take and Discontinue
Crazymeds Comprehensive Zoloft pages


1 Assuming you were correctly diagnosed in the first place.

2 Keep in mind that according to one study, most drug studies will skew in favor of the med made by the company that sponsored the study.* That's one of my favorite "no shit Sherlock" studies, although it did help in getting conflicts of interest showing up on papers.
Two additional papers along similar lines are Why Current Publication Practices May Distort Science** and Why Most Published Research Findings Are False***. So in addition to the books we use as source material, this is why we also factor a lot of anecdotal evidence (personal experience, experiences of people we know, case reports, what people have sent us in e-mail, and what is posted all over the Internet) into our conclusions regarding the likelihood of meds working, the prevalence of various side effects, etc.
While the drug companies are getting a lot more transparent and publishing more data in the PI sheets regarding the results of the clinical trials, they still don't publish how many times a drug failed a clinical trial.****

3 This is a prime example of really contradictory data. If Lexapro consistently tests as good as, if not better than Celexa, how can Zoloft be better than Lexapro if Celexa is better than Zoloft?

4 If you're looking for an Italian joke, there isn't one. In a "double-dummy" study participants get a mixture of active and inactive product so all the pills are the same size, and everyone gets the same number of pills, and takes the same doses at the same time. That's probably a given, but this is the first time I've seen the term, thus it was explicitly spelled out they actually bothered to do it that way.

*Drug studies favoring sponsors the study.
**Why Current Publication Practices May Distort Science
***Why Most Published Research Findings Are False
****unpublished clinical trials

Date created {{$$newlycreated}} Page Author: Last edited by: JerodPoore on 2014–04–18

How Long Until Zoloft Works by JerodPoore is copyright {{$$yearly}} JerodPoore

Zoloft is a trademark of someone else. Look on the the PI sheet or ask Google who the owner is. The way pharmaceutical companies buy each other and swap products like Monopoly™ real estate, the ownership of the trademark may have changed without my noticing.

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Almost all of the material on this site is by Jerod Poore and is copyright © 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 Jerod Poore. Except, of course, the PI sheets - those are the property of the drug companies who developed the drugs the sheets are about - and any documents that are written by other people which may be posted to this site will remain the property of the original authors. You cannot reproduce this page or any other material on this site outside of the boundaries of fair use copying without the express permission of the copyright holder. That’s usually me, so just ask first. That means if want to print out a few pages to take to your doctor, therapist, counselor, support group, non-understanding family members or something like that - then that’s OK to just do. Go for it! Please. As long as you include this copyright notice and something along the lines of following disclaimer, I’m usually cool with it.

All rights reserved. No warranty is expressed or implied in this information. Consult one or more doctors and/or pharmacists before taking, or changing how you take any neurological and/or psychiatric medication. Your mileage may vary. What happened to us won’t necessarily happen to you. If you still have questions about a medication or condition that were not answered on any of the pages you read, please ask them on Crazy Talk: the Crazymeds Forum.
The information on Crazymeds pertains to and is intended for adults. While some information about children and adolescents is occasionally presented (e.g. US FDA approvals), pediatric-specific data such as dosages, side effects, off-label applications, etc. are rarely included in the articles on drugs or discussed on the forum. If you are looking for information regarding meds for children you’ll have to go somewhere else.
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Nobody on this site is a doctor, a therapist, or a pharmacist. We don’t portray them either here or on TV. Only doctors can diagnose and treat an illness. While it’s not as bad as it used to be, some doctors still get pissed off by patients who know too much about medications, so tread lightly when and where appropriate. Diagnosing yourself from a website is like defending yourself in court, you suddenly have a fool for a doctor. Don’t be a cyberchondriac, thinking you have every disease you see a website about, or that you’ll get every side effect from every medication1. Self-prescribing is as dangerous as buying meds from fraudulent online pharmacies that promise you medications without prescriptions.
All information on this site has been obtained through our personal experience and the experiences family, friends, what people have reported on various reputable sites all over teh intergoogles, the medications’ product information / summary of product characteristic (PI/SPC) sheets, and from sources that are referenced throughout the site. As such the information presented here is not intended as a substitute for real medical advice from your real doctor, just a compliment to it. You should never, ever, replace what a real doctor tells you with something from a website on the Internet. The farthest you should ever take it is getting a second opinion from another real doctor. Educate yourself - always read the PI/SPC sheet or patient information leaflet (PIL) that comes with your medications and never ever throw them away.
Crazymeds is not responsible for the content of sites we provide links to. We like them, or they’re paid advertisements, or they’re something else we think you should read to help you make an informed decision about a particular med. Sometimes they’re more than one of those things. But what’s on those sites is their business, not ours.
Very little information about visitors to this site is collected or saved. From time to time I look at search terms used and which pages they bring up in an effort to make the information I present more relevant. And the country of origin, just because I’m geeky like that. That’s about it. Depending on how you feel about Schrodinger, our privacy policy should either assuage or exacerbate your paranoia.
All brand names of the drugs listed in this site are the trademarks of the companies named on the PI/SPC sheet associated with the medication, sometimes on the pages about the drugs, even though those companies may have been acquired by other companies who may or may not be listed in this site by the time you read this. Or the rights to the drug were sold to another company. And any or all of the companies involved may have changed their names.
Crazymeds is optimized for the browser you’re not using on the platform you wish you had. Between you and me, it all looks a lot cleaner using Safari or Chrome, although more than half of the visitors to this site use either Safari or Internet Explorer, so I’m doing my best to make things look nice for IE as well. I’m using Firefox and running Windows 72. On a computer that sits on top of my desk. With a 23 inch monitor. Hey, at least you can make the text larger or smaller by clicking on the + or - buttons in the upper right hand corner. If you have Java enabled. Like 99% of the websites on the planet, Crazymeds is hosted on domain running an open source operating system with a variety of open source applications, including the software used to display what you’ve been reading. As such Crazymeds is not responsible for whatever weird shit your browser does or does not do when you read this site3.
No neurologists, psychiatrists, therapists or pharmacists were harmed in the production of this website. Use only as directed. Void where prohibited. Contains nuts. Certain restrictions may apply. All data are subject to availability. Not available on all mobile devices, in the 12 Galaxies Guiltied to a Zegnatronic Rocket Society, or in all dimensions of reality. Hail Xenu!

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1 While there are plenty of books to help you with hypochondria, for some reason there’s not much in the way of websites. Then again, staying off of the Internet is a large part of curing/managing the disorder.

2 Remember kids, Microsloth operating systems are like TOS Star Trek movies with in that every other one sucks way, way more. With TOS Star Trek movies you don’t want to bother watching the odd-numbered ones. With Microsloth OS you don’t want to buy and install the even-numbered ones. Anyone who remembers ME and Vista knows what I mean.

3 Have I mentioned how open source operating systems for commercial applications is one of the dumbest ideas in the history of dumb ideas?
[begin rant] I rent a dedicated server for Crazymeds. It’s sitting on a rack somewhere in Southern California along with a bunch of other servers that other people have rented. The hardware is identical, but no two machines have exactly the same operating systems. I don’t even need to see what is on any of the others to know this. If somebody got their server at the exact same time, with the exact same features as I did, I’m confident that there would be noticeable differences in some aspects of the operating systems. So what does this mean? For one thing it means that no two computers in the same office of a single company have the same operating system, and the techs can spend hours figuring out what the fuck the problem could be based on that alone. It also means that application software like IP board that runs the forum here has to have so many fucking user-configurable bells and whistles that even when I read the manual I can’t find every setting, or every location that every flag needs to be set in order for a feature to run the way I want it to run. And in the real world it means you can get an MBA not only with an emphasis on resource planning, but with an emphasis on using SAP - a piece of software so complex there are now college programs on how to use it. You might think, “But don’t people learn how to use Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator in college?” Sure, in order to create stuff. And in a way you’re creating stuff with SAP. But do you get a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis on Photoshop?
Back in the Big Iron Age the operating systems were proprietary, and every computer that took up an entire room with a raised floor and HVAC system, and had less storage and processing power than an iPhone, had the same operating system as every other one, give or take a release level. But when a company bought application software like SAP, they also got the source code, which was usually documented and written in a way to make it easy to modify the hell out of it. Why? Because accounting principles may be the same the world over, and tax laws the same across each country and state, but no two companies have the same format for their reports, invoices, purchase orders and so forth. Standards existed and were universally ignored. If something went wrong it went wrong the same way for everyone, and was easy to track down. People didn’t need to take a college course to learn how to use a piece of software.
I’m not against the open source concept entirely. Back then all the programmers read the same magazines, so we all had the same homebrew utilities. We even had a forerunner of QR Code to scan the longer source code. Software vendors and computer manufacturers sponsored conventions so we could, among other things, swap recipes for such add-ons and utilities. While those things would make our lives easier, they had nothing to do with critical functions of the operating system. Unless badly implemented they would rarely cause key application software to crash and burn. Whereas today, with open source everything, who the hell knows what could be responsible some part of a system failing. [/end rant]

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