I started using it in 1987, when I got an MS-DOS computer for the first time, and tried out a whole bunch of shareware genealogy programs. FHS seemed to be the best of the bunch, and it was so good that I'm still using it today.
It came as a free version, with optional extensions that one could buy, and I soon bought them. And the author was open to suggestions for improvements. One that I suggested, and he adopted, was an option using the yyyy-mm-dd format for data entry, which is standard in South Africa, and is the only unambiguous system for entering all-numeric dates.
But why do I still use it today?
I don't use it alone. I use it in conjunction with other programs. I use Legacy for its fancy printed reports and fields for extra information. I use RootsMagic for quick 'n dirty research, adding stuff from all over, and sorting it out later (it has a note field for every event, which is good for that).
But FHS still has several capabilities that none of the others have.
First among them, and which is the key to using it in conjunction with the other programs, is that it has the capability of exporting a GEDCOM file with a defined range of RINs. That means I can export records 19257-19643, and when I import them into another program those records will still have RINs 19257-19263, and person 19439 in FHS will be the same person as 19439 in Legacy, PAF, and any other program I import the file to.
That alone is sufficient reason for me to continue using FHS, and using it as my program of first data entry. No other genealogy program that I know of has that capability, or if it has, it is so well-hidden and difficult to access that I have never been able to discover it.
A second reason I continue to use FHS is that it can spit out free-form reports that can be incorporated into e-mail messages, newsgroup posts and other places where ASCII text is useful. Here's one that I used recently:
Family Group Report For: John Stringer Worrall (ID=12780) Date Prepared: 30 Jun 2015 NAME: WORRALL, John Stringer, Born ??? 1823 in Manchester, LAN, ENG, Died May 1879? in Islington, London at age 56; FATHER: WORRALL, Elisha; MOTHER: STRINGER, Sarah; Bookbinder and illustrator MARRIED 27 Jan 1859 in Manchester, LAN, ENG, to COTTAM, Mary, Born Oct 1838 in Manchester, Died ???; FATHER: COTTAM, Richard, Born ??? 1812, Died Feb 1877 at age 65; MOTHER: BAGOT, Margaret, Born 22 Jan 1811, Died Feb 1882 at age 71 CHILDREN: 1. F WORRALL, Maggie, born 1 Jun 1861 in Manchester, LAN, ENG, died ???; Married 23 Jul 1892 to EDGE, William Edward; 4 children 2. M WORRALL, John James, born ??? 1864 in Manchester, LAN, ENG, died ???; Married Feb 1910 to GROVER, Harriet Elizabeth; 3 children 3. F WORRALL, Bessie Bagot, born 5 Feb 1866 in Islington, London, died Nov 1867 in Islington, London 4. F WORRALL, Bessie Bagot, born Aug 1868 in London, MDX, ENG, died ???; Married to BUSH, Harry; 4 children 5. F WORRALL, Lucy Naomi, born Aug 1871 in London, MDX, ENG, died Aug 1900 6. M WORRALL, William Harry, born ??? 1874 in London, MDX, ENG, died ???; Married ??? 1905 to KNIGHT, Louise; 1 child 7. M WORRALL, George Frederick, born ??? 1877 in London, MDX, ENG, died ???; Married to Lizzie
I don't know of any other genealogy program that can do that.
A third reason that I still use it is that it can produce relative reports like no other genealogy program, and it can select all the relatives of any person in the database and export those relatioves, and those relatives only, to a GEDCOM file.
So if my third cousin once removed on my mother's side wants a GEDCOM file of his relatives, he is not interested in my father's side of the family, or my wife's side of the family. I can give him a GEDCOM containing just his relatives. It offers a choice of whether to include spouses, and also children of spouses and spoouses of children, who would be related not by blood but by marriage.
As far as I am aware those three features are not available in any other genealogy program, and that is why I continue to use FHS, even though it is over 20 years old.
So I use Legacy for its fancy reports and extra details, but I still enter my data in FHS and export it by Gedcom, first to PAF 4.0, and import from there to Legacy. Thus each person in the Legacy file has the same RIN as in FHS.
If I import the Gedcom direct to Legacy instead of first to PAF, it scrambles the RINs -- something that the people at Millennia have sometimes promised to fix, but never have.
I keep my FHS database on both my desktop computer (running Windows XP) and my laptop (running Windows 7)., so that if I take my laptop to the archives or a library, I can add people there, and transfer to my desktop computer when
I get home. I transfer using a USB flash drive, which therefore serves as an additional backup for both computers. Actually I have two USB flash drives for that purpose, and alternate them weekly, which provides even more backup.
I do the transfers of FHS and other data using four batch files: dsk2flsh.bat, flsh2lap, lap2flsh, flsh2dsk, so all that is requred is typing a single command for all the files to be transferred. That doesn't only concern FHS, of course, so I just mention that in passing.
There may be other FHS users out there, and if you can think of any of the capabilities of FHS that I've left out, particularly those not found in other genealogy programs, please add them in comments.
And many thanks to Philip Brown, one of the pioneers of genealogical computing, whose work remains unsurpassed in some respects to this day.