That’s How Old I Am

8 May 2024
Leave a comment
AI-generated man sitting in front of a steampunk computer

Inspired by this blog post, I decided it would be fun to write my own list of technologies and experiences that show my age. Most people wouldn’t consider mid-30s to be that old and it really isn’t, but from a technological standpoint, it might as well be millennia.

So, let’s dive into it. These are the things I remember using and experiencing for the first time that are now obsolete or have changed considerably since I first encountered them:

  • Three-button mice without a wheel
  • Single-button mice on Macs (without multi-touch)
  • 20″ CRT monitors that seemed giant and would briefly dim the lights when you turned them on
  • Crunchy hard drive noises
  • The sound of a modem connecting
  • Desktop computers that didn’t have enough power to play an MP3
  • Upgrading to Windows 95
  • Ghosting on passive matrix laptop screens (both color and black and white)
  • Subversion was the latest and greatest code versioning system
  • JavaScript had a competitor from Microsoft that only ran in Internet Explorer: VBScript
  • JavaScript was sparsely used on websites
  • JavaScript was only used in the frontend
  • PHP’s first release
  • ASP before .NET was appended to it
  • Rounded corners on websites were achieved with images… most of which weren’t even transparent
  • ColdFusion
  • Macromedia Flash
  • Guestbooks on websites
  • Hit counters on websites
  • The Netscape Communicator software suite
  • Brushed metal and pinstripes were modern UI elements for Mac OS X
  • Multiple cores meant multiple processors
  • Separate math coprocessors
  • Schools requiring kids to bring floppy disks to store their work from the computer lab
  • America Online (“You’ve got mail!”)
  • Firebug was a revolution in web development
  • Creating websites with Microsoft Frontpage
  • AltaVista
  • When I got an invitation to join Gmail for the closed beta period in 2004
  • Microsoft Encarta
  • Web directories
  • Blogrolls
  • The fact that the Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer had a laser instead of a track ball was an amazing feat of technology
  • …and many more

The more I wrote, the more I remembered which is how that list got so long. I could have easily kept going, but decided that the list was long enough, so I stopped there.

It’s been a fun trip down memory lane and there are certainly things I miss about technology from the past, but mostly I prefer technology from the present.

What technologies do you remember using for the first time or that have died off since? Let me know in the comments!

How would you rate this post?

About the Author

Alex Seifert
Alex is a developer, a drummer and an amateur historian. He enjoys being on the stage in front of a large crowd, but also sitting in a room alone, programming something or writing about history.

Related Posts

Post a Comment

Your email is kept private. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

My Portfolio