Technology Then and Now: 2016 vs. 1996

Twenty years can go by really quickly. I should know – my daughter is 20 years old. They say to enjoy your kids when they’re young, as the time goes by too quickly, and they are right. But then I look at technology and it’s hard to believe we’ve really come this far in twenty years. It’s truly astounding.

It’s been so long that it’s coming around a second time. Pokemon started in 1996 with Pokemon Red and Green. And now it’s perhaps enjoying its greatest resurgence with Pokemon GO. It seems so retro now, but it was only twenty years ago.

What else has technology done in twenty years? Here’s a look back at how far we’ve come in just these two short decades.

Laura Tucker Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.

One comment

  1. Palm PDAs (as well as some other similar competitors) were pretty amazing and well-focused devices for getting things done. Most people weren’t even aware of the local applications available for them online (ebook readers, online news syncing, etc). Even the connected (syncing) Desktop application for managing scheduling, contacts, apps were extremely well done.

    VHS tech were also pretty impressive. The wow factor, when they reached the mass market, was much higher than that of DVD/BR. We had already experienced the (controversial) transition from cassette tapes to CDs. Anyway, I think the real spiritual successor of the VHS are on-demand services (Netflix is the new VHS) and local video files on hard drives – they have truly made the [record] button obsolete.

    Win95 – bsod notwithstanding, you ran an OS and apps. It served its’ expected purpose. Win10 represents the worst traits of what we have become as a digital society (surveillance state, hybrid OSes forcing people into a data-ming ecosystem, mandated and forced updates, lack of transparency, little oversight and accountability). Not everything is sunshine and roses…

    AOL: I think a better comparison to AOL is Facebook. I’d give the edge to AOL in terms of usability and options (apps, messaging, software archives, boards) – the online successor of BBSes. Google isn’t nearly integrated enough to compare to AOL. Even on Android they remain a mish-mash of services (like Yahoo). Chrome comes closer but it isn’t a lifestyle like AOL and/or Facebook.

Comments are closed.