Friday, October 03, 2003

The Time Machine

Do you ever think back to what the world was like BIB (before the Internet boom)?

In another year, I'll be heading to my 10th year reunion at Stanford. 10 years ago, I was living in Okada House in the Wilbur dorm complex. While I had email, which I used religiously, I had to go to the dorm computer cluster to access my Unix-based elm account.

Ah yes, the good old days of the command line interface!

There was no such thing as the Web as a mass medium. Mark Andreessen was still a roly-poly grad student at UIUC, probably happily munching Doritos while playing Castle Wolfenstein 3D.

If you wanted to find something out, you had to go to a library and look it up in a bunch of dusty books.

If you wanted the news, you had to turn on a TV and wait for the story in which you were interested to come along.

If you wanted to hold a party, you had to either send out paper invitations, or spend a day on the phone.

Only doctors and drug dealers had cell phones.

Your primary means of communication was to, gasp, actually talk with people.

Thank God we live in modern times! The frightening thing, of course, is that this was just 10 years ago. What will our lives be like 10 years from today?

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