The late 90s and early 2000s feel like just the other day. At least that’s how I think about it.
It was a time when it took 10 minutes to download a 3MB song, and Doom 95 was still a top game many years later (still might be today if you ask me).
With tech rapidly evolving in the last 20 years, kids these days have grown up in an age where everything is instantly available on a phone or tablet, and may never understand the hardships that we’ve gone through to enjoy simple things like the internet and playing music many years ago.
Regardless of some of those issues, there were some pretty good memories as well, so let’s take a journey back to the good ole’ days when things were a lot tougher/cooler.
Dialing your ISP to connect to the internet
My fondest memory about this was always having to disable the dial-up tone so that it wouldn’t wake my parents when I was up late at night. What sucked even more was trying to connect and then getting booted off at the last minute. Back then, I didn’t have a dedicated phone line for the internet, so anytime some picked up the phone to make a call, there was a good chance I would lose my connection.
Downloads were terribly slow
Now that we’re online, let’s tackle the abysmally slow download speeds. Barely anyone got their full 56kbps, so downloads took an eternity! Getting music was a challenge by itself, and Windows Updates were simply off the table. When ADSL 128kbps speeds became a thing, I thought that was insanely fast at the time.
The image below is obviously photoshopped, but it sometimes really did feel 39 years waiting for a download to complete.
Need I say more?
FCKGW – RHQQ2 – YXRKT – 8TG6W – 2B7Q8
If you remember this, you knew the struggle of trying to get a working copy of Windows XP without paying for it.
Playing 3D Pinball on Windows XP when you were bored
Whether it be at school, work, or home, 3D Pinball Space Cadet was the game to play. It was essentially the grown-up equivalent of Minesweeper. I played it a lot when I didn’t have access to the internet.
Remember when applications sometimes froze, resulting in you being able to replicate them across your computer screen?
Rewinding cassettes with pens and pencils
Not all cassette players were able to properly rewind tapes, which meant that replaying a song we liked meant having to use a pen or pencil to rewind it to the start. Oddly enough, there is a Wiki on how to do just that (since some people can’t fathom the idea of doing so).
Having a huge CD binder in your car
Back when there were no 6-CD changers, and songs couldn’t be played from a USB or iPod, this was how you carried your tunes around in your car.
Video Games came in big boxes
I actually loved buying video games in these boxes because back then, we got detailed manuals and other collectables along with the CD. I remember getting a really thick guide when I bought the pro edition of Flight Simulator 2000.
When Emojis were called Emoticons
Technically they are not the same as emoticons express emotion while emojis can express an entire situation. Emoticons make up a subset of emojis, but they were the more popular thing back in the days of message boards, ICQ, MSN, etc.
Back when torrents were not as popular as they are today, Napster was the best source when it came to downloading music illegally.
It was a hit among college students, and rose to fame AFTER being hit with a lawsuit from the RIAA. The P2P service was eventually shut down in 2001 for facilitating the illegal transfer of copyrighted music.
Other P2P services like Kazaa came about as a result of Napster’s success, but also faded away after being hit with lawsuits and getting a reputation of giving your computer AIDS (lots of malware).