Archive for the ‘Hidden from History’ Category

100 Things Your Kids May Never Know About

July 26, 2009 Leave a comment

100 Things Your Kids May Never Know About

There are some things in this world that will never be forgotten, this week’s 40th anniversary of the moon landing for one. But Moore’s Law and our ever-increasing quest for simpler, smaller, faster and better widgets and thingamabobs will always ensure that some of the technology we grew up with will not be passed down the line to the next generation of geeks.

That is, of course, unless we tell them all about the good old days of modems and typewriters, slide rules and encyclopedias …

Audio-Visual Entertainment

  1. Inserting a VHS tape into a VCR to watch a movie or to record something.
  2. Super-8 movies and cine film of all kinds.
  3. Playing music on an audio tape using a personal stereo. See what happens when you give a Walkman to today’s teenager.
  4. The number of TV channels being a single digit. I remember it being a massive event when Britain got its fourth channel.
  5. Standard-definition, CRT TVs filling up half your living room.
  6. Rotary dial televisions with no remote control. You know, the ones where the kids were the remote control.
  7. High-speed dubbing.
  8. 8-track cartridges.
  9. Vinyl records. Even today’s DJs are going laptop or CD.
  10. Betamax tapes.
  11. MiniDisc.
  12. Laserdisc: the LP of DVD.
  13. Scanning the radio dial and hearing static between stations. (Digital tuners + HD radio b0rk this concept.)
  14. Shortwave radio.
  15. 3-D movies meaning red-and-green glasses.
  16. Watching TV when the networks say you should. Tivo and Sky+ are slowing killing this one.
  17. That there was a time before ‘reality TV.’
Computers and Videogaming

  1. Wires. OK, so they’re not gone yet, but it won’t be long
  2. The scream of a modem connecting.
  3. The buzz of a dot-matrix printer
  4. 5- and 3-inch floppies, Zip Discs and countless other forms of data storage.
  5. Using jumpers to set IRQs.
  6. DOS.
  7. Terminals accessing the mainframe.
  8. Screens being just green (or orange) on black.
  9. Tweaking the volume setting on your tape deck to get a computer game to load, and waiting ages for it to actually do it.
  10. Daisy chaining your SCSI devices and making sure they’ve all got a different ID.
  11. Counting in kilobytes.
  12. Wondering if you can afford to buy a RAM upgrade.
  13. Blowing the dust out of a NES cartridge in the hopes that it’ll load this time.
  14. Turning a PlayStation on its end to try and get a game to load.
  15. Joysticks.
  16. Having to delete something to make room on your hard drive.
  17. Booting your computer off of a floppy disk.
  18. Recording a song in a studio.

The Internet

  1. NCSA Mosaic.
  2. Finding out information from an encyclopedia.
  3. Using a road atlas to get from A to B.
  4. Doing bank business only when the bank is open.
  5. Shopping only during the day, Monday to Saturday.
  6. Phone books and Yellow Pages.
  7. Newspapers and magazines made from dead trees.
  8. Actually being able to get a domain name consisting of real words.
  9. Filling out an order form by hand, putting it in an envelope and posting it.
  10. Not knowing exactly what all of your friends are doing and thinking at every moment.
  11. Carrying on a correspondence with real letters, especially the handwritten kind.
  12. Archie searches.
  13. Gopher searches.
  14. Concatenating and UUDecoding binaries from Usenet.
  15. Privacy.
  16. The fact that words generally don’t have num8er5 in them.
  17. Correct spelling of phrases, rather than TLAs.
  18. Waiting several minutes (or even hours!) to download something.
  19. The time before botnets/security vulnerabilities due to always-on and always-connected PCs
  20. The time before PC networks.
  21. When Spam was just a meat product — or even a Monty Python sketch.


  1. Typewriters.
  2. Putting film in your camera: 35mm may have some li fe still, but what about APS or disk?
  3. Sending that film away to be processed.
  4. Having physical prints of photographs come back to you.
  5. CB radios.
  6. Getting lost. With GPS coming to more and more phones, your location is only a click away.
  7. Rotary-dial telephones.
  8. Answering machines.
  9. Using a stick to point at information on a wallchart
  10. Pay phones.
  11. Phones with actual bells in them.
  12. Fax machines.
  13. Vacuum cleaners with bags in them.

Everything Else

  1. Taking turns picking a radio station, or selecting a tape, for everyone to listen to during a long drive.
  2. Remembering someone’s phone number.
  3. Not knowing who was calling you on the phone.
  4. Actually going down to a Blockbuster store to rent a movie.
  5. Toys actually being suitable for the under-3s.
  6. LEGO just being square blocks of various sizes, with the odd wheel, window or door.
  7. Waiting for the television-network premiere to watch a movie after its run at the theater.
  8. Relying on the 5-minute sport segment on the nightly news for baseball highlights.
  9. Neat handwriting.
  10. The days before the nanny state.
  11. Starbuck being a man.
  12. Han shoots first.
  13. “Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father.” But they’ve already seen episode III, so it’s no big surprise.
  14. Kentucky Fried Chicken, as opposed to KFC.
  15. Trig tables and log tables.
  16. “Don’t know what a slide rule is for …”
  17. Finding books in a card catalog at the library.
  18. Swimming pools with diving boards.
  19. Hershey bars in silver wrappers.
  20. Sliding the paper outer wrapper off a Kit-Kat, placing it on the palm of your hand and clapping to make it bang loudly. Then sliding your finger down the silver foil to break off the first finger
  21. A Marathon bar (what a Snickers used to be called in Britain).
  22. Having to manually unlock a car door.
  23. Writing a check.
  24. Looking out the window during a long drive.
  25. Roller skates, as opposed to blades.
  26. Cash.
  27. Libraries as a place to get books rather than a place to use the internet.
  28. Spending your entire allowance at the arcade in the mall.
  29. Omni Magazine
  30. A physical dictionary — either for spelling or definitions.
  31. When a ‘geek’ and a ‘nerd’ were one and the same.

Original Article by Nathan Barry @ WIRED

Categories: Hidden from History

First Flight in History

April 9, 2009 Leave a comment

Negative shows Orville Wright at the controls of the machine, lying prone on the lower wing with hips in the cradle which operated the wing-warping mechanism. Wilbur Wright running alongside to balance the machine, has just released his hold on the forward upright of the right wing. The starting rail, the wing-rest, a coil box, and other items needed for flight preparation are visible behind the machine.

Categories: Hidden from History

Internet Ten Years back

October 31, 2008 Leave a comment

Most of us probably got our Internet connection somewhere 10 years back. It was also around that time we seen the sudden boom on Internet, thanks to Marc Andreessen and Netscape Communicator. Now that we are almost at the end of 2008, we thought it’s pretty interesting to look back at how some of the trend setters and the most trafficked websites were like 10 years back.

Most of us probably got our Internet connection somewhere 10 years back. It was also around that time we seen the sudden boom on Internet, thanks to Marc Andreessen and Netscape Communicator. Now that we are almost at the end of 2008, we thought it’s pretty interesting to look back at how some of the trend setters and the most trafficked websites were like 10 years back.


Clear-cut navigation is very important for any e-commerce site and we believe Amazon handles this pretty well. The site has not been changing over the pass decade in terms of the amount of content they put forward on the first page. The most obvious change over the pass ten years in Amazon is perhaps swapping the horizontal tab navigation to a left sidebar drop down and bringing their search box to the top.

Amazon 1998

Amazon 2008


We always like how folks at Apple design their website. They’ve always been the trend setter and their designed inspired a lot of the Web 2.0 design out there. That said, have you seen how their website looks like 10 years ago?

Apple 1998

Apple 2008


Google was still in beta ten years ago. These guys believed in simplicity and there’s no exception whether it’s 1998 or 2008.

Google 1998

Google 2008


Most of us start playing with e-mailing on a free account when we were introduced to the Internet, and when it comes to free email Hotmail is amongst the hottest. Here’s how the web interface looks like before Microsoft decided to turn call it the Windows Live Hotmail.

Hotmail 1998

Hotmail 2008


Microsoft had done tremendous changes to their web frontend over the pass ten years. The old one lacks of graphics and the current definetely has a very strong corporate look.

Microsoft 1998

Microsoft 2008


Ten years ago, PCWorld was using a 3-column display. You can imagine the site to be really congested, considering the fact that most of us (if you already started surfing) were still on monitor resolution 800×600 and below. But over the pass decade, the site has been much more better. Content arrangement is neat, well-organized and the red header with white background definetely make the entire display looks clean.

PCWorld 1998

PCWorld 2008

Sun Microsystems

Sun Microsystems in 1998 totally recalled us how a typical Geocities and Tripod free template were like.

Sun Microsystems 1998

Sun Microsystems 2008


Time maintained their 3-column display over the pass ten years. Only difference is, they’ve managed to make it way cleaner and neater, even though contents on the website is like 5x more.

Time 1998

Time 2008

Wired Magazine

Wired ten years ago was too text-based and we think the left navigation looks odd with titles in red background and listings in light green. It’s hard to imagine the website to be what they are now, because it totally rocks.

Wired 1998

Wired 2008


Comparing to what we’ve seen ten years ago and now, Yahoo had undergone quite a significant change in terms of their business model and that totally reflects their web front end. The search-engine based company used to be very ’search engine focused’ but it’s looks more like a information portal now.

Yahoo 1998

Yahoo 2008

All text and images are courtesy of HONGKIAT.COM

For original article see Websites We Visit: How They Look Like 10 Years Ago

In the memory of those blank pages

September 26, 2008 Leave a comment

In former times printed manuals had some blank pages, usually with the remark “this page intentionally left blank”. In most cases there had been technical reasons for that. Today almost all blank pages disappeared and if some still exist here and there, they present flatterly comments like “for your notes” instead of the real truth: This page intentionally left blank!

Nowadays the “This Page Intentionally Left Blank”-Project (TPILB-Project) tries to introduce these blank pages to the Web again. One reason is to keep alive the remembrance of these famous historical blank pages. But it is the primary reason to offer internet wanderers a place of quietness and simplicity on the overcrowded World Wide Web—a blank page for relaxing the restless mind.

Check it

Categories: Hidden from History