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Old 02-07-2013, 09:57 PM
Location: Santa Monica, CA & Manhattan, NY
172 posts, read 256,817 times
Reputation: 130


Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
In a sense, they were cheaper than the phones and didn't come with their own suitcase. LOL

Well yeah, but they served the same function. Then I love how everyone trashed theirs when the phones came out.
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:07 PM
Location: Chicago
38,691 posts, read 86,783,990 times
Reputation: 29355
1999 is when I got my first "high-speed" internet connection: 768kbps. Man that was some rockin' speed! Only took 4 minutes to pirate a crappy 128kbps mp3 file instead of 20 minutes.

Cell phones had one function only: to make and receive calls. "Flat-screen" TVs meant only that the screen wasn't rounded... they were still great big heavy cubes. Nearly all cars still had cassette decks and many still didn't come with CD decks. To interface your music device with the car stereo meant you inserted the cassette converter into your car's cassette deck and then plugged the other end into your portable CD player's headphone jack. This gave you the worst of both worlds: the hissing of a cassette with the skipping of a CD.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:15 PM
Location: Tyler, TX
15,194 posts, read 17,683,182 times
Reputation: 7980
I got my first smartphone in 2001.

It was basically a Palm III (monochrome) built into a cellphone. Data service wasn't available at that time - you had to sync your phone with your PC using a cable to update your data. Web pages could be viewed on the phone, but you had to use a 3rd party app to sync whatever site you wanted to view, and you could only view it offline.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:35 PM
290 posts, read 347,043 times
Reputation: 364
I think flat panels were just starting to get popular for desktops. Most people still had crt type displays. And they were kind of expensive. At my job, I lucked out and got these (24" ?) flat panels which were considered huge for them back then. Everybody envied me for having them. lol.
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:18 PM
37,069 posts, read 38,262,371 times
Reputation: 14830
Originally Posted by sandlines View Post
I think flat panels were just starting to get popular for desktops. Most people still had crt type displays. And they were kind of expensive. At my job, I lucked out and got these (24" ?) flat panels which were considered huge for them back then. Everybody envied me for having them. lol.
I wouldn't envy you, even a crap CRT left a flat panel in the dust back then. It wasn't until just recently they came on par.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:54 AM
Location: New Haven, CT
1,033 posts, read 3,235,272 times
Reputation: 891
I was 13 when 2000 came around,

I might have had a DSL connection by then.

Ipods had the spinning click wheel with buttons and were no more than 20 gigs.

If you had a Hard drive with a 100 gigs, it was top of the line and probably costs $600.

I got my first smart phone. the LG VX-6000, held 20 photos

If you had a camera that had a resolution more than 4 MP, you could probably buy a used car for the same price.

PCs still had TV monitors

Playstation 2 was all the rage, but I loved my Dreamcast.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:51 PM
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
11,319 posts, read 21,889,791 times
Reputation: 3848
Originally Posted by plwhit View Post
Geez, talk about feeling old.... I was in my 50's in 2000..

The only thing that comes to mind in 2000 was having to be in the office all night monitoring our systems for any Y2K glitches...
We camped out in a meeting room with pizza.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:45 PM
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,653 posts, read 14,747,741 times
Reputation: 6644
Originally Posted by STB93 View Post
Obviously I was around then, but I was just way to young to remember. I was probably 6 in 2000 and all I could really remember about technology in 2000 were the cell phones. How big and bulky they were.
What about the rest of the technology in the early 2000s era from 1997 to 2003? What do you remember about them? I like to see how far we have come.
That period held a ton of change. I was 13-14 in 2000.

The devices which would eventually come in an integrated package in smartphones - things like MP3 players, handheld GPS units, digital cameras, and PDAs - either became affordable or somewhat common during that time period, but not to near the extent that smartphones are today. They were still recognized as somewhat "high-tech" devices even in 2003, but a lot of people had them. Mobile GPS units were placed in cars by early adopters at (by today's standards) ridiculous prices, as memory for maps was still expensive by today's standards. Much cheaper and debuting during this period were MP3-CD players, which could play either a standard CD or one burned as a data disc with around 100 to 200 full-length songs.

Millions of Americans logged on the internet for the first time. At the end of 1996, about 20% of Americans had internet access. The population of the internet then was disproportionately white, university-educated, and above the median income. That figure surged to about 65% by the end of 2003. Most connected by slow dial-up modems, but broadband had been rolled out in most areas by 2000. One of the activities that drove broadband access was illegal MP3 and video downloading, which both became common in the years you mentioned. Illegal music downloads had been possible prior to 1997, but were restricted to "alternative" means (FTP servers, etc.) which required the filesharer to be somewhat technically saavy until about 1998. Napster debuted in 1999 and spread like wildfire. Downloading a single MP3 took around 10-20 minutes on a standard dial-up connection. As users began to upload and download MP3s, soon they discovered they could share video files, such as pirated TV shows and movies, on faster connections.

"LAN parties" were all the rage among high school geeks during the latter part of the period. Online gaming predated the period (e.g. IPX), but fast, truly seamless gaming over the internet was largely a post-2003 thing. Gamers would literally pack up their desktop computers and monitors (about 50 lbs) into their car and then to a common meeting point (usually another gamers' house) and play their games with one another over a (wired) network hub. Pretty unthinkable today!

Legal downloading of music and video files was rare, in part because there simply were not very many legal routes of obtaining files. Recording companies still expected you to drive in your car to buy a physical CD from the store. This problem was largely solved by iTunes, which became popular around 2004-05, and is now remedied by legit streaming services which provide access to their libraries of music and video (Netflix on Demand, Hulu, Spotify...) for seemingly impossible (by 2003 standards) prices or even for free. These did not exist then, and on-demand streaming was still mostly the domain of music videos. Most content was provided in a download-only format, as the bandwidth that allows high-quality video streaming simply was not there.

Also different from today were TVs and monitors, which almost exclusively were bulky CRT-based models. One of the advances that permitted the multitude of cheap, ubiquitous gadgets we have today were low-cost full-color/resolution LCD screens. Laptops in particular were much more expensive than desktops, as LCD screens were a requirement for these devices.

Not in existence either were most of the "Web 2.0" or "social media" services. YouTube was created in 2005; Flickr in 2004; Facebook also in 2004; Twitter in 2006; and Pinterest in 2010. With some of these things (e.g. YouTube), bandwidth was probably the issue; other things, like the popularity of Twitter, were the result of internet services being extended to mobile devices and (in my theory) thereby non-traditional audiences (e.g. blacks, low-income people, etc.), who traditionally either didn't have access to or didn't have a pre-existing reason (e.g. office productivity work) to use PCs. Some low-bandwidth "social" uses of the internet (the web in particular) did reach popularity or notoriety then, such as blogs and forum sites.

Last edited by tvdxer; 02-10-2013 at 09:08 PM..
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:39 AM
Location: Whittier
3,007 posts, read 4,869,171 times
Reputation: 3025
I had just graduated high school and was on sites like Napster and Kazza downloading as much music as I could.

Despite all sayings to the contrary, the internet sucked. It is WAY better now. It's easier now to find relevant information about a wider array of topics.

I was on a couple of forums, some Honda forums and met up with a few people and talked about cars. I belonged to some other forums (which shall not be named) and met up with some members of the opposite sex all of which was before the "dating" sites. I used AIM a lot.

I did register for my classes online and it was painful how slow and intermittent the connection was.

As far as computers were concerned I had DSL (though it was horrible), big CRT monitors and I built a AMD K7 machine with an Athlon XP processor. I had a PS2 and played Final Fantasy X on it which was a bit disappointing. But I was really looking forward to the FF MMO, FFXI that was going to come out in 2003.

I got a cell phone in around 2001 or 2002, and I didn't really use it that often. It was a Samsung phone but it wasn't too big. I didn't text and the only game on it was "snake."

I had a big 27 inch CRT TV, those were heavy; a VCR and that's about it I think...

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Old 02-16-2013, 02:27 PM
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,653 posts, read 14,747,741 times
Reputation: 6644
Let's see...

In 1997 I was connected to the internet at roughly 28,800 bps (0.0288 mbps) through a local ISP. The web was much smaller than it is today. Newsgroups were still active. I remember streaming the turnover of Hong Kong to the Chinese on a RealVideo stream. Even a 500kb download took a long time, and downloading a 10 mb file could last an eternity. In the late 1990s many families bought their first computers and accessed the internet for the first time. Others used WebTV, a box that sat on and connected to your TV to provide basic internet and E-mail access. Netscape was still the dominant browser but IE was catching on. I personally used the copy of IE 2.0 which came with my computer, as downloading another browser was out of the question. In terms of consumer electronics, DVD made its debut in the Spring of 1997 but the players still had ridiculous price tags, the discs were much more expensive than VHS tapes, and the titles were often poorly compressed.

The earlier part of the period was probably the golden age of obsolescence. My computer was quite nice when I was gifted it in 1996, but was unable to play Sim City 3000. CD-ROM speeds spiraled, and by 1999 affordable CD burners had arrived, and many computers included them. The size of hard disk drives in a mid-range PC went from about 1.6-2 GB in early 1997 to about 8.4 GB by the end of 1999. The average amount of RAM increased from 16 MB in early 1997 (very rarely would you see any computer under $2500 that did not come with less than 32 MB of RAM) to 64 MB in late 1999. Sub-$1000 computers such as those from eMachines became common in around 1999, as did computers that were either ridiculously low priced by the standards of the time or free with an internet contract. Gateway exploded into a household brand and began opening retail outlets across the country. Laptops were still rare, expensive, and seemed to mainly be for business usage.

By 2000, Napster had ascended to the pinnacle of popularity. I first learned about FTP "ratio" servers in 1997 or 1998 and downloaded Winamp 1.66 but ceased to do more once I learned about the legalities of MP3 filesharing. However, few people knew in the early days that they were doing anything illegal by downloading or uploading files to Napster.

I either received or bought my first digital camera in 2000, and my first GPS, PDA, and MP3 player in 2001. I was among the few who owned such devices at my middle / high school. Everybody, though, used AIM. Numerous "fluff" downloads also came out during this time, such as Bonzie Buddie and Comet Cursor. Around 2000-01 it became common to have a ready-made "website" on AOL Hometown or Geocities, along with a guest book...foreshadowing social networks. My friend had like 12.

I had a local computer store assemble a "dream machine" that consisted of an AMD 1.0 GHz processor, 256 MB of RAM, Sound Blaster Live! Platinum sound card (with the inputs / outputs / dials in front of the machine), and an ATI All-in-Wonder 128 video card with 32 MB of memory, TV In / Out, and DVR functionality in July 2001 for about $1200, which included a 17" monitor and speakers with an impressive subwoofer. The PC came with two remotes (one for the sound card and one for the TV/DVD functions...my first DVD player).

In 2002, I connected to broadband for the first time from home as a result of a groundbreaking 1xEVDO network in Duluth, "Monet Mobile", which eventually a little over a year later. Download speeds were on the order of 500-700 kbps (roughly 50-75 kb/s), while uploads were around 60k.

At the end of 2003, we bought our first HDTV set, a monstrous 56" Mitsubishi rear-projection set. It didn't receive an actual HD signal until the Spring of 2004, though, when we finally upgraded our Dish Network receiver.
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