Archives for May 31, 2008


Before the Web arrived, CD-ROM was hot!

Early on a weekend morning, I enjoy trolling the Internet Archive and other sites often slow during other parts of the day and during the week. Today I came across the one below and I was struck by the shifts that occurred in the 90’s, and any look back is always clearer to us than when we’re living in that time.

In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, “multimedia” was the buzzword on the tips of everyone’s tongue mainly due to the advent of the CD-ROM and increasingly cheaper CD drives that could burn CD-Recordable discs. It still was a create assemble publish replicate model that — similar to magazine, book, newspaper and most traditional media at the time — required long lead times before a replicated CD ended up in the hands of the consumer.

Computer Chronicles Collection:   Creative Commons license: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs

Then the Internet hit when Netscape hit everyone’s consciousness, the lead time for delivering new content shrunk dramatically as everyone saw the benefits of delivery via the ‘net, and Netscape went public less than two years (August, 1995) after this episode of Computer Chronicles aired!

As you watch this video, you’ll undoubtedly chuckle at the cheesy and rudimentary games, educational software, and hardware shown. But then realize how quickly things shifted and put this into context as you contemplate today’s development of social networks, video, messaging systems like Twitter, and what we’re doing with mobile devices and networks.

Some day we’ll look back at this time and chuckle.