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Monday, 4 June 2012

20 things that didn't exist 20 years ago

The past 20 years has seen a lot of change, from how we can watch TV to the style and quality of TVs, with unlimited channels and radio stations today, we live in an ever indulgent world where the consumer rules supreme

We now have digital cameras but once upon a time, camera film had to be developed....and didn't have full LCD screens either. We had to take the lens cap off, look through the viewfinder, take the photo and couldn't review them or take 'a better one', simply waiting for the film to be developed and come back from the lab.  Long gone are camera shops who specialised in this area, now we can take photo's on our phone, publish them online in a moment or print off when we get home. The ever increasing quality of pictures taken now shows every wrinkle, spot and hair out of place so you can be 30 but look 50.

DVDs/DVD players
In my opinion the greatest invention of the past 20 years, prior to 1995, fanatical film fans had to make plenty of shelf space to store their VHS collection, a serious collection meant owning serious real estate to store it all. The sleeker and more robust DVD soon pushed video's off the shelf and with the added features such as audio commentaries, documentaries and Easter Eggs, it made DVD releases for favourite films something to look forward to (What's the best way to enjoy the Twilight movies? Never put them in the DVD player).

There was once a dark, primitive time when it would of been nigh on impossible to count your friends and then 'unfriend' them with just a click of a button, though you don't have to go too far back, just to before February 2004 which saw the launch of Mark Zuckerberg's social network behemoth.
  Since then however, the famous blue and white Facebook logo has infiltrated nearly everything and everyone, which shouldn't eb a surprise when it's reported 900 million people have their own Facebook page and a movie, 'The Social Network', even being made about the site and it's founder. 20 years ago, 'Facebook' meant about as much as 'Headnovel' and the idea of cultivating digital crops, writing on peoples walls and 'liking' someone's status (I have a friend on Facebook whose status says "Suicidal - Standing on the edge of a cliff", so I poked him) was as far fetched as someone using MySpace in 2012.

Mobile phones 
20 years ago, mobile phones were still in their infancy and their general bulky 'brick' design is worlds away from the sleek iPhone 4S. Besides the physical differences between a phone 20 years ago and a smartphone now, there are a world of apps and anything can be found (service provided, whoever invented internet for mobile phones wants a pat on the back, going to the toilet has never been so interesting ) online, nothing has evolved as quickly as the mobile phone over the past 20 years and continues to at a fast pace

Along with the use of mobile phones has come texting or TXTNG, this has opened up a whole new world of communication for some, a deaf person could own a phone and have almost full usage. If someone doesn't answer a call, text them. It's through this medium we have gained new words such as 'lol' and 'omg'(My girlfriend told me last night that I spend far too much time texting. I just tilted my head sideways and smiled at her.)

No longer do we need to HAVE to sit and wait patiently to see our favourite shows or even have to sit through tedious adverts, now we have the power and can watch what we want, whenever we want at the click of a button, whether this is from pre-setting our digital boxes to record in advance or by watching online or through on demand services. Now the only problem is making sure programmes are watched before the memory capacity on boxes is full.

 February 2005 saw the advent of the breakthrough videosharing website YouTube, where people in search of obscure clips of all manner of subjects had a place to search. Going onto the site i can find the original Thundercats intro, find adverts I've not seen for years and even watch TV shows or full concerts in some cases. Who hasn't spent at least 3 hours once just clicking through a collection of videos? Sadly though, the downside is it can make overnight celebrities, the good side is it can also be a never ending episode of You've Been Framed

December 1994 saw the launch of the console that would change video gaming forever, the Sony PlayStation. The graphics and revolutionary game play changed the video game market overnight, no longer were Sega and Nintendo fighting it out to be the top console manufacturer, they quickly succumbed to making games for the PlayStation. 2000 saw the launch of the PlayStation 2 and is credited for its built-in DVD player which helped drive down prices of those discs as well as expanded the graphics and game play of the video game world and also dabbling at online gaming. The current model, PlayStation 3, was released in 2006 and features a blu-ray player which currently no other console has that feature and takes gaming into the realm of high definition. Online gaming is as essential now to offline gaming with most games now featuring both methods of game play.

Touch screens
   Making even the mouse and keyboard redundant, everything is becoming more and more touchscreen, laptop and phones right down to booking tickets outside a cinema, we're getting more touchy.

  To ask someone 20 years ago to 'Tweet' you would of been nonsensical gibberish that could of caused offense, now though it's a social network for people on the go. Launched in 2006 by Jack Dorsey (@jack), this social media juggernaut can boast more than 500 million registered users including Lady Gaga, President Barack Obama and even former WWE wrestler Scotty 2 Hotty.
   Other than updating followers on what's for dinner, Twitter is used by news media all over the world to break stories and up to the second images and has even been discussed in British Parliament over celebrities being named in stories they have been able to ban the press from reporting

Plasma/3D tvs
   20 years ago we would of been watching small portable televisions in bedroom with a larger one in the main room (complete with Ceefax), today we can buy TVs in all sizes and HD has revolutionised how we see pictures and 3D images have come a long way over the past few years, long gone are the need for flimsy red and green cellophane plastic lenses, now the movie really can jump out the TV 

   Not just used for porn, we can also watch TV, send video's to one another, download music and interact with almost anyone in the world at any moment. The internet has changed the whole world entirely, many industries have had to adapt, some industries have died out and new ones started. Gone are the days of 'dial up' where connecting to the internet would take over the household phone line and an incoming call would disconnect you

Justin Bieber
  Born in 1994 so still only 18....i didn't say all these things that didn't exist were good things. Looking like the result of Alvin from Alvin & The Chipmunks having a lovechild with a lesbian, where are all these Bieber fans who adulate him so much? do they actually exist?

 Toyota Prius
Although hybrid cars have gained a lot of traction from both buyers and manufacturers previously, they were still considered a rarity in the early 90's. Debuting in Japan in 1997, the Toyota Prius became the first mass-produced hybrid car on the market.
 Since 1997, the total number of Toyota hybrid vehicles sold worldwide have led to fewer than the approximately 26 million tons of CO2 emissions that “would have been emitted by gasoline-powered vehicles of similar size and driving performance,” the company estimates.

Harry Potter
The seven series of novels that make the Harry Potter franchise (and oddly 8 movies) started with 1997's debut publication of 'Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone and since then, kids the world over would cue at midnight for each release of the subsequent books upon release, not wanting to waste a second of reading time. Arguably as big a franchise as Star Wars, these books have sold more than any others over the past 20 years.

Reality TV
 Giving birth to 'celebs' who had no talent and giving the likes of Jordan TV time, whatever happened to good drama, documentaries or family entertainment. Big Brother gave us Jade Goody's racism, Channel 5 gave us someone David Beckham supposedly had an affair with pleasuring a pig and Simon Cowell gave us Jedward, like Justin Bieber, not everything has been good

This gadget changed the way we listen to music. It ushered out the era of the 'walkman' and portable (yet always chunky) CD player and was a small, easy to pocket device that could carry an entire music collection and still have room for some TV shows or movies. It's this device that also led the way for 'podcasts' and the joys of Karl Pilkington, head like an orange but strangely made famous by an Apple.

The Euro

  Lire, francs, drachmae? Way too confusing for everyone. 20 years ago, each European country had its own currency, but now, the bulk of the European Union stands united under the almighty euro. So now, when  looking for hummus in Italy, you don't have to worry about the exchange rate of those francs or deutschmarks

Book readers
  A fairly new creation, mainly banked by Amazon, the Kindle was launched in 2007 and gave no need to chop down those tree's any longer to make books, just download them and read off the screen. It can't replace that feel of looking through a book shop though and rarely do the books online seem cheap. Plus it's all words, can't read graphic novels on one.....yet (Amazon Kindle,The poor man's iPad and the rich man's book)

  Slowly becoming obsolete folling the launch of book readrers and the internet generally. Wikipedia is always up to date and it's free