I decided to continue with the 80’s theme after this post in May Growing up in the 80’s It got me thinking technology which didn’t exist or wasn’t available to the general public when I was born, for ease I have only gone through the 80’s and 90’s I haven’t even looked at the naughties yet! This list also is mostly a UK timeline, cause ya know, that’s where I live.
This made me feel old but I know a lot of my readers will relate and for those of you who can’t remember when these didn’t exist, I promise you, there was a time when we didn’t all have smartphones and TV on demand!
Oh and the # meant number, not hashtagoldlady.
So here is a list of 30 things not around when I was born;
- The World Wide Web – yep didn’t exist until 1989-1990
- Home Computers – never mind laptops, your bog standard home PC (not Macs, although the Mac 1 was only invented in the late 70’s) wasn’t around until 1981.
- Channel 4! – It was introduced in 1982, I can’t remember it not being around but it’s still younger than me so it’s on the list.
- The Channel Tunnel – ok not actually technology itself, but we were able to build it thanks to technology.
- Google – yep, google didn’t exist before 1998, we had to use Ask Jeeves and AOL to search for things on the net.
- Talking of the net, Broadband – when the www was available to individual homes it was dial up until 1997.
- Mobile phones – never mind the smartphone, mobile phones in general were not a thing.
- CD’s – I know most people thing of a CD-rom when you say CD’s but they used to be sold in shops with music on – replacing tapes.
- Bagless vacuum cleaners – In the good old days you had a bag in your vacuum which you had to replace, or if you where my dad empty and tape back together.
- Sky Television – Yep, I remember when Bart Simpson first arrived on our screens in 1989/90
- Text messaging – Although mobile phones came about in the 80’s text messaging didn’t appear until the 90’s – I was 18 when I got my first mobile phone and its was a brick.
- GPS – the younger generations can’t imagine trying to get around with a SatNav now but back in the day we used maps, actual paper maps, I still prefer maps now.
- DVD Players – My hubby bought be a DVD player for my 21st birthday and It was so expensive because it was so new, I’m talking £150, nowadays you can pick a DVD player up for under £20.
- Ebay – The marketplace site didn’t come around until the mid 90’s just after…
- Amazon – I know it’s hard to believe given everything comes from Amazon now but before 1994 i didn’t, we went to shops, like actual shops.
- Smartphones – how could I even have a list without this on. As already mentions, mobiles didn’t exist so Smartphones where a definite no no, it wasn’t until 1992 when the first IBM personal communicator was released.
- Netflix – I know, you can’t imagine life without it can you? But before the mid 90’s Netflix wasn’t a thing.
- MP3 players – remember those things called CD’s we talked about? Yep we all used to use those, no idea what an MP3 even was.
- Channel 5 – more TV related inventions, channel 5 was launched in 1997 so unless you had Sky or cable you had 4 channels prior to this and when channel 5 was launched the signal was so terrible that you couldn’t always watch it.
- Email – you know that system we all use now instead of writing letters? That systems where you get a million spam emails a day? Yep that one, wasn’t available until 1993, people actually had to send spam snail mail instead.
- MTV – Music television as we know it came about in the early 80’s, before that you had top of the pops, well in the UK that’s what you had.
- Microsoft Office – That’s right Office. the desktop software wasn’t available until Windows 1 was created in 1985, you had to get onto your home PC using a massive 5inch floppy disc and code! And even then Office didn’t really take off until 1995.
- Digital Camera’s – Although the first digital camera was invented in the 70’s they were common until the late 90’s.
- Nintendo Games Console – Obviously today the nintedo is just one of many gamer PC’s available but in the 80’s this and the Sega were brand spanking new.
- Wi-Fi – Dun dun dun! Yep, wireless internet just wasn’t a thing before the late 90’s, now we don’t seem to be able to live without it
- Camcorders – Today we can take an almost instant video on our phones, but back in the early 80’s you needed a camcorder and a massive video tape or a specific camcorder cassette to film your nearest and dearest, thank goodness many of my childhood exploits are not on video.
- Photoshop – before the early 90’s you took real pictures of real people warts and all! Then Adobe introduced the world to photoshop and that was it, you could remove any unwanted element of a digital photograph – worst inventions ever.
- Nandos – I know I know, everyone goes to nandos on the regular now, but the chain was established in the late 80’s in South Africa.
- Trivial Pursuit – Our favourite family board-game came into being in the 80’s and we will still play it now.
- AOL Messenger – Oh yeah, I remember coming up with my screen name at the age of 16 and thinking it was the coolest thing ever! Instant messaging people all over the world at the click of a button, and around a 20 minutes wait for the dial up internet to send it, still utterly amazing though.
And that’s it, 30 things which just weren’t available when I was born. Let me know in the comments if there are things you remember which aren’t on this list!