1995-The Year In Review
1995 had many interesting things happen in the world of High Tech.
On December 29th, 1995 Russell Hoffman, Host of High Tech Today, and Michael Bannan, the show's producer, discussed the things they felt were especially significant.
We don't have the text of the show online, but here's the list:
Important events for 1995 in the world of Technology.
Most involve computers but we've thrown in a few others, just for fun.
- THE WEB
- Well, of course it's number one. The web exploded in 1995 and this will always be remembered as the year that happened. Ads on T.V. routinely give WEB addresses.
- See THE WEB, above, of course, but basically any time a company goes public and reaches around a billion dollars in a week and then reaches six billion dollars a few months later, it's bound to be a big event. Not that it's ever happened before.
- WIN 95
- The big thing about Windows 95 was that, if anything, it didn't seem like such a big deal after all, no matter who sang about it.
- FREE SPEECH ON THE WEB
- Most of the talk about free speech on the web centered on porn, but due in part to the tragic Oklahoma bombing, other questions about the limits of free speech are being asked as well.
- COMPUSERVE BANS 200 INTERNET GROUPS
- At the time this is being written CompuServe had just agreed to ban, at the request of the German government, access to some 200 Internet discussion groups. It is amazing that U.S. citizens paying for and using a U.S. company's product in the U.S. are forced to abide by some other country's ideas of free speech. How can that be right? (Note: On February 14th,1 996 they announced a discontinuation of the suspension.)
- FRENCH NUCLEAR TESTS
- The French exploded a number of nuclear weapons in the Pacific ocean, over a large number of protests and possibly a few dead bodies. Why? Because, they said, they needed to calibrate their simulation software so that they won't have to explode more bombs!!
- AOL BECOMES #1 ACCESS PROVIDER
- AOL does a lot of things right, and it seems to be paying off. In 1995, first they became the largest Access Provider. Then, they became larger than the next two (CompuServe and Prodigy) combined. But they still have a long way to go: Currently they have about 4 million users. Expect to see close to 10 million by the end of 1996!
- PENTIUM'S NOW STANDARD
- Nearly every year something new comes along, but they seldom kill the last level of technology as well as Pentium's killed 486's. And I say good riddance!
- TELEPHONE COMPANIES BECAME ANSWERING MACHINES TOO
- This is part of a trend, and that's why it's important. The telephone companies want more parts of your business, and if they're going to get it, they have to provide new services. This is one of the most important. They better do it reliably!
- SATELLITE HOME TV
- It's bloody expensive, but it's there. 120 channels, even more. You end up averaging 50 channels per hour and almost never see an entire show.
- CALIFORNIA COUGH'S AT ELECTRIC CARS
- California was going to force car makers to have a significant percentage of electric vehicles on the road soon, but basically caved in completely for now.
- TOY STORY
- First completely computer animated cartoon. From Pixar, from Disney, with Tom Hanks. It's cute. Not bad for a first try!
- SPACE PROBE LEAVES SOLAR SYSTEM
- One of our space probes left the solar system and continued to send back signals as it began to travel to the Universe, and Beyond!
- BILL GATES' NEW HOME NOT FINISHED
- I guess all the software programmers were pulled off to get WINDOWS 95 out the door before it had to be renamed.
- PHRASE "SURFING THE NET" ADOPTED
- Came from last year's popular phrase Channel Surfing, of course.
- GOVERNMENT BACKS OUT OF BACKING THE INTERNET
- Just like that, out they went. Net had to become basically self-sufficient in 1995. Didn't seem to be a problem, though.
- MICROSOFT "EMBRACES" THE WEB
- Yeah! But wait. What do they mean they are going to support the standards by adding their own?
- JAVA didn't really happen in 1995, but we all heard about it and expect it to do wonders for the WEB.
- IBM BOUGHT LOTUS
- And it cost them billions, but they didn't buy it for Lotus-123. Nope, they bought them for they're email products.
- MULTIMEDIA MARKET WAS SOFT
- Edutainment proved not to be that entertaining, or not that educating, or something. Many small companies got bought by bigger ones or folded altogether. Tough year for Mediocre Multimedia Mogels.
- 14.4 AND 4X STANDARD
- That's 14.4 modems and 4X CD-ROM's, of course. Next year will be 28.8 and 6X or maybe if we're really lucky, ISDN cabling and 8X CD-ROM drives.
- FIBER OPTIC AND ISDN GREW AGAIN
- One or both of these technologies will reach critical mass soon and really will take off. Personally, I hope it's fiber, but ISDN companies set up some important standards in 1995.
- NIELSON RATED THE INTERNET
- That means it's big. And they found that it is indeed big, with several million financial transactions occuring and 10's of millions of users.
- WIRED GOT TIRED
- It was a cool magazine at the start of the year, but by the end nobody really cared anymore. Too hyped, I guess. But then, they predicted this would happen, and that's always cool.
- DILBERT REACHED 1000 NEWSPAPERS
- Scott Adam's, who draws Dilbert, is every nerd's hero. He's obviously been in the trenches a long time and now he laughs at it, and makes us laugh at it too. Hoo-Ray for Dilbert and Dogbert!
- 250,000 PEOPLE BUILT HOME PAGES
- I was one of them. Hope you were too!
- CONGRESS TRIED TO STOP FUNDING PUBLIC TELEVISION
- That went over like a lead balloon.
- NET HOT SPOTS MEASURED IN MILLIONS OF "HITS"
- Big numbers for the most popular Web sites. People went there, and advertisers noticed.
- MSN WENT ONLINE
- Microsoft Network, but who knows where it will end up.
- TALEGENT & COLIDA CANCELLED
- IBM and APPLE went up a mountain together but came down on opposite sides of a hill.
- DVD'S READY FOR PRIME TIME
- Digital Video Disks are just CD-ROM's that hold a lot of data, enough for a full-length movie. At last!
- MICROSOFT FAILS TO BUY INTUIT
- Microsoft didn't really try that hard.
- JUSTICE DEPARTMENT FAILS TO COOK MICROSOFT'S GOOSE
- Janet Reno didn't really try that hard.
- U. OF CALIFORNIA ACCEPTS ADMISSION APPLICATIONS THROUGH NET
- Soon everyone will be doing it.
- JURY FAILED TO FOLLOW COMPLEX SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE
- The gap between the educated and the uneducated grew, too. Coincidence?
- ELECTRONIC TOLL ROAD OPENS IN CALIFORNIA
- Yecch! Hey anybody ever hear the phrase "This land is your land, this land is my land"?
- GOVERNMENT DOES NEXT TO NOTHING
- Does not install massive quantities of computers in schools, distribute them to handicapped people, give poor people Internet access at libraries. But they talked a lot about it, again.
- ANOTHER SILLY VR MOVIE
- Look people, let's just get this straight:VR people aren't going to come out of the machine and you aren't going into it. Another silly movie descended from TRON. And falling fast. Johnny Pneumatic.
- BUT "THE NET" WAS GOOD
- Even if it wasn't it didn't matter because Sandra Bullock was in it.
Well, that's our list for 1995. Overall, thanks to the Internet, we found 1995 to be the most exciting year so far in the computer/technology world. Hope this list brings back fond memories!
I recently found a look at the future which I had written in 1986.
Click here for this dated and quaint perspective.
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Last modified March 27th, 1997.
Webwiz: Russell D. Hoffman
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