Jump to content
IGNORED

Remember the saying "this is the 90s"? How the 90s already seem like "horse n buggy days" compared to today


Estil
 Share

Recommended Posts

Anyone familiar with the then popular expression "this is the 90s"?  Well it's hard to believe the 90s as well as the "future" year of 2000 was already twenty years ago...and already in many ways the "modern" decade of the 90s and the "future" dawn of the millennium already seem like horse 'n buggy era.  How do you figure?  Well, here are many different ways (I may add more to the list later:

Video games -- This being a video game place we might as well start here right?  Back then a new video game cartridge in the early-mid 90s could easily be up to $80-$100 when adjusted for inflation.  And all you had to go on to make your choice (unless it was a super popular blue chip game like Mario or Zelda or something where you know you can't go wrong) was the tiny little screen shots on the back of the box, renting the game (if you were lucky enough to live near a video rental place that offered a good selection of games to rent) or if you were lucky, you subscribed to one or more of the "big three" (Nintendo Power, Electronic Gaming Monthly, GamePro).  And unless you were really rich you only had one maybe two consoles (and more likely than not using RF switch) and maybe at most a dozen cartridges for them.  All the more reason I'm so grateful for Everdrives!!!

Television -- Sadly, in the 90s I lived out in "the sticks" and we (me/parents) were about 1/4 mile out of range to get cable, they refused to bring it out to us, and we didn't get around to getting a satellite (Primestar) until near the end of the decade.  So I had to settle for the regular channels and a couple of those were snowy and hard to get better reception for.  And unless you knew how to program a VCR and had a good supply of blank tapes, you had to be there when the show came on...or else.  As for TV classics, there was hardly any shows that offered full series/seasons on tape (Star Trek and I think Friends were the rare exceptions) you better have recorded them when you had the chance or you're at the mercy of whatever local syndicated reruns your local stations felt like airing.  As for HDTV, we were only just starting to get our first taste of it (and DVDs) for that matter in the very late 90s...which makes the early 90s HDTV stuff you can now find on YouTube (mostly Japan created) all the more fascinating.

Radio/music -- Back then, you were at the mercy of whatever radio stations/formats you happened to get in your local area and as for music videos, they were much harder to come by (I don't think hardly any were sold on tape were they?) so you were at the mercy of whatever the "big three" (MTV, VH1, CMT) felt like showing and if you wanted a copy of a video you better have a quick trigger finger on that VCR!  Same goes for if you want to record your favorite song off the radio (I was stupid and back then didn't know they were called "mix tapes").  Both then and now I think for the most part only fans of specific artists bought their full albums.  And it wasn't until the late 90s we finally got a local radio station that played classic country and when satellite/cable services were just beginning to offer "Music Choice".

Phone -- In the 90s having a cell/portable phone was somewhat of a luxury/status symbol and it couldn't do much else besides well, make phone calls!  And in the 90s we had what was called the "long distance wars" (AT&T vs. MCI vs. Sprint) and I'm probably among the last generation to remember the "it's long distance" qualifier when receiving that sort of phone call.

Computers -- These too were very much a luxury item and if you didn't have one at least in your HS/college days you were at a HUGE disadvantage, especially if your teacher required a paper be typed/printed out!  As for Internet, whooo boy my college luckily did offer high speed cable/broadband(?) Internet but back home (remember I was out in the boonies) we had to use dial-up (even at the time I likened the difference between b&w and color TV); what fun. 😞   While it is true that you can't use Wikipedia for papers, it would've been enormously helpful for studying for exams (even now I enjoy reading wikipedia stuff whenever I eat; yeah I'm kinda weird like that), not to mention all the neat educational YouTube videos you can now use (YT started a couple years after I graduated from UK in 2003).

School/education -- I'm probably among the last generation to remember film strips for starters.  And though it hasn't even been 20 years since I graduated from UK (2003) they already had made some HUGE changes there...the Kirwan/Blanding dorm complex (I was in Blanding 3  Room 208 all four years) was decommissioned several years ago and is now being torn down, along with both the then next door to that Commons Market and the old Student Center (they were the two main food places at the time) that was on the other side of campus; the later had a shiny new one built in its place.  The K-Lair Grill also several years ago was no more.

News/info -- In the 90s, you had your local paper, your major networks, and if you were lucky, CNN/HSN on cable (Fox News didn't start until 1996).  And if you wanted to read your local paper's archive (thank GOD mine is on newspapers.com; best $12.50/month I've ever spent), well first your local library had to have it, and you had to manually load the rolls of microfilm (which I bet each roll could only hold maybe a week's worth at most?) into the machine, and I'm pretty sure there was no Ctrl+F feature to find stuff either!!

Movie/TV plots -- Would you believe there are some movies/TV shows that because of technology and other sorts of changes wouldn't work nowadays?  The two Home Alone movies (the only ones that count) and "One Hour Photo" are just a few examples of where the main plot of those movies just wouldn't make sense if they took place in today's world. 

Shopping -- Remember in the 80s/90s when the mall was the go-to hangout place for youth?  Shoot that's where Tiffany got her start (sadly the one featured in the intro of the I Think We're Alone Now was closed and torn down in 2002)!  But I visited the mall several months back (I THINK it was before the covid thing) and the mall was only about half filled with stores and it was almost like a ghost town!  I guess that's what online shopping options over time will do to ya!  Not to mention Netflix killed the video rental stars!  Imagine how much hard or even next to impossible it'd be to buy things without the benefit of online shopping like Amazon/Ebay.  You were at the mercy of whatever your local stores or the Sears/other catelogs had.  Which meant there were somethings you might not even know existed.  You guys think I could've gotten, for example, all the World Book Yearbooks from 1931-2013 without Ebay or online shopping?  And where would we get our retro games?  And so on?

I might add more later if I'm forgetting any...

Edited by Estil
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, Estil said:

 well first your local library had to have it, and you had to manually load the rolls of microfilm (which I bet reach roll could only hold maybe a week's worht at most?) into the machine, and I'm pretty sure there was no Ctrl+F feature to find stuff either!!

Depends on the length of the paper. LA Times/NY Times were about a week per roll, LA Daily News is about two weeks, though the predecessor to that one could fit a month onto a reel. There's nothing special about most microfilm; it's generally the same 35mm film used by the film industry for decades, it's just missing the sprocket holes on the side.

The new digital microfilm machines, while they can't search an actual reel, do have the function to automatically scan a reel (takes about 15-40 minutes, depending on the size) to PDF, which after OCRing, will allow you to search by keywords. Most scans of newspapers are taken from mIcrofilm.

Government documents are still scanned to microfiche as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Member · Posted
31 minutes ago, Estil said:

Movie/TV plots -- Would you believe there are some movies/TV shows that because of technology and other sorts of changes wouldn't work nowadays?  The two Home Alone movies (the only ones that count) and "One Hour Photo" are just a few examples of where the main plot of those movies just wouldn't make sense if they took place in today's world. 

Photography is another big one.  Anyone remember the Advantix (or Advantex) cameras of the late 90s?  Those were "revolutionary".  You had three different sizes of photos you could take and the camera would automatically advance and rewind film.

On the PS2 GOAT thread, I posted some photos with my launch PS2.  Those were taken on my Advantex camera.  It's amazing how much photography has changed.  It's so hard to believe that we once would have to wait to get film developed, and we still loved taking pictures.  It cost money too.  I mean, sure, it does make sense that we'd want to have personal cameras, and that we'd use them, but today there's practically no reason to print our pictures (unless you want to hang something on your wall or make a photo-book) and we take thousands of photos each year, compared to the 100 or so we'd take in the 90s.

About a year ago, my wife dug out her old  35mm camera from college.  It had some automatic features and she bought a roll of film for each of our kids.  they both loved it, but it felt so ancient to them.  It just amazes me that today, that was only 20 years ago (which feels not that long ago) but already the tech feels like any other tech from, say, the 40s-50s.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 minutes ago, RH said:

Photography is another big one.  Anyone remember the Advantix (or Advantex) cameras of the late 90s?  Those were "revolutionary".  You had three different sizes of photos you could take and the camera would automatically advance and rewind film.

On the PS2 GOAT thread, I posted some photos with my launch PS2.  Those were taken on my Advantex camera.  It's amazing how much photography has changed.  It's so hard to believe that we once would have to wait to get film developed, and we still loved taking pictures.  It cost money too.  I mean, sure, it does make sense that we'd want to have personal cameras, and that we'd use them, but today there's practically no reason to print our pictures (unless you want to hang something on your wall or make a photo-book) and we take thousands of photos each year, compared to the 100 or so we'd take in the 90s.

About a year ago, my wife dug out her old  35mm camera from college.  It had some automatic features and she bought a roll of film for each of our kids.  they both loved it, but it felt so ancient to them.  It just amazes me that today, that was only 20 years ago (which feels not that long ago) but already the tech feels like any other tech from, say, the 40s-50s.

Oooooh yes, back when you had to buy rolls of film, get them developed, and without modern scanning devices, you could in fact risk your precious old one of a kind family photos and such being lost forever in a fire or something.  Even now to take pics of my kitty I use my DS's digicam...which by today's standards is big time ancient but it does the job.  And yes, I totally fit this cat person stereotype 😄 

97e4ede77e19548959b58c41d14e4247.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

34 minutes ago, JamesRobot said:

I had a pager in high school.  And I knew about a secret payphone that let you make calls for free.

Oh yeah I almost forgot...some years back UK took away landline phone service in the dorms!!  So yeah it's either your own touchscreen/smartphone or you're SOL on phone service!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Hammerfestus said:

Man.  I’d forgotten about Primestar.  We moved to BFE when I was in 6th grade.  If I’m not mistaken, my mother, who still lives there, still can only get crappy satellite internet.  Ahh those were the days.  

Oh no not DSL!  Not Dismally Slow Line!! 😞   Still better than dial-up I suppose...

Oh yeah and let's not forget how the 90s were the Golden Age of 1-900 numbers! 😄 

You guys did get permission from your mom or your dad before calling...right?

Edited by Estil
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hah, since I made people feel old in the 3D All-Stars thread a month back I'll do so again. I'm from the "futuristic" year of 2000 and now in my 20's. Grew up with the PS2, Wii and DS and spent my teenage years with a WiiU and 3DS. I was lucky enough to have a small experience with rental stores, with the last one around here closing about six years ago. Rented quite a lot of games from the one close to me back in the day. (I say back in the day but it was hardly a decade ago). 

I can partially attest to the "horse and buggy" sentiment already too, I was probably one of the last age groups to have not grown up with social media having a presence 24/7. (I hardly use social media nor care to). I will agree that media was better when I grew up too. That's probably a bit of bias (a lot of bias) but when younger family members talk about shows they watch they just don't sound good. Cartoon Network was good from 2003-2008. Really good. 

Edited by NZCollector
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Similarly I'm among the last generation to fully remember what the pre-Internet world was like (my local paper didn't even mention the Internet until late 1994 if you can believe it; yes I looked it up)...I definitely don't know how we managed to make do without the Internet back then!!  Actually the mid-late 90s internet is quite similar in a way to the early-mid 50s b&w Indian Head test pattern days of TV.  In both cases they were seen as new and exciting and cutting edge...though after a few decades they seem so primitive.  Who knows, a couple decades from now maybe today's smartphones will seem like silly ancient devices compared to...I dunno, brain/eye implants? 😮 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, NZCollector said:

 I was probably one of the last age groups to have not grown up with social media having a presence 24/7.

Thank god for that. I am so glad that I grew up without everyone having a phone/camera/video recorder with them at all times. Although it comes with convince (instant communication, fast internet speed, video/music services, etc.) I overall feel sorry for kids today being inundated with technology/online activity.

--

It's funny binge watching older TV shows as you realize how every episode is very similar in structure and jokes are often recycled per episode. Didn't seem as bad when you only watched once a week, but when you watch 2 or 3 episodes in a row on a streaming service it's very noticeable (sitcoms with 25-30 episodes per season). I do miss how TV shows generally revolved around the calendar year though; starting in Sept/Oct. with holiday episodes then finishing up in the spring.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Member · Posted
7 hours ago, Estil said:

Similarly I'm among the last generation to fully remember what the pre-Internet world was like (my local paper didn't even mention the Internet until late 1994 if you can believe it; yes I looked it up)...

Remember about 5 years ago, someone posted a morning show snippet that went viral with Brian Gumble asking "What is internet? ...and what is email with that round-a-bout thing?"  It really was weird to see.  Being 39 right now, I felt like laughing at Brian but at that same time, I wasn't much more aware myself back at that time.  There was a point in time where we all had to learn about what the internet even was and, even then, most of us had no clue of it's potential.

 

Here's another one, though it's a bit more serious.  Before Columbine and 9/11, media and commercials were MUCH more willing to joke about killing, murder and violence in a slapstick kind of way.  Point and case, take a look at games like the Twisted Metal series.  You glorify running over people and all of the endings are pretty rough.  I know this still exists today, but that type of gameplay would be advertised on commercials to children.  I also recall a game that was called Wild-9.  The tag line was "torture your enemies".  Even though your enemies were aliens, they actually advertised to torture the enemy.  And then there was Mortal Kombat.  Yes, it was used to force the industry into a rating system, but I still recall seeing MK, and one or two fatalities on commercials, targeted at us.  You just don't see that now on children's TV.

I won't say that violent video games don't exist today.  They certainly do.  However, I feel that from the mid to late 90s, that stuff was actually pushed and advertised to teenagers because it was never taken seriously.  Games like GTA can definitely be violent.  However, you're not seeing commercials of your character mowing down bi-standards with a machine gun or your car.  You very well could have back in 1996.

Edited by RH
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Andy_Bogomil said:

Thank god for that. I am so glad that I grew up without everyone having a phone/camera/video recorder with them at all times. Although it comes with convince (instant communication, fast internet speed, video/music services, etc.) I overall feel sorry for kids today being inundated with technology/online activity.

--

It's funny binge watching older TV shows as you realize how every episode is very similar in structure and jokes are often recycled per episode. Didn't seem as bad when you only watched once a week, but when you watch 2 or 3 episodes in a row on a streaming service it's very noticeable (sitcoms with 25-30 episodes per season). I do miss how TV shows generally revolved around the calendar year though; starting in Sept/Oct. with holiday episodes then finishing up in the spring.

Yes indeed there are a few Gomer Pyle USMC episodes that are pretty much carbon copies of Andy Griffith episode plots.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, RH said:

Here's another one, though it's a bit more serious.  Before Columbine and 9/11, media and commercials were MUCH more willing to joke about killing, murder and violence in a slapstick kind of way.  Point and case, take a look at games like the Twisted Metal series.  You glorify running over people and all of the endings are pretty rough.  I know this still exists today, but that type of gameplay would be advertised on commercials to children.  I also recall a game that was Wild-9.  The tag line was "torture your enemies".  Even though your enemies were aliens, they actually advertised to torture the enemy.  And then there was Mortal Kombat.  Yes, it was used to force the industry into a rating system, but I still recall seeing MK, and one or two fatalities on commercials, targeted at us.  You just don't see that now on children's TV.

I won't say that violent video games don't exist today.  They certainly do.  However, I feel that from the mid to late 90s, that stuff was actually pushed and advertised to teenagers because it was never taken seriously.  Games like GTA can definitely be violent.  However, you're not seeing commercials of your character mowing down bi-standards with a machine gun or your car.  You very well could have back in 1996.

 

A lot of that just has to do with the original demographic growing older and advertisers adjusting. This is why Nintendo took a hit in the late 90s as the 'kiddie' system and a big reason I think the PS was so successful (more so the PS2 compared to GC). It was marketed towards a more mature audience. Violent content used to sell games because it was a relatively new concept back then but it's not so much the case anymore as we're desensitized to it and the shock factor is no longer there. I agree though that advertisements are just generally less risky these days for the most part for various reasons.

For being in such a PC culture I can't help but laugh as some of the shit that remains mainstream these days. Some of those music videos that have millions of views on YT's front page are essentially softcore porn with often extremely suggestive lyrics. It makes Sir mix-a-lot look like Barney the dinosaur.   

Edited by Andy_Bogomil
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Andy_Bogomil said:

Thank god for that. I am so glad that I grew up without everyone having a phone/camera/video recorder with them at all times. Although it comes with convince (instant communication, fast internet speed, video/music services, etc.) I overall feel sorry for kids today being inundated with technology/online activity.

 

 

 

My younger cousins have said to me before they don't understand how I didn't properly go on the internet until I was 9, and never really went on the likes of YouTube until 10. There just wasn't a need to and I never felt pressured to. Mario Kart was enough for entertainment! No kids really had phones until middle school, I didn't- it wasn't common at the time. I guess even though it's a relatively very very small and similar time period (as I'm 10 and 13 years older than these two) my experiences are so different to theirs. Told them matter-of-factly that almost all schoolwork was written in books and hardly (if ever) online for me in primary school. Even through middle and high school there was a surprising amount of physical bookwork. I only graduated two years ago mind you. That makes it sound like I'm recounting a long passed educational experience, when it really wasn't. I reckon ten years from now they too will be told the exact same thing. Plus, offline media is just as good anyway! Games don't need to be online, and with streaming services most old shows or films that I'd have interest in I own DVDs for. 

Edited by NZCollector
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I can't believe I forgot all about shopping!  Remember in the 80s/90s when the mall was the go-to hangout place for youth?  Shoot that's where Tiffany got her start (sadly the one featured in the intro of the I Think We're Alone Now was closed and torn down in 2002)!  But I visited the mall several months back (I THINK it was before the covid thing) and the mall was only about half filled with stores and it was almost like a ghost town!  I guess that's what online shopping options over time will do to ya!  Not to mention Netflix killed the video rental stars! 😄 

Imagine how much hard or even next to impossible it'd be to buy things without the benefit of online shopping like Amazon/Ebay.  You were at the mercy of whatever your local stores or the Sears/other catelogs had.  Which meant there were somethings you might not even know existed.  You guys think I could've gotten, for example, all the World Book Yearbooks from 1931-2013 without Ebay or online shopping?  And where would we get our retro games?  And so on?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember back in the day looking through rack after rack of TMNT figures trying to find Super Shredder, and some other characters. The hunt went on for months, or even the better part of a year, I eventually found Super Shredder but there were others we never found.

My brother had the same situation with some Micro Machines sets.

These days, it really isn't a problem at all, aside from anything that resellers / scalpers / collectors want.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Wow, it's finally come to this.  The year 2000, not that long ago was considered the "future" (you know, like Knight Industries Two Thousand?)...is now, get ready for this...a throwback uniform.

https://news.sportslogos.net/2020/11/12/purdue-boilermakers-unveil-2000-throwback-uniforms/college/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...