We didn’t have no cartoon network, you’d have to wait all week until Saturday and all the good cartoons were on in the early morning. If you slept in, you were treated to crappy ‘after school special type’ shows that had lessons to learn at the end of each episode. Plus, get this: we only had 13 channels and you had to pick up the weekly TV guide in order to find out what was on.

How were the graphics?”

1.44 Floppies held all your school data. FOR THE YEAR. That’s right, all your porn had to sit in the same directories as ‘Treasure Island book report.doc’ and forget about encryption, that wasn’t even widely available until the mid 90’s. Put that into perspective, considering there used to be completely disk dependant Operating Systems: that’s right, you needed it to boot to floppy first, then keep inserting disks for each little application you wanted to run. Just hope and pray your little brother didn’t stick it to the fridge with a magnet.

Diabolical even at 3.5′

Before Napster came along, you had to record all your music either from the radio, or head over the mall and steal the CD. Or if you had an older sibling with at least some good taste in music, you’d steal it from them. And you had to sit in front of the stereo shakily ready to hit pause at any time should the radio announcer come cut in at the last few seconds and ruin your wondrous recording of ‘I would do anything for Love’ by Meatloaf. Yeeeesh, perhaps it’s not worth recording that rubbish anymore.

Where’s the fucking record button?

Before high speed was all the rage and you were stuck surfing the web with dial up, forget using the phone and if you wanted to download a file more than 2MB, you’d be waiting a while. You know how you’re hot on your heels waiting for the latest Bitorrent movie rip to come through, and it takes 20 minutes because there’s only 50 seeds? Think about that 20 minutes, add in the fact you’re waiting for a 15 KB porn image, that’s the frustration we’re talking about here.

Man I hated this screen

8 bit Ninentdo and Sega were kick ass. It doesn’t matter how many times you watched those pixels run across the screen in their chunkly, blockly gloriousness, it just gave you a chance to escape your life and homework for a few hours. Some games were even unfortunate to have save points, you basically had to get as far as you could in one night, pause it, head off to school the next day and unpause when you got home. So if your mom needed the electrical outlet for some vaccuming, your game was toast.

Firehazard be damned, keep that thing running!

There was no such thing as voicemail, call waiting or call display. You complain that you forget your voicemail access number? Well, think about that and the fact that you actually had to come home to retrieve any messages you got while you weren’t there. If you were on vacation and were expecting that important call? Well, don’t bother leaving the front door. Since Call Display you can now officially screen your calls, back in the day you had to take your chances when picking up the phone, let me just say, being a telemarketer in those days was a lot easier.

“Wrong number, try dialing ‘3’ instead.”

Cell phones didn’t have everything they have right now. Let’s put it this way: you have a polymorphic ring, an LCD display with 16 million color gradient, online browser, video camera and a decent battery life on just about any phone being offered right now. Growing up, you’d be lucky your ‘cell phone’ wasn’t the size and weight of a brick, had shitty reception, no LCD and cost a fortune. Oh yeah, and forget about using it as a music player, you’d be lucky if the thing had enough power for an hour talk time.

“Better MCI long distance rates!? Tell me more!”

Nothing on demand. Video on Demand, News on Demand, Music on Demand. Jeez, the only thing we had on demand was fast food; it was shitty back then, and it’s still shitty now. Thanks to digital media exploding with popularity and ease of use you can get whatever you want RIGHT NOW. If there was a first run movie you wanted to rent on VHS (I’ll talk about that later) you had to wait the 8 months it took to put the movie on those glorious tapes. Plus, you were pretty much at the mercy of whichever newspaper or magazine you subscribed to. If a related topic was worth your time investigating, you’d only get a snippet of it and then wait for the ‘breaking’ news a month later.

“Damn, all I want is a naked captain Janeway”

Tape Media ruled the market. Well, someone give it up for Betamax, the little format that Sony Copyrighted, only put together about 10 different models of players then let the market eat itself. VHS was no better, it was larger, didn’t hold much more volume and was prone to breaking. Plus, if you had a sub par VHS player, it’d eat your favorite tapes and spit them back out as a string of magnetic ribbon. Compare a VHS tape that could hold about 6 hours worth of video against a modern DVD that holds about 12 hours worth with bonus features and some with PC support. Well, you get the idea.

Sony’s first big middle finger to the video market

Ergomomic nothing. Chairs were made of shitty plastic, car seats were benches with bad springs and office chairs pretty much didn’t have arm rests unless you were the president of the company. Bucket seats were available to later models, so everyone had to cozy up on the same bench seat; I’m sure at one point we had to share seat belts when heading to A&W for drive up service. Oh yeah; no cup holders either. You spilt, you were cleaning it up.

Not pictured, the crippling chronic lower back pain