The tech boom / gold rush of the 90′s isn’t likely to come back in our lifetimes. However, for those of us who lived it, it was quite the ride to be industrial youth on the cutting edge of the information wars!
Great article on “tech nostalgia”:
There is no question, insufferable as it must be to hear this from a grizzled veteran, that the mid-to-late-’90s were an amazing time to be a geek. We knew we were living through a major historical moment and it was all happening so goddamn fast. You’d wake up in the morning knowing that there was a good likelihood that a better search engine would be invented before the sun went down. A new release of the Netscape browser was greeted with the same enthusiasm that new Harry Potter novels got a few years later. Early adopters ruled the earth.
Yeah, well, 2013 is a different story. Sure, smartphones are neat, but one reason why we are grumbling about Google Reader is because we have learned that things can be taken away as easily as they are offered, and that new is not necessarily better. Facebook constantly drives us crazy with its interface changes because we suspect that the new tweaks are designed more to manipulate us than to serve us. And we understand, right now, more than ever before, that there are nasty quid pro quos inherent in all the “free” cool things we can do online. We know that the Internet is a tool that other people — governments, advertisers, spies — will use to find out stuff about us, even as we use it to find stuff for ourselves.
So we’re older, wiser and covered with scars. Suspicion and cynicism have replaced that sense of wonder. We see the news about Google Reader and think, man, that permanent upgrade arc is so, so broken! Things can get worse! We see the news about AltaVista and we think, ah, remember what it was like to be young and in love?