10 Years Ago in Technology – Remembering Our Roots, a Techie’s Retrospective

There’s an antique adage Team Kgsr within the automobile enterprise that declares your car loses value as quickly as you power it off the lot. The PC and generation enterprise is not so excellent. New additives and structures constantly push the envelope of universal overall performance and cost, making it impossible to have one of the first-rate devices for extremely lengthy. The reason for this paper is to step returned in time 10 years and examine the era landscape than to look the way it compares to the modern-day era we apprehend and love.

Moore’s Law:

Much has been written, and lots stay debate approximately the era axiom referred to as; Moore’s Law. Some humans interpret the regulation to intend a doubling of computer energy every 18 months to 2 years, even as others preserve it approach a doubling of transistors’ numbers (microscopic on/off switches if you’ll) engineers are capable of print the same quantity of silicon. In truth, Moore stated that transistor counts should double each three hundred and sixty-five days, which he later amended to be every 2 years) Regardless, this style of performance and transistor boom has held actual for over forty years.


More lately, Moore’s regulation has been implemented to portraits processing gadgets (GPUs) as properly. The GPU is, without a doubt, now not even 10 years old at the time of writing. The respectable time period GPU became coined with the Nvidia GeForce 256 collection of three-D playing cards. Released in August 1999, this changed into the primary chip that became capable of computing vertex adjustments and pixel lighting fixtures in hardware. Since its release, snapshots processing electricity have observed a similar doubling performance every 18 months to two years. This article isn’t always a technical file, alternatively a glimpse into the beyond 10 years in the past to provide you an idea of ways far we have is to be had in this sort of brief time.

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A Little History About the Author:

The 12 months changed into 1999. It turns into my sophomore/junior 12 months within high college. Now I’ll pause so that 90% of the readers who grew up in the 70s and ’80s can turn up their nostril and save you studying.

Okay, now that it’s out of the way, allow’s maintain.

I am an internet child. I changed into given into computers, and all manner of digital geekery surely due to the fact the Internet become turning into something that “actually may capture on.” My excessive faculty changed into now not quite at the bleeding edge of an era as it becomes. Still, we have been one of the first public faculties in my place to be geared up with a whole T1 line and the 1.5Mbps of wonderfully devoted bandwidth that is piped through the network. Our community becomes comprised of a hodge-podge aggregate of excellent PC computers labs (Mostly K6 200MHz/Win ninety five machines), and a network engineers nightmare concoction of Macintoshes; LC II’s up through new G3 iMacs.

In 1999 I have become however rocking a 486 DX-33 PC with 8MB of ram and Windows three. Eleven as my PC at home, whilst my mother and father had a pleasing Pentium one hundred Windows 95 device, my siblings and I may fight for time on. So what has become the aspect of these closing couple paragraphs you’re likely asking? This has have become, and what I have become, the use of 10 years in the past in computing, and with a bit of luck, it was given you questioning again a decade to what you were computing on.


10 years in the past these days, The PC international have become running itself right right into a frenzy, getting geared up for the close to future launch of the modern-day Intel Pentium III Processor. The quality your coins may want to do modified right into a Pentium II processor at 450MHz with PC100 Memory. Rival AMD is doing ok for itself, peddling its budget-aware K6-2 collection of processors. Your average PC value around $2000-$2500 in the meantime for a PC with a solid Pentium II processor. The Pentium III emerge as due to be released on February twenty-sixth and was the hassle of a vicious debate over the deserves of its constructed particularly ID range. Also noteworthy changed into its inclusion of the primary SSE education set (The contemporary Core i7 processor is at SSE4+). However, without a software program designed to utilize the state-of-the-art instructions the processor ended up not an awful lot quicker than an equivalently clocked Pentium II CPU and took pretty a piece of heat from the clicking.


On the pix front, the conflict between nVidia and 3DFx has become raging. NVidia, a relative newcomer to the sector, grows to be excessive on the pinnacle in their very successful TNT (Twin-Texel) video processor, whilst 3DFx modified into combating to hold its marketplace control identity with its Voodoo3 line of pictures gambling cards. The Voodoo playing cards had been super performers, but the TNT playing cards benefited from32-bit color whilst the Voodoo’s were stuck at 24 bits. ATI changed into around and kicking with their Rage series of three-d playing cards (specifically famous as included chips in servers and workstations); however, they never entered into the hardcore 3D accelerator race the Radeon line debuted in 2000.


In 1999 the net increase will become just beginning and attracting massive amounts of interest and investment capital from all over the globe. The large organization of the time became the seek and portal enterprise. Yahoo, AltaVista, Excite, and Lycos have probably been the most recognizable and big video games on this organization. Google -say-wha? Other agencies from different industries, which includes tv media, and ISPs were taking study, and shopping for up net portals right and left in an try to faucet into the viral spread of the internet. New technology like Java has been stepping into their very personal and began to position the internet’s foundation as we understand it nowadays. Studies decided that with the aid of the usage of 1999 approximately half of of US families had a laptop, and most of the brand new PC purchases had been being made to get online.

Other areas:

PDA’s had been quickly turning into the ultra-modern need to have the device. The Palm Pilot is the tool that led the fee. I myself had a Palm IIIe closer to the later half of-of 2000. Personal pages had been even though heat dealers; however, mobile phones had been getting smaller and extra practical and much less high-priced. Also, warfare modified into heating up inside the computer reminiscence phase. Samsung delivered new DDR reminiscence chips that promised to double the powerful bandwidth of present reminiscence chips in future setups. However, Rambus modified into busy developing their very own high-velocity RAM to be used in immoderate cease Intel systems.



This field is perhaps a bit too huge to cowl here. However, a quick OS recap: The PC worldwide turned into strolling robust with windows ninety-eight and anxiously awaiting the updated Windows ninety-eight Second Edition due out in May 1999. The Macintosh crowd become plugging away thankfully on their Mac OS 8.5 Machines, whilst looking ahead to a replacement to OS nine someday later than twelve months. Linux have become moreover starting to come into its very own, as massive name carriers like IBM have been beginning to package deal deal distributions of Redhat, Caldera, and others with a few servers.


I’ll admit this newsletter becomes greater for my amusement and reminiscing than something else. I hope that somewhere within the direction of this mass of phrases and damaged sentences, you also had some applicable memories of Pthe C device past. It’s exact to take into account the era we grew up with, and we are lucky sufficient to have the strong internet we’re used to nowadays to assist conjure up pics and technical specs of these glory days. Sites just like the Tech Time Machine exist to help us relive the only’s days, and feature a few chuckles at the device we concept we’d never use to its complete capacity. I do not forget touching a Pentium 200MMX device for the first time and being in awe at its raw speed and seemingly countless opportunities. Now I constantly get disenchanted with the velocity of my present-day 3GHz dual center Athlon X2 6000+ PC. I cannot even believe how many domestic windows that Pentium 2 hundred might be thrown out of nowadays. It’s a loopy world we stay in.

John R. Wright
Social media ninja. Freelance web trailblazer. Extreme problem solver. Music fanatic. Spent several months marketing pubic lice in the financial sector. Spent 2002-2008 supervising the production of ice cream in Africa. Had some great experience developing robotic shrimp in the aftermarket. Spent several years getting my feet wet with puppets in Miami, FL. Was quite successful at supervising the production of corncob pipes worldwide. What gets me going now is working with electric trains in Mexico.