Ah, the ’90s… For some people, a dark and a bit grimy time. For others, the decade in which (almost) everything began.

In the 90’s, the world didn’t stop spinning, with or without you. You knew that, right?

The 1990s brought us the liberation of Nelson Mandela, the euro, grunge, the reunification of Germany, the collapse of the USSR or the birth of Dolly (the first cloned sheep), among many other historical events. But, perhaps above all of them, the 90’s will be remembered by many people due to the entry of the Internet into our lives.

But wait! For most of the ’90s, the Internet was still a freaky thing. Weird people.

Back to business as usual: a lot happened in the 1990s and as far as IT is concerned, there were infinite changes. And that’s what we’re going to talk about in this post. Specifically, what we did with a 90’s computer.

Using floppy disks

Some of you may need to search that on Google, because you may have never seen one. The floppy disks, those small, flat, delicate pieces of plastic, were the place where we kept some of our most precious treasures.

From the 3″ to the 3½”, through the 5¼” classic, they had capacities that today would sound as ridiculous as 1.44Mb. However, we looked after them, because they were the only option we had to save our invaluable files, which we often had to do in several units. Then the CD-ROM appeared and the leap was rough.

Typing commands

Do you think everything has always been as simple as it is now? Do you think that the mouse pointer or touch screen have been there since the time of Pythagoras? There was a time when, if you wanted to do anything with your computer, you had to type in the commands!

Indeed, we are talking about the era of the MS-DOS operating system. Although this sounds almost like the time of the formation of the planet Earth, the first visual operating system and used massively in the Windows environment was Windows 95 (there were earlier versions, such as 3.1, but its commercial success was not comparable). In other words, a little more than 20 years old – 95 refers to the year it was launched – and it seems that we are talking about the Cretaceous…

Connecting to the Internet by using the telephone line

Those were the times when a lady dressed in a robe and curls in her hair had a lot to do with connecting to the Internet. Indeed, we are talking about our mother, or our grandmother.

In the 1990s, being permanently connected was a science fiction thing. On the contrary, to enter the network we needed to invade the telephone line of our home (usually, the only one there was), which caused complaints and snorts from the whole family, who did not even understand the nonsense we were doing.

Getting Internet connection at Uni (or at cybercafé)

Before bothering our grandmother, we had already made our incursions into the Internet, in more clandestine environments.

For many people, our first contacts with the network took place on the computers that the universities made available for the students. Evidently, these were used for academic information. In fact, there were even “guards” in the computer rooms in order to take care of its correct use… In the end, half of the room ended up being entertained in the now deceased Teknoland…

Changing components

Okay, it’s something some users still do, but it’s already a disused practice.

In the 1990s, however, it was quite common. As our needs required it, we removed or we put a RAM memory or a CD burner inside the enormous towers of our device. Why not?

Today, the more compact nature of devices and the prevailing disposable culture have left behind these practices, in which we turned our devices into small electronic Frankenstein’s monsters. What a pity!

Defragmenting the hard disk

Indeed, computers still defragment their hard drive, but they do it automatically, so we don’t even know about it.

However, in the 90’s, it was an operation that we performed on our own from time to time (normally, when computers were slow) and in which we hypnotically observed for minutes how a grid of little squares changed colour which gradually brought us closer to the speed that we so longed for…

Playing in 256 colors

It’s true that, compared to the 8 colors of ZX Spectrum (include link to Pandora 200), the 256 colours of the VGA cards seemed astonishing, but we have to admit that they had little to do with the images we enjoy today. Soon the trillions of colours arrived and all that romanticism went to waste. Oh well…

The truth is that the 1990s multiplied the computer boom that began in the 1980s, so if you’re an IT lover it’s a time you have a lot to be thankful for, don’t you think?

Did you live in that time period? Do you remember those times? If so, it would be great if you could share your experiences with the readers of this blog. You can do it in a very simple way, using the comment box that is right at the end of this article.

However, before you tell us about your grandparent battles (seriously, we are looking forward to reading them), how about spending a few minutes getting to know Pandora FMS?

And don’t forget to have a look at the other articles that we have published in this blog, we are pretty sure that you will like them.

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