Other Stuff That’s 20 Years Old This Year

In case you missed it, Savvy Training & Consulting is 20 years old this year! I wrote a history of the company last week (it’s riveting). But this week, I thought I’d have some fun and write about technologies that were born in 1997 like Savvy, and other fads we were enjoying back then. It sure gives a perspective on how long 20 years is and how fast technology changes!


What Was Going on 20 years Ago in 1997?

The PalmPilot was all the rage! In 1997, the PalmPilot 1000 was the “It Tech” to own and the New York Times raved that it “shared data with a desktop computer and synchronized information quickly on both machines.”

The Digital Video Disc (DVD) Changed Everything!

Entrepreneur magazine predicted:

“DVD is going to be very big. It’s going to remain a high-tech platform with many uses limited only by the imagination.”

The DVD player, due out this month, will run discs that contain as much data as is normally held on 13 CD-ROMs and store hours of high-quality audio, video and more. While it won’t reach mass markets until the end of next year, when content developers have released a substantial number of useful DVD discs, … the “entrepreneurial window is now open” for building new content and developing new products and services around DVD.”

Suffering with a Modem. We complain today if our smartphones take more than one second to call up entire websites. Back in 1997, we only had modems with 28.8 kbps connections, making it tedious to even download a single photo. Oh, and that awful dial-up sound!

Tech Gets Smarter Than Us: IBM’s Deep Blue computer defeated the world champion chess player, Garry Kasparov, on May 11, 1997 in their second six-game showdown, winning the tie-breaking game in only 62 minutes.

The Dancing Baby! The dancing baby became one of the Internet’s first fads. The dancing baby was a short 3D animation of a small baby wearing diapers dancing. It was first created by Michael Girard and later tweaked by Ron Lussier at LucasArts. Oogachaka!

WebMD launched in 1997. And we have diagnosing ourselves with cancer ever since.

And finally, how much did things cost back in 1997? ThePeopleHistory reports:

  • Yearly inflation: 2.34%
  • Year-end close for the Dow Jones Industrial Average: 7908
  • Interest rates at year-end, Federal Reserve: 8.50%
  • Average cost of a new house: $124,100
  • Average income per year: $37,006
  • Average monthly rent: $576
  • Cost of a gallon of gas: $1.22
  • Average cost of a new car: $16,900
  • Loaf of bread: $1.17
  • Movie ticket: $4.59
  • One pound of hamburger: $1.38

I hope you’ve enjoyed this walk down memory lane. Now, on to business! I have the next 20 years to plan!


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