Getting Better All the Time: 24 in '94


Never found much in the way of laughs or wise and pointed socio-cultural commentary over at College Humor, but this take on what 24 might have been like if made a mere 14 years ago is a very interesting show-not-tell about how much our lives improve day by day in ways that are sometimes hard to notice as we live enmeshed in those improvements.

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  1. Pretty good, but I don’t think geocities was around in ’94 yet, was it?

    In other news

    The age of Man is over. The age of the Orc has begun!

  2. That was clever. Anyone remember Prodigy…

  3. Brian, you always put on interesting stuff.

    Right now my kids are watching a rerun of Malcolm in The Middle at….wait for it…..BURNING MAN!

    Naturally I thought of you.

    When the kid asked where the topless chicks were I thought of, well, I thought of topless chicks

  4. Anyone remember Prodigy…

    Jim, I used to hang out on *P in the old days at a place called the Libertarian Club.

    Had a smokin’ hot 286 and dial up that pegged the needle at 10-12 kbps. The 286 cost more than two of my current rides. Close to three grand with the wide carriage dot matrix printer.

  5. In 1994 I would never be pulled over for talking on my car phone, which was attacked to the car.

  6. In 1994 I would never be pulled over for talking on my car phone, which was attacked to the car.

    And cost six grand and was the size of WW II Field Phone.

  7. In 1994 I would have been pulled over for being too short to see over the steering wheel, let alone reach the brake pedal.

  8. # The Wine Commonsewer | January 22, 2008, 10:18pm | #

    ## Anyone remember Prodigy…

    # … I used to hang out on *P in the old days
    # at a place called the Libertarian Club.

    I used to run the Libertarian Party Forum for the AOL News Channel from the mid-1990s until just after the 2000 elections, and I thought the 24-ish sendup of that era was hilarious.

  9. Huh???

    That’s not an episode of “24”. Where’s the torture scene?

  10. Prodigy was the (primitive) bomb. Anybody remember that crazy adventure maze game with those sweet 8-bit or whatever graphics?

  11. I wish I had memories of old school computers, but I graduated college before they were commonplace (Get a Mac! For only $5,000!) and I couldn’t afford a PC until I sold my motorcycle in ’95. That was a 75 Mhz Pentium with a bangin’ 16 MB of RAM. 16! But, I was the first one on my block with a tiny, but HU-mun-gous 3.5″ 1 GB hard drive.

    Still, that clip was hilarious.

  12. That’s not an episode of “24”. Where’s the torture scene?

    Torture scene? Due to time constraints I guess they had to cut out the part where he’s stuck for hours trying to connect to AOL because all he can get is a busy signal, listening to each monotonous automatic re-dial with ever fading hope of ever achieving the perfect timing required to catch that poor schmuck who forgot to disable his call-waiting and gets booted by an incoming call freeing up one of the precious modem lines, only to find when he finally does get through the he is stuck receiving a required AOL software update which takes over two hours to download and requires re-dialing after installation…

  13. Yeah, Geocities wasn’t called Geocities until December ’95.

  14. Does anyone remember acoustic coupling and ASCII graphics?

  15. Does anyone remember Santana Abraxis in four channel?

  16. The progress has been amazing, and I think it’s the best argument against letting the government get involved in creating alternate fuel sources. If you stood up in 1994 and said, “In fourteen years, I want most of the houses in America to be able to connect to an internet that is fast enough to play high resolution video after only a few seconds of loading time,” you’d be called crazy. But with virtually no government intervention, that’s exactly what happened. But for some reason, we have no faith that the free market can do the same for energy. Strange.

  17. Welcome to 3 months ago, Brian.

    That video was posted on November 8th. What’s next? Numa Numa?

  18. damn. who doesn’t immediately think of the great progress of capitalism and thank god the gov’t never got involved in regulating the internet back then.

    could you imagine the gov’t thinking this was a great step for humans and wanting to take control?? we would still be dialing up.

  19. Welcome to 3 months ago, Brian.

    I mean, c’mon, can’t you keep up with every single frackin’ thing that gets posted to the interweb?

  20. In 1994, people might have been a bit more wary of a show whose supposed hero kept torturing people.
    But, yes, cellphones used to be not very good.

  21. I’ve heard people argue that time travel isn’t possible because if it were really possible, future technology would create it and travel back in time to visit us. But, this shows exactly why they would not visit us in 2008. We wouldn’t bother visiting 1994 because we rely so heavily on our modern technology to keep us happy (how many of us go a full day without a computer or cell phone?). Our internet speed would be too slow for us to tolerate and our heads would explode, and that was just 14 years ago. If time travel is finally made possible in say the year 3054, with their advanced lives, there’s no way they’re coming back here to chit chat. They’d probably also be afriad we’d nuke them because they’d look different than us and we’re severely unstable as a society.

  22. Hell, just a couple years ago I bought a cell phone that didn’t even take pictures. A few months ago, I got the cheapest one I could find and it has internet capability. It won’t be long before something we can’t even fathom is commonplace for everyone, say 5 years from now.

    Meanwhile in Darfur…


  23. Ah, acoustic coupling.

    I used to log in to my dad’s network at work to play Colossal Cave Adventure and Star Trek. At baud rates in the triple digits! Sucked when the phone got knocked off the coupler, though.

    By the way, I was using a TI Silent 700, which used thermal rolls of paper in place of, you know, a monitor. Yes, you read that correctly.

  24. Here’s a photo of the Silent 700, connected to a rotary phone. I think we had a push-button phone at the time, but it’s possible we still had a rotary. The Before Times.

  25. Sweet, Pro L.
    I still have a Tandy 100 in the closet. The screen was small, but there really hasn’t been anything invented that’s better for basic note-taking. (But I don’t miss sending stories back to the newsroom via acoustic coupler.)

  26. # Warren | January 23, 2008, 1:00am | #

    # Does anyone remember acoustic coupling
    # and ASCII graphics?

    That’s how I “telecommuted” from a Berkeley apartment, using a SOROC terminal (MUCH better than the Lear Siegler ADM-3A 😉 to finish the first edition of the North Star System Software Manual. On the weekends, I would dial-up the Lawrence Hall of Science DECISION timeshare machine, play Trek, and “reverse engineer” Eliza (until I got access to the source code). Good times, good times.

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