28 February 2008

1988 vs. 2008

In many ways, 2008 looks a lot like 1988. The United States is ruled by hardcore right-wing ideology today, as it was in 1988, with a neoconservative Republican administration. The Summer Olympics are being held in a less-than-deserving East Asian country - South Korea then, China now. Even some of the fashion trends today look a lot like 1988 - think skinny jeans and leggings.

There is one difference though: technology. Instead of paying $2500 for a bulky brick phone with at most one hour of talk time, today I pay $400 for Apple's iPhone, with Internet access and many other features, as well as 8 hours of talk time. Instead of paying $1400 for a 286-class PC running MS-DOS, I pay about $1000 for dual-core powered PC running Windows Vista, large LCD monitor included. At $35 per megabyte, today's terabyte hard drives would have cost millions of dollars in 1988; back then, 150 MB was incredibly huge. Internet access went from $6-$20 per hour to about $20 per month, with huge increases in speed and content. And while Sony Discman would've been state of the art in 1988, today it is obsolete, thanks to cavernous Apple iPods with far longer battery life and far more capacity.

PC World has an article comparing these technological improvements, and more, between 1988 and 2008.

PC World