The internet is 25 years old, well it was on the 12th March 2014.
By 1989 I was in my second year of a four year honours degree. Librarianship and Information Studies taught us a hell of a lot, we studied management, information systems and information retrieval among other knowledge-based subjects… and we kept abreast of the development of the World Wide Web. I’m sure we will have heard about Tim Berners-Lee’s paper on communication systems Information Management: a proposal, which his boss described as “vague but exciting”, but any knowledge I had of this has probably gone the same way as my college notes… in the bin (I hated doing that… but four years of notes is a hell of a lot, and pretty much outdated these days).
So… to celebrate the web becoming 25, I’ve decided to take a step back in time…to the year I was twenty and life was simple.
1. The Nintendo Gameboy was born. Yup… people started carrying around video games in their pocket (if they could afford them). If you fancy a step back in time I’ve found a nifty little (12 minute!) video of the best video games of 1989.
Don’t laugh… this is what games were like, although my favourite will always be the Ghost Busters game which we had on tape (yes, cassette tape… ask your Dad).
2. Barbie turned 30… who’d a guessed 25 years later she’d still look the same?
3. When Harry Met Sally was released. It was ok.
4. Dead Poets Society … much, much better. It also won the Academy Award for Best Picture that year. Love that film.
5. The Wind Beneath My Wings was everywhere. Better Midler warbled the main tune from the fab 1988 film Beaches. It reduced lots of people to tears… for many different reasons.
6. George Bush became US president taking over from Reagan. Nuff said.
7. Formula 1 The 1989 season ended on 5 November after sixteen races. Alain Prost won his third Drivers’ World Championship, and my team, McLaren, won the Constructors’ Championship. Yaay! Prost may not be driving still, but will my team win the Championship 25 years later?
8. Madonna gave us Like a Prayer, there was a lot of controversy. I loved Madonna.
9. Supermodels ruled… Stephanie Seymour, Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington and Naomi Campbell strutted their stuff. Herb Ritts took those iconic photos that still look fresh today.
10. Quantum Leap started… jumping backwards and forwards in time…that’s the stuff.
11. The Ford Escort was the best selling car of the year. According to the RAC fuel costs have risen 264% since 1989, don’t know about you but this didn’t surprise me much.
12. Dougie Howser, M.D. hit our screens… Neil Patrick Harris is still as popular as ever… not bad for a child star.
13. Saved by the Bell started, and everyone watched it. I was sure it was earlier… was I really hooked on this aged 20? After Dustin “Screech” Diamond was on Celebrity Big Brother last year I came to the conclusion that some things are best left in the past.
14. Sky Television began broadcasting as the first satellite TV service in Britain. There were four channels available including Sky News, Europe’s first 24-hour news channel.
15. Nick Faldo became the first English winner of the Masters Tournament. I’m not into golf. At all. But this was quite an achievement.
16. The Hillsborough Disaster. Just awful… during the FA Cup semi-final almost 100 fans were killed. There are some images you never forget, this is one of them.
17. The House of Commons was televised live for the first time. Yawn.
18. On the 6th December Doctor Who was cancelled by the BBC after 26 years. There was shock, there were tears, there was denial.
19. Band Aid II reached the Christmas Number One with their charity record Do They Know its Christmas. There was shock, there were tears, there was denial.
20. Wallace and Gromit were first shown to the world in A Grand Day Out. Sales of Wendsleydale cheese rocketed.
21. Remains of The Rose theatre were discovered in London during a routine excavation held due to the re-development of an office block. I did a little dance.
22. 23rd July – Daniel Radcliffe actor in the Harry Potter films was born. Boy now I feel really old!
23. Daphne du Maurier, one of my favourite novelists died on the 19th April.
24. Laurence Olivier, the legend, actor, director and producer died on the 11th July.
25. Graham Chapman, of Monthy Python died on 4th October. A little bit of laughter died that day.