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Retro-futurism, circa 1989

Retro-futurism, circa 1989

Dan Ackerman Editorial Director / Computers and Gaming
Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of computers and gaming hardware. A New York native and former radio DJ, he's also a regular TV talking head and the author of "The Tetris Effect" (Hachette/PublicAffairs), a non-fiction gaming and business history book that has earned rave reviews from the New York Times, Fortune, LA Review of Books, and many other publications. "Upends the standard Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg technology-creation myth... the story shines." -- The New York Times
Expertise I've been testing and reviewing computer and gaming hardware for over 20 years, covering every console launch since the Dreamcast and every MacBook...ever. Credentials
  • Author of the award-winning, NY Times-reviewed nonfiction book The Tetris Effect; Longtime consumer technology expert for CBS Mornings
Dan Ackerman
2 min read
The fine folks at Digg.com have a great link today to a 1989 Compute! magazine article about what the state of technology would be in 2001.

Among the amazingly prescient predictions were:

  • Optical disks will popularize desktop libraries, which in turn will alter our whole sense of computing.
  • "It'll also allow you to store audio and video," said Phillip Robinson, a computer consultant with Virtual Information of Sausalito, California. "You'll be able to capture segments of a show you like, cut them out, and put them in a video report for school."
  • High-definition TV (HDTV)...will eventually accept digital as well as analog input.
  • By the twenty-first century, multitasking will be everywhere...Imagine your computer playing an aria in the background as you write, search an online database, or blast space blobs.
  • "The VCR is much more difficult to use than it would be if a computer were controlling it," said Lotus's Robert Simon. "For instance, you could tell it to record all episodes of a particular series, rather than your preprogramming it."
  • Instead of the notebooks we carried to school, our kids will be carrying computer note-books.
  • Movies will probably be squirted into the home through the telecommunications lines.
  • Less on the money were calls like these:

  • The personal computer as we know it will persist longer in the home than in business...but by 1996-1997, they'll start to disappear.
  • You wake up [and] scan the custom newspaper that's spilling from your fax.
  • Door locks will be microcontrolled from a keypad; computers could also regulate cosmetic mirrors, changing the amount of magnification and light.