20 Years of Tech: We've Come a Long Way, Baby

Walt Mossberg looks back on two decades of reviews
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2011 1:41 PM CDT
20 Years of Tech: We've Come a Long Way, Baby
Dial-up modems were once all the rage.   (Shutterstock)

Remember when revolutionary dial-up modems arrived on the computer scene or when America Online debuted? Walt Mossberg does, and the Wall Street Journal tech reviewer looks back on 20 years' of columns. Some of the milestones he picks out:

  • His first line in 1991: "Personal computers are just too hard to use, and it's not your fault."
  • First "pocket" phone: In 1992, he called Motorola's MicroTac Lite the first pocket-size mobile. It was an inch thick, weighed under half-a-pound—and cost about $2,000.

  • AOL: Also in 1992, he declared the "obscure" online service better than rivals CompuServe and Prodigy.
  • Dial-ups: In 1993, he recommended the $200 Sportster modem. It's like "comparing a bicycle to a locomotive" relative to today's speeds.
  • iMac: In 1998, he called it the "coolest looking" personal computer out there.
  • What's ahead: Better batteries could "revolutionize" the industry, and flexible screens have "been promised for years, but never made practical."
Click for the full column. (More technology stories.)

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