Technology in the Arts #32

Podcast - Technology in the Arts #32

In our most recent episode, Brad and Jason present a very special holiday episode, featuring the song Ya You Betcha Christmas by Gary Sundblad.

20 Years of Holiday Gift Ideas:

1987: Tickets to the Broadway hit Les Miserable, which won 8 Tony Awards in 1987. (Side note: The Perl programming language was created by Larry Wall in December of that year.)

1988: Prozac! What better way to get through the holidays than with this newly released anti-depressant? (Side note: CDs outsold vinyl for the first time this year.)

1989: Atari Lynx handheld game device. The thing was huge. You might as well strap a flat panel TV to an Xbox and carry it around with you.

1990: Windows 3.0. This was back when Microsoft was Apple… it was cool to own Windows.

1991: Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Welcome to the 16-bit era of console gaming.

1992: Madonna’s Erotica. One of the most controversial albums of all time got Madonna banned from Vatican City.

1993: A subscription to WIRED magazine, which was first published this year. WIRED is one of my favorite magazines, both online and in print. Also, the World Wide Web is born at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, more commonly known as CERN. This gives the folks at WIRED something to write about every month.

1994: Tickets to Woodstock ’94, the 25th anniversary celebration of the original Woodstock festival. Guess what? Not as good as the original. Having all your bodily crevices filled with mud is not as much fun when water costs $10 a bottle. Also, Netscape Navigator 1.0 was released in 1994.

1995: Windows 95. The biggest enhancement over Windows 3 is the GUI (or graphical user interface). The Windows 95 graphics structure is still being used today in Windows Vista. And Microsoft wonders why Apple is catching up with them.

1996: Tickle Me Elmo. A store clerk in New Jersey was nearly trampled to death in the most outrageous instance of Elmo-mania. Also, Web TV was released. Grandmas everywhere could send email from their televisions. It’s now known as MSN TV and you see it in hotels a lot.

1997: Because I could come up with nothing else, I chose this as a music year: Radiohead’s OK Computer, Bjork’s Homogenic, Oasis’ Be Here Now, and Elton John’s single Candle in the Wind ’97. Also, Microsoft bought a $150 million share in Apple Computers, which was on the brink of financial ruin. And the term “weblog” was coined by Jorn Barger. See the Technology in the Arts blog for an entry about Jorn.

1998: Furby. The fuzzy robot had the ability to learn English. Also, Apple unveiled its first iMac desktop computer. It was, and still is, an all-in-one machine with the monitor and other hardware all contained in the same casing.

1999: A trip to Milan, Italy, to see Da Vinci’s The Last Supper, which was put back on display in ’99 after 22 years of restoration work. Also, the Sega Dreamcast video game console is the hot toy. My friend had one, and it was underwhelming. The games were mediocre.

2000: Windows 2000. This version of Windows became the target of a number of high profile hacker attacks. I read that Windows 2000 continues to this day to receive security updates on a monthly basis.

2001: The Microsoft Xbox and Nintendo Gamecube are the hot holiday toys. Also, Mac OS X v10.0 was released this year. And Windows XP was released. If you’re wondering why XP was released so close to Windows 2000, it’s because XP was originally intended to be more for home use, whereas 2000 was more for business use.

2002: Big year… big, big year. Barbara Streisand’s The Essential Barbara Streisand is released! Also, The B-52’s anthology Nude on the Moon and Nine Inch Nails And All That Could Have Been are under the tree… someone’s tree.

2003: Get Up and Bounce Tigger. The tiger from Winnie the Pooh sings, dances and apparently bounces for just $29.99.

2004: Nintendo DS handheld game system is released. The unit featured two screens – one a touchscreen – and wireless for short range interaction with other players. This was the first Nintendo system to have a US release before a Japanese release.

2005: Kickaroos Anti-Gravity Boots. My favorite part of the marketing for this and other products from the same company is that none of the kids in the promotional images is wearing a helmet. If you go to, you’ll see three people on the homepage bouncing on things you know can lead to severe head trauma, and they just look as happy and ignorant as can be without their safety gear on.

2006: The Nintendo Wii.

2007: iPhone. Windows Vista. And if you’re buying someone Windows Vista for Christmas, you’d better buy them a brand new computer as well, because you need some pretty high-powered hardware to run this OS.

Cool Sites of the Episode:

Jason - recipe finder (as if they need the help)

Brad -, Jorn Barger's weblog

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