1984. It’s a year synonymous with George Orwell’s novel about a dystopian society ruled by omnipresent government surveillance.
The real 1984 was a far cry from that. While today, we do have scary government surveillance, that’s largely thanks to email, social media, smartphones, and cloud computing. Those things didn’t exist in 1984.
In fact, 1984 was 10 years before the World Wide Web (commonly called the internet) was born. It was the year Ronald Reagan was re-elected as president; the telephone monopoly Bell System was officially dismantled and AT&T launched; and Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, was born.
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PCs didn't run Windows. Windows arrived in 1985. They used DOS. You typed commands like 'DIR' to find files.
By the way, Bill Gates was NOT the world's richest man in 1984. But he did appear on the cover of Time. He's touching something called a floppy disk.
A floppy disk was the thumb drive of its day. It installed software, and it let you back up and transfer files.
Instead, some people used pagers. You sent a message and then had to find the nearest phone to call someone back.
You accessed an online service with a modem, which used your telephone line and made a squealing sound.
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