It's 15 years ago. What do you miss?

Somehow you find yourself back in 1992. But rather than consider those stocks you’d invest in or sports bets you could make…

What will you miss? What would be the hardest thing to get used to?

Major Inconveniences

Computers: GUI PCs aren’t huge yet. Windows 3.1 had just come out, but a majority were DOS-based.

Internet: Not accessible at home. Back to the card catalog and microfiche. Next day newspapers and time-slotted TV news. Mail-order paper catalogs. Penthouse and Playboy magazines.

Minor Inconveniences

Lack of Digital Photography: You won’t see your picture after you take it. You have to wait until the developer at the Photomat is done. You’d need the negatives to get reprints and would not be able to easily crop or adjust the pictures.


Phones: You have to actually remember numbers to manually dial. Cell phones are rare and expensive.

DVDs: You’re rewinding and fast-forwarding pan & scan tapes

No biggie:

Transportation & Appliances: I don’t see a significant difference

I’d miss: my wife, the net, the friendly touch of the TSA guy as he searches me thoroughly.

Everything you mentioned would be pretty godawful. No portable MP3 players would suck as well.

My wife and our nice house in Florida
The friends I have now
My broadcasting career - much of the equipment I use in it daily had not been invented yet in 1992
Home digital recording on removable media was still a pipe dream. I’d have 5000 fewer CDs.

On the other hand, my mother would still be alive…for four more years.

Except for us Mac users :wink:

AOL was around in '92. Maybe only in its infancy, but it was there. And there was also Compuserve.

that would make me very sad.

Unless your land-line phone had “24 number programmable memory” (that was actually easy to program)

For me, this would be a “no biggie”

I’ll add:
TV: Cable had only just expanded to 60 channels, only 4 of which were commercial free movie channels.

I’ll go along with Bronze Age computers, internet, email being bothersome.

Everything else, I’d deal.

I’d hate knowing that the Orioles weren’t going to win a World Series for 15 years.

ETA: Replace “missed” in first sentence, last word with “bothersome”.


I would have to wait upwards of 15 years for some of my favorite music to be created and recorded.

Just the friends I’ve made since then–everything else is extraneous.

I’d be like five years old, so I’d be chill. I’d have my barbies and ninja turtles and all that.

I could do System 7.0.1 easily enough. This time around I want a color Mac, maybe an LC or even a IIci. Kermit to the university’s IBM-3090 mainframe to send and receive my email? Check. BinHex all file attachments so they go out as 7-bit ASCII? Check. Fetch to download my shareware from the Info-Mac archives? Yep. America Online for the precursors of message boards. Photoshop 1.0 and SuperPaint for graphics, MacWrite II for word processing, Excel for spreadsheet, FileMaker Pro 1.0 for database. I’m all set :slight_smile:

I don’t do cell phones and I don’t do TV so I won’t miss the ‘improvements’ there.

Videotape is tolerable (“don’t forget to rewind!”). Audio will have to be cassette tapes (ugh).

I still have my Kodak Instamatic X-35 in a dusty drawer somewhere, complete with a couple rolls of 126-cartridge film and some MagiCubes™. <sigh> Yeah, a major comedown from digital photography. Having to pay for film and developing costs again, bummer.

But, hey! No more ATM fees when I use my bank card! Which will be a NYCE card, not Cirrus!

Well, that and $1.25 will get you on the subway…

Is my life rewound, or do I wake up as my 22 year old self in 1992?

If the former, I’d mostly miss mature relationships. I wouldn’t be able to have a real girlfriend and all of my friends would want to play Ninja Turtles all the time. The child prodigy route would be pretty annoying too.

“What today would you miss if you somehow found yourself in 1992?” I was thinking in my OP of the conveniences over the past 15 years we (almost) take for granted, lik digital photography.

But, hey, friends and relationships could work, if you want to include them.

I’d know to buy Google and Microsoft stock. I’d also know that the weapons of mass destruction never existed. I’d also be 10.
Yeah. So I’d be still trying to not shit my pants in class.
You know, not that I ever did that…ahem…carry on.

1992 was an awesome year. I got married, spent 17 days in Scotland on our Honeymoon and changed careers. I did not have to dial an area code to call most of my friends. There was no war. CNN gave me the news.

The lack of a decent Internet is the only real bummer. However I was playing one BBS game at the time and had Warlords and Pirates on my Amiga, so the gaming was fine. VHS tapes were adequate. DVDs are nicer but not mandatory. I still do not like cell phones very much.

In the end, it is only the High Speed Internet I would miss. I would enjoy reliving 1992 again.


March 1992? I was dissatisfied with my life working at the computer company, and on a whim I had applied to the classical animation program at Sheridan College. I would get accepted, and in September 1992 I would quit my day job to go to art school! I would be studying cartoons and hanging out with cool people!

My sister had died in 1990 and I was dealing with that, so I was already deep in counseling, yet I had no idea of the amount of work I would have to do, especially with respect to social skills.

(Little did I realise that only eleven months later, I would have quit from that program and followed the paycheque back to the computer company, where I am today. On the other hand, during March break 1993, I would hook up with a cute plump blonde Pagan girl for the only sexual relationship I have ever had, though I came close in electronics school ten years earlier).

If I found myself in 1992 with my memories and skills of 2007, I think I would have a much better go of things socially. And I would remember the importance of going to the gym in 2007, and, as well, not having gained that extra ten kilos after I went to art school, so I’d work out. (I’d be still only 29! 29! Worlds of opportunity!)

I’d really really miss the Dope, though I suspect something sort of like it was available on Usenet or IRC. But I’d almost certainly have to go to the college to get it. Or hook up to the legendary BBS known as Canada Remote Systems (which was located in the same building on Crestlawn Drive in Mississauga as my work).

On the other hand, my mom would still be alive. I miss her terribly now.

Commercial dial-up Internet service had been available for home computers since 1990, starting with The World. The world’s first web browser, WorldWideWeb, was released to the public in August 1991.

I actually prefer the way video tapes just stop. With DVDs, I’m always losing my place as I watch one movie over several days.

It’s not tech related, but I’d miss the food. I can get such amazing food at my local Whole Foods and I eat way healthier than I did 15 years ago. And nowdays even the normal supermarkets usually have once exotic alternatives like hummus or vegetarian options.

Wow. 1992 seems like yesterday to me. I can’t believe we didn’t have high-speed internet and cell phones back then!

I was my employer’s pilot person to test laptops and cell phones in the late 80’s, early 90’s. (yes, the cell phone weighed about 40 lbs).

I had quit smoking about 3 years prior…don’t miss that.

Internet and cell phones…can’t live without 'em now.

I did have more time to garden back then, though.

Well, at least one of us had a good one. I had lost my nice well-paying office IT job in the fall of 1990, and by 1992, my unemployment benefits had run out, I was living off my life savings, and the only job I could get was on the night shift at a warehouse. So I punched my card, had all the fun of jet lag without the inconvenience of going anywhere, and went to work. The job paid the bills, but just barely. When I added up the accounts, I had dealt with a 66% pay cut over my IT job.

In case you didn’t know, we suffered a recession in the early 1990s in Canada. Nobody was hiring. Our provincial treasurer figured the best way to fight it was to raise taxes. (I’m trying my damndest to be neutral here, but I still have to give a :rolleyes: ) Gah, that was hard–handing over my hard earned money at tax time to the damn government. I needed it more than they did. I did without food–really–while both the federal and provincial governments got my cash at tax time. But I did not get in trouble with the tax authorities. Good thing, because I sure could not afford a lawyer.

Never mind that for now. I survived, but barely. Bitter? Naw, not much.

But because of that, I wouldn’t miss much because I made do with so little. Internet? Cellphones? Computers? They were dreams; things that rich people had. My entertainment source was the local public library within walking distance, where simple things such as books and records were available for free. They made those days much more tolerable.

I do not miss those days. But having made it through them, I know that no matter how much we cannot conceive of a life without computers, MP3s, IPods, cellphones, and other supposedly necessary technologies, we can if we have to. Something to think about anyway.