Technology 1996: What we had and hadn’t? A list of 50 things

By Razib Ahmed, ICT Journalist and Blog writer

 10 years can really make so much difference! In 1996, no body knew about blogging and there was no social bookmaking site too. Mobile phone was in its infancy and was limited to a small number of countries, at the hands of a small number of rich people. PCs were too slow compared to today with primitive softwares that we don’t use anymore. The list can go for a long time.Razib Ahmed

After doing some search, I have tried to compile list of the things we had or hadn't in 1996.


Computer hardware

1. PC users did not have even Pentium II in 1996 (Pentium II came in 1997).

2. Celeron processors were a thing of the future.

3. PC market was very small and was mainly limited to some rich countries. So, Intel-AMD dual did not attract that much media attention.

4. To many people, computer was merely a good typing machine.

5. 16 MB RAM was a big deal.

6. 200 MHz P6 was released by Intel and it was a great thing that time.

7. Apple was sinking and few people could predict that Apple would make such a great comeback after few years.

8. CD-RW was announced. DVD was knocking on the door and came in the next year.

9. Palm Pilot hit the market for the consumers- a big milestone for the technology industry.

10. Digital camera was digital but not affordable.

11. Monochrome monitor (display) was the norm for PC. Did you have a color monitor?

12. LCD monitor was like a science fiction.

13. Sub $1,000 computers were emerging as a cool thing.

14. Microsoft launched IntelliMouse in 1996.


Computer Software

1. Java programming language started to catch attention of the technology world as a platform independent language.

2. Windows 95 was considered to be a cool thing. So cool, that 1 million copies were purchased by users in four days.

3. Microsoft's Office 97 was published in December 2006. It was published in a CD ROM but also 'on a set of 45 3˝-inch floppy disks'.

4. In 1996, there was no MP3 format. Life was really dull for most PC users.

5. According to Wikipedia, there was no major virus attack in 1996. Strange, isn't it?

6. Macromedia Flash 1.0 was introduced. Would you like to work with it now?

7. Microsoft released DirectX 2.0 in 1996 and it is a milestone in computer gaming industry.

8. Microsoft also released Windows CE.

9. Bill Gates has just been listed by Forbes in 1995 as the richest man in the world. In 1996, he was not a household name like today.




1. Internet did not exists in many countries in the world.

2. Broadband! What is broadband? I don't know how many people back in 1996 thought that after 10 years they will watch live football matches.

3. Launched in 1995, started to catch attention.

4. Netgear came into existence.

5. Google was born in 1996 but hardly anyone knew about it outside of Stanford.

6. Web page design was like a nightmare in the absence of easy softwares and very few people could do it.

7. Hotmail was launched in 1996.

8. New York Times started its own website. It was a big deal that time as very few newspapers bothered to bear the expense of having a website and publishing their own materials in it.

9. eBay was there in 1996 but did buy or sell anything? Did you even know that it existed?

10. Microsoft launched Internet Explorer 3 on August 1996. In 1996, Microsoft had only 20% of the browser market share.

11. MSNBC was launched jointly by Microsoft and NBC.

14. Imagine a life without blogs.


Computer and Video Games

1. Pokémon was officially released in February 1996. It is one of the most successful games of all time.

2. Nintendo 64 was born and became popular.

3. Have you played FIFA 97 in 1996?

4. "Deep Blue" created media storm by playing with world chess champion Garry Kasparov. Deep Blue lost in 1996 but then won in 1997. I often feel that Deep Blue is neglected in the history of IT.

5. Quake still sends shockwaves in the heart of many gamers.

6. The House of the Dead is still not dead.


Mobile Phone and Wireless Technology

1. Many countries in the world did not have mobile phone.

2. SMS was theoretically there but 99% users did not find it to be useful. In fact, according to one statistics, in 1995 'on average only 0.4 messages per GSM customer per month'.

3. MMS was like a science fiction.

4. WIFI, WIMax- these things existed in the dream of researchers.

5. No Bluetooth technology.

6. Cell phones contained only melody. There was no ring tone industry.

7. Cell phone sets were too heavy and too expensive.



ICT and General People

Staffs writer of  ICT Magazine

Technology has changed our day today life like a magic. Like a developing country, Bangladesh is changed rapidly for the touch of this magic stick. In the last five years, computer and internet has influenced out life a lot. But most people have not very good idea about it. Our ICT journalists have taken the opinions of 80 people of different level both literate and illiterate.


It is surprising that even educated people do not have good idea about ICT. They only know about a little. Most of the people we talked to could only browse Internet and write email.

Nahidur Rahaman, Telecom Engineer of Banglalink, told us that by using technology I can know about the latest changes to this world.

According to a doctor, technology gives us much advantage in medical science. He can know about modern medication system, and medicine. He also told that if telemedicine system could be started in our country it will be like a big reovoluition.  

Maksudul Haque Mithu, a businessman stated that about the welfare of information and technology. He can collect ad, supply information of his other show room in Bangladesh.


Dr. Md. Haider Ali, who is the chairman in the department of Computer Science and Engineering of University of Dhaka, thinks at present it is an important subject for our country. All educate people need to have a good concept about technology.

Pointing out the 3D Animation of our country he said, we do not have even 100 animators in our country, so we need skilled people. He explained about Bangladeshi software industry and told if we could have the especial facilities in this sector we could compete with India and China in the world market. He also mentioned that many young people have the interest but do not have the scope to use their talent.

From this, we can see what some of our people think about ICT.


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