Happy 21st Birthday IBT! Technology and cultural change from 1997 to 2018 and beyond.

Happy 21st Birthday IBT! Technology and cultural change from 1997 to 2018 and beyond.

Feb 14 2018 was not just Valentine’s day – it also marked a major milestone for IBT as we turned 21 on that day.

Remember 1997?

It seems like a far distant shore, a long way away from the technology landscape of 2018. These days the Cloud, Big Data, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), the digital revolution, automation, The Internet of Things IoT and VR (Virtual Reality) are on everyone’s minds …and yet…

In 1997 only 47% of all Australian households had a computer and only 19% had access to the internet. Who would of thought that by 2017, more people would have internet enabled mobile phones than toilets?

It was the Beanie Baby Era, Internet Explorer version 4 was just released and CD’s were king. The cloud was a white puffy thing in skies above, while we chatted away on brick sized cordless phones.

“Yeah baby!” – in 1997 the first Austin Powers movie hit screens and Princess Diana, Versace, Mother Theresa and INXS’s Michael Hutchence left us.

The first Harry Potter book was published, Spice Girls ruled the world and Titanic, Jurassic Park and Men in Black dominated the box office.

Elton John’s ‘Candle in the Wind’ and Aqua’s infamous earworm “She’s a Barbie girl, in a Barbie World’ topped worldwide charts and we worryingly sang along.

Virtual Pets and Teletubbies made their debut. A civil jury panel found OJ Simpson guilty, Dolly the sheep became the first cloned mammal, Steve Jobs returned to run Apple after quitting 12 years before, Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule from UK rule, Bill Clinton was president of the USA, and Tony Blair was elected UK Prime Minister for the first time.

Australian movie ‘The Castle’ shot to number 1, the first radio station started broadcasting on the internet and with 7 million households nationally, an average Sydney house cost just $233,250 and in Melbourne $142,000.

In honour of IBT’s 21st birthday, take a trip with us down memory lane to ooh and ahh over just how far we’ve all come since 1997.

Click on this link for 24 slides – courtesy of CNET – showcasing 1997’s Hottest Tech:


So, cheers to the next 21 years – to a time when we’ll look back at today’s technology and see it as just as ‘quaint’ as ‘1997 tech’…