In the last 30 years—heck, just since 2000—how we've functioned in business and in our daily lives has changed and evolved rapidly.
Some terms in use today would likely leave a person in the 1980s scratching his or her head. We're using iPods and iPads, Travelocity and Twitter, Facebook and Four-square, BlackBerry smartphones and Android devices, Xboxes and Wiis, among many other new services, sites and electronics. We're now poking, tweeting, Googling and Skyping.
VCR and VHS tapes have given way to DVDs and Blu-ray discs. Travel agents have been replaced by Orbitz, Kayak and other online travel sites. Brick-and-mortar bookstores? RIP Borders—try Amaz-on.com on for size.
Does anyone still navigate with hold-in-your-hand maps when you've got GPS? Classified ads, while not disappearing, get stiff competition from Craigslist. And some poor souls still cool their heels with dial-up Internet service. Encyclopedias are online, as is the venerable Yellow Pages.
Film and cameras that use it are collectors' items—or doorstops or just gathering dust in a forgotten drawer. Don't forget about fax machines—some people still use them. But their missives, along with good-ol'-fashioned hand-written letters, have for the most part been replaced by email.
Anyone remember gas station service attendants who filled the tank and washed your windows? Destined for your own personal Smithsonian are cassette tapes and 8-tracks, and perhaps vinyl records, though they appear to be making somewhat of a comeback in recent years thanks to recording artists and purists who yearn for their "warmer" sound vs. CDs.
Other innovations in the last 30 years include:
1. Internet, broadband, World Wide Web (browser and html)
2. PC/laptop computers
3. Mobile phones
5.DNA testing and sequencing/Human genome mapping
6. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
8. Fiber optics
9. Office software (spreadsheets, word processors)
10. Non-invasive laser/robotic surgery (laparoscopy)
11. Open source software and services (e.g., Linux, Wikipedia)
12. Light emitting diodes
13. Liquid crystal display (LCD)
14. GPS systems
15. Online shopping/ecommerce/-auctions (such as eBay)
16. Media file compression (jpeg, mpeg, mp3)
18. Photovoltaic solar energy
19. Large scale wind turbines
20. Social networking via the Internet
21. Graphic user interface (GUI)
22. Digital photography/video-graphy
23. RFID and applications (such as EZ Pass)
24. Genetically modified plants
25. Bio fuels
26. Bar codes and scanners
29. SRAM flash memory
30. Anti retroviral treatment for AIDS
—List compiled by Peggy Fisher