Thursday, March 19, 2009

84' randomness

A fun look back at our world as it was in 1984:

The Apple Macintosh was introduced at a price of $2,495. Remember the first ad?

IBM introduced it's PC-AT (Advanced Technology) with an 80286 processor running at 6 MHz. Optional was the 80287 mathematical coprocessor and a 20 MB hard drive. The 386 processor was still one year away.

Dell sold its first computers out of a college dorm room.

On your new Dell or IBM PC-AT you could run the first versions of Microsoft Windows (introduced November 1983) and Microsoft Word for MS-DOS 1.0 (introduced September 1983). The latest version of DOS was 2.0.

There were approximately 1,000 hosts on the Internet.

Sony Corporation introduced a 3.5 inch diskette that would soon make "floppy" computer disks obsolete.

The term cyberspace is coined by William Gibson in his novel "Neuromancer"

Red M&M's were still 3 years away from their return.

AT&T was broken up into the regional 'Baby Bells'. For the first time, there was a difference between your local and long distance phone company.

Mass marketing of cellular phones to the general public started. It was considered a technical marvel by which people could reach into their pockets, then simply make a call to someone - anywhere in the world. This new wireless gadget was bulky, expensive to operate and seemed like just another toy on the wish list of those who had lots of money.

Motorola introduced its 28-ounce "DynaTAC" cellular phone into commercial service late in 1983; Each phone cost a whopping $3,500. It wasn't until 1990 when there were a million cellular subscribers in the United States.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened the year at 1252.74 and closed at 1211.57.

Chrysler introduced America to the Minivan.

Lee Iacocca had the most popular nonfiction book of the year with "Iacocca: An Autobiography"

General Motors acquired Electronic Data Systems.

In June, the average price for a gallon of unleaded gas in the US was $1.19.

The average price of a new U.S. single-family house tops $101,000 in May, crossing the six-figure mark for the first time.

U.S. economic growth rises at rate of 6.8 percent, the highest since 1951. The Soviet economy, with grain harvests below target, grows by only 2.6 percent, its lowest since World War II. The U.S. inflation rate, 3.7 percent, is the lowest since 1967. But U.S. budget and trade deficits rise to record levels, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development reports on May 1st that 250,000 to 350,000 Americans are homeless.

Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India, was assassinated late in 1984.

Researchers for the first time positively identified the virus that leads to AIDS.

Ronald Reagan was re-elected to his second term as US President, defeating Walter Mondale. In an historic move, Mondale selected Representaive Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate, the first time a woman appeared on the ticket for vice president.

Astronauts Bruce McCandless II and Robert L. Stewart made the first untethered space walk.

Clara Peller is featured in the "Where's the Beef?" commercial campaign for Wendy's for the first time.

Trivial Pursuit revived the board-game industry. Developed by a Canadian entrepreneur, the game is introduced in U.S. stores and records sales of $777 million during 1984.

Game show contestant Michael Larson won $110,237 on "Press Your Luck" after he memorized the computer-generated patterns used by the game's board. His winnings were the highest ever by a single contestant on a network game show and caused CBS a lot of embarrassment.

After telling his wife he was going "hunting for humans", James Huberty shoots 40 people at a McDonald's in San Ysidro, California. He kills 21 people before he was shot to death by police.

Vanessa Williams becomes the first Miss America to resign when she surrenders her crown after nude photos of her appeared in "Penthouse" magazine.

Coleman Young, in his 11th year as major of Detroit, faced controversy with the bribery and fraud convictions of Water Department Director Charles Beckham and Darralyn Bowers, a close friend. In September he admitted that city employees goofed by allowing 284 tons of federal surplus food to spoil.

Michael Jackson's hair caught on fire during the shooting of a Pepsi commercial.

Motown legend Marvin Gaye was killed by his father in a domestic dispute.

The Cosby Show first debuted on NBC.

The first infomercials appear on TV due to deregulation by the FCC.

While working at WNBC-AM New York, Howard Stern appears on 'Late Night with David Letterman' in June. The appearance launched Stern into the national spotlight and gave his radio show unprecedented exposure.

Hit Songs of 1984
1. "Owner of a Lonely Heart" ... Yes
2. "Karma Chamelon" ... Culture Club
3. "Jump" ... Van Halen
4. "Footloose" ... Kenny Loggins
5. "Against All Odds" ... Phil Collins
6. "Hello" ... Lionel Richie
7. " Let's Hear It For the Boy" ... Deniece Williams
8. "Time After Time" ... Cindy Lauper
9. "The Reflex" ... Duran Duran
10. "When Doves Cry" ... Prince
11. "Like a Virgin" ... Madonna

Number 1 albums of 1984
1. "Footloose" ... Soundtrack
2. "Sports" ... Huey Lewis and the News
3. "Born in the U.S.A." ... Bruce Springsteen
4. "Purple Rain" ... Prince

Top Ten Movies of 1984
1. Beverly Hills Cop
2. Footloose
3. Ghostbusters
4. Gremlins
5. The Terminator
6. The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes
7. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
8. The Karate Kid
9. The Natural
10. Police Academy

Most Popular Television Shows of 1984
1. Dynasty (ABC)
2. Dallas (CBS)
3. The Cosby Show (NBC)
4. 60 Minutes (CBS)
5. Family Ties (NBC)
6. The A-Team (NBC)
7. Simon & Simon (CBS)
8. Murder, She Wrote (CBS)
9. Knots Landing (CBS)
10. Falcon Crest (CBS)

1984 Academy Award winners
Best Picture: "Amadeus"
Best Director: Milos Forman ... "Amadeus"
Best Actor: F. Murray Abraham ... "Amadeus"
Best Actress: Sally Field ... "Places in the Heart"

1984 Grammy Award winners
Record of the Year: "What's Love Got To Do With It?" ... Tina Turner
Song of the Year: "What's Love Got To Do With It?" ...Graham Lyle, Terry Britten
Best Album: "Can't Slow Down" ... Lionel Richie
Male Vocalist: Phil Collins ... "Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)"
Female Vocalist: Tina Turner ... "What's Love Got To Do With It?"

The Winter Olympics were held in Sarajevo.

The Summer Olympics were held in Los Angeles. The Soviet Union boycotted the games, claiming security concerns.

The Detroit Tigers won the World Series in 5 games over the San Diego Padres. Alan Trammell was named as the Series MVP.

The Los Angeles Raiders defeated the Washington Redskins 38 - 9 in Super Bowl XVIII.

The Boston Celtics defeated the Los Angeles Lakers for the NBA title in 7 games. It was the first time Larry Bird and Magic Johnson faced off against each other in the Finals.

The Wayne Gretzky-led Edmonton Oilers won their first Stanley Cup, defeating the New York Islanders in 5 games and ending the Islanders run of 4 straight Stanley Cups.

Steve Yzerman was the Red Wings selection in the 1983 entry draft, the 4th player selected overall. In the 1983-84 NHL season, his first with the Wings, Yzerman played in all 80 games tallying 39 goals and 48 assists to lead all NHL rookies. In 1986, Yzerman was named as Captain of the Red Wings.

Miami of Florida won the 1983 college football National Championship, Georgetown won the 1984 Men's basketball National Championship.

The Detroit Grand Prix was in its third year.

I-696 was still 5 years from its final completion.

For people born in 1984
1. They can't remember when a Southerner or Texan wasn't President.
2. Richard Burton, Ricky Nelson and Truman Capote have always been dead.
3. South Africa's official policy of apartheid has not existed during their lifetime.
4. New cars have always had eye-level rear stop lights, CD players, and air bags.
5. They have always been able to choose their long distance carriers.
6. Weather reports have always been available 24-hours a day on television.
7. The "evil empire" moved from Moscow to a setting in some distant galaxy.
8. Big Brother is merely a television show.
9. Cyberspace has always existed.
10. Bruce Springsteen's hit, Born in the USA, could have been played to celebrate their birth.
11. Barbie has always had a job.
12. Telephone bills have always been totally incomprehensible.
13. Prom dresses have always come in basic black.
14. A "Hair Band" is some sort of fashion accessory.
15. George Foreman has always been a barbecue grill salesman.
16. Afghanistan has always been a front page story.
17. There has always been an heir to the heir to the British throne.
18. They have no recollection of Connie Chung or Geraldo Rivera as serious journalists.
19. Peter Jennings, Dan Rather, and Tom Brokaw have always anchored the evening news.
20. China has always been a market-based reforming regime.
21. The United States has always been trying to put nuclear waste in Nevada.
22. The U.S. and the Russians have always been partners in space.
23. Mrs. Fields' cookies and Swatch watches have always been favorites.
24. Nicolas Cage, Daryll Hannah, Eddie Murphy, and John Malkovich made their first major filmimpressions the year they were born.
25. The GM make Saturn has always been on the road.
26. The "Fab Four" are not a male rock group, but four women enjoying Sex and the City.
27. Fox has always been a television network choice.
28. Males do not carry a handkerchief in a back pocket.
29. This generation has never wanted to "be a Pepper too."
30. Ozzy's lifestyle has nothing to do with the Nelson family.
31. Women have always had tattoos.
32. Vanessa Williams and Madonna are aging singers.
33. Perrier has always come in flavors.
34. Cherry Coke has always come in cans.
35. A "hotline" is a consumer service rather than a phone used to avoid accidental nuclear war.
36. The drug "ecstasy" has always been around.
37. Genetic testing and DNA screening have always been available.
38. Electronic filing of federal income taxes has always been an option.
39. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) has always been available to doctors.
40. Trivial Pursuit may have been played by their parents the night before they were born.
41. The U.S. has always maintained that it has a "clear right to use force against terrorism."
42. The drinking age has always been 21 throughout the country.
43. Women have always been members of the Jaycees.
44. The center of chic has shifted from Studio 54 to Liza's living room, live!
45. Julian Lennon had his only hit the year they were born.
46. Sylvan Learning Centers have always been an after-school option.
47. Hip-hop and rap have always been popular musical forms.
48. They grew up in minivans.
49. Scientists have always recognized the impact of acid rain.
50. The Coen Brothers have always been making films.

And in 1984, perhaps it was "Too Soon to Tell"...
1. Technology analysts questioned the need for briefcase-sized computers.
2. The National Children and Youth Fitness Study announced that children were overweight and underactive.
3. A CPA organization heralded that computerized audit systems were being used to avoid errors and they were doing much better at spotting mistakes and providing internal audit controls.
4. Film critics declared that George Lucas was looking for new directions because Star Wars interest was waning.
5. Videotape technology was said to be killing the film industry and slowing cable network development.
6. Analysts stated there was no market for Direct Broadcast Satellite systems.
7. The U.S. Supreme Court declared sleeping to be a form of free speech.

Born in 1984
- Mandy Moore, singer, actress
- America Ferrera, actress
- Prince Harry of Wales, English prince
- Avril Lavigne, singer
- Delta Goodrem, actress, singer
- Jena Malone, actress

Died in 1984
- Johnny Weissmuller, American swimmer and actor. Most prominent as Tarzan.
- Yuri Andropov, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
- Ethel Merman, singer, actress
- Ansel Adams, American photographer
- Count Basie, musician, composer
- Andy Kaufman, comedian, actor

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