Retro software experts Squirrel Monkey look back a series of fictitious programs from the late 1980s that were designed to help people talk to the dead and predict the future. Early PC software was apparently way creepier than we remember it. And yes, we know the World Wide Web didn’t actually start until 1989.
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We already know what Siri might have been like back in the 1980s, now Squirrel Monkey imagines another virtual assistant existed during a time when voice synthesis and voice recognition were in their infancy. We love how it uses a cassette recorder to download songs from Amazon Music.
For many of us, working from home means countless videoconferences, with Zoom being the most popular choice for big team meetings. Continuing their Wonders of the World Wide Web series, Squirrel Monkey looks back at what life might have been like if Zoom came out in 1988, and required a special dial-up adapter box to work.
Back in the 1990s, the way for people to easily build their own websites was with services like GeoCities. But Squirrel Monkey is here to imagine that a graphical web-building tool like Wix was also around to give Yahoo!’s service a run for its money, complete with MIDI sounds, background textures, and “Under Construction” GIFs.
The guys at Squirrel Monkey offer up a 1980s style training video for the fictitious Department of Time Travel, envisioning a world in which the government started to develop a time machine back in the 1940s, and eventually unleashed it on human subjects after a series of failures and animal tests.
“Some games even require a Pentium microprocessor!” Google’s Stadia streaming game service hasn’t exactly been off to a great start. But that didn’t stop Squirrel Monkey from envisioning how much worse it would have been had it been released sometime around 1995, cranking out 320×240 graphics at 6 fps.
WeTransfer is one of the most popular file sharing services out there. But what would it have been like back in the early days of the Internet, and 3.5″ floppies were still a thing? Leave it to the guys at Squirrel Monkey to explore that alternative past with their typically dry humor.
Retro parody specialists Squirrel Monkey simultaneously poke fun at flat-earthers and other conspiracy theorists with this hilarious fake VHS tape that postulates that we live on a pyramid-shaped planet that was created by aliens, and operated by a secret Apple HQ at the top of the structure.
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