Blockbuster, Dial-Up And Friendster: 8 Ways Technology Has Changed Since 2002

25/09/2015 20:24 | Updated 25 September 2015

Shaker Aamer is to be released this week, after arriving at Guantanamo Bay in 2002, the Government announced on Friday.

He spent more than 13 years incarcerated in the top-secret American jail, but vast changes in technology since his confinement go some way toward highlighting the challenge of reintroducing offenders back into society after long periods spent in isolation.

And other prisoners have spoken out about the plight of being reintroduced to technology - both new and old.

Michael Santos, an inmate for over 25 years until his release in 2013, wrote of his experience: "After solving the first hurdle of learning how to drive again, I’ve had to immerse myself in technology that did not exist before my prison term began. I’ve learned about the Internet, about social media, about how to send an email or use an iPhone."

While technology played a role in everyday life in 2002, it did so in much less accessible ways than today.

Here are eight ways things have changed...

  • Blockbuster Video Was A Thing
    AP Photo/Ron Heflin
    In 2002, Blockbuster Video was a $5.5bn business. Today, it's bankrupt.

    The company had its chance to purchase a fledgling subscription business named 'Netflix', but it declined...
  • Apple Released Its Second iPod
    Apple introduced the second generation iPod, compatible with Windows and holding up to 4,000 songs. Number of devices sold in 2002? 600,000.

    The number of iPhones, which do everything today the original iPod did and quite a bit more, sold in 2014 was 169 million.
  • It Took 12 and a Half Minutes To Download A Song
    Just ONE SONG. Now, Spotify means that you can stream 4 songs in that time. Instantly. And downloading takes around 18 seconds.
  • Friendster Was The Biggest Social Network
    The Washington Post via Getty Images
    With a whopping 3 million users.

    Facebook now has over a billion.
  • The Latest Apple Gadget Had 700MHz Of Power
    Dan Krauss via Getty Images
    The iMac G4 was unveiled at Macworld January 7, 2002 in San Francisco, CA. The redesigned computer has a floating 15-inch LCD flat screen allowing users one-touch adjustment, a 700 MHz or 800 MHz PowerPC G4 processor and the SuperDrive for playing and burning CDs and DVDs starting at $1,299(US).
  • Wikipedia Was Just One Year Old
    Having launched just a year earlier, in 2002 Wikipedia had just 19,700 articles.

    There's now 4.9 million.
  • Xbox Had Only Just Been Released In Europe
    David McNew via Getty Images
    Having been released to the US in November 2001, it would take three months before the model would be shipped to Europe and Japan.
  • CRT TVs Outsold Flat Screen Models
    Justin Sullivan via Getty Images
    'CRT tube' television outsold thinner 'flat screen' models every year until 2007. So displays like this one were fairly common.
  • People Used Internet Cafes
    Mario Tama via Getty Images
    Internet cafés were a big thing, occupying huge spaces in central locations in cities across the world.

    You used to pay by the minute or the hour, in case you happened to be living under a rock during the early noughties.

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