Were the ‘90s the last great decade? It turns out that, while the decade had its share of violence, tragedy, and Pauly Shore movies, there were some things that, one could argue, deserve to be appreciated. Here are nine of them.

What did we miss? Share the reasons you’re grateful for the ’90s in the comments below.

And don’t miss National Geographic Channel’s three-night special event The ’90s: The Last Great Decade? starting Sunday, July 6, at 9P. 



  1. Andy Goss
    July 7, 4:23 am

    “Techno-naysayers were convinced that big computer networks would crash at the stroke of midnight on Jan. 1, 2000, due to an obscure flaw in aging software.”
    Only journalists said that. The Y2K effect would have kicked in long before Jan 2000, screwing up all kinds of financial systems when a date in a year’s time looked like hundred years ago. Anything involving dates spanning the end of century would have produced wierd results. For instance, pre-millenium stock in cold stores would have been passed over for post-millenium stock.
    I first spotted the potential for chaos in 1978 when I became a cub programmer, but my mentor assured me that computer software had a working life of three to five years, and so would have been replaced by the year 2000. He was wrong, and I spent a very profitable couple of years inserting date-fudge code in systems from pension funds to tyre makers. For a while anyone who could spell COBOL was in the money.
    The problem was not so much code as data, initially, in order to minimise magnetic tape storage, dates were held as 6 digits, not 8. Fixing code is expensive, but fixing data is risky, so the job was put off until the last moment, and then mostly not fixed but fudged. The problem has only been postponed, those dates are still 6 digits, but a bit of “windowing” code guesses which century they belong to.
    The sky did not fall, but only through a massive effort by hordes of programmers. Who were then put out of work by the Tech Wreck.