Home » Computers » Some of the Best Things

Some of the Best Things

If you had suggested to me, even ten years ago, that I might become an avid reader of Popular Mechanics, I’d have laughed uproariously. Articles on things mechanical, cars, even the geekier side of electronic, wouldn’t have been of much interest.

Now when the online magazine is delivered to my inbox I can’t wait to see what’s in the issue. Take this latest offering:

– The Digital Trickery Behind These Russian “Tanks”

– This Peugot Hatch is More Jet Engine Than Car

– Terminator’s 35 Year Struggle With Time Travel

– How Cannibal Ants Escaped from a Nuclear Bunker

– Everything You Need to Know About the Sun

General regular departments include:

– Technology

– Cars

– Tools

– Defense

– Camping Guide

Ok, it’s a little geeky, but I admit to finding something to love in each department – including cars. But more than that, the magazine offers tips, tricks, and merchandise testing that even the least techie among us will find helpful. If you need buying advice on the best new vacuum cleaner, or to spot a quick sale on a refurbished Mac; to get a brief history of the skyscraper, or to understand why “Old Town Road” was the longest running single of all time (if you haven’t, take the time to listen – and watch), it’s all there, and lots and lots more.

What got me started, however, was an article entitled “The 50 Most Important Websites of All Time.” Needless to say, I had to find out what their opinion was, and determine whether I agreed or not. Digging in was an experience in Internet Time Travel. Go back to 1993 when AOL was launched – and remember how it felt when you dialed in and were greeted with “You’ve got mail!” Such excitement. Did you realize that it was 1994 when Amazon first started selling books – and quickly added other merchandise? I never could quite understand how perfectly they anticipated what I’d want to read next, but I quickly came to trust their judgement. And now, of course, I get a package or two a day and the UPS delivery person and I are best friends.

eBay and Match.com were both “born” in 1995, and offered a similar service (that’s a joke, of course …); Craigslist challenged the local Pennysaver as well as the national classifieds in 1996; and that same year Hotmail changed email from an ISP based, paid service to a free web application. And in 1998, Google changed the world as we know it – at least, online.

I won’t travel back in time with you the entire 50 websites worth. Some of the sites are still with us, and some have either become obsolete or lost their audience. If you’ve been with the Internet for the entire trip —from Cern’s 1990 World Wide Web on— it’s definitely worth a look. And a reason to get you to take a look at Popular Mechanics. Enjoy!


Nancy Roberts