What Google, Twitter, Angry Birds could have looked like in 1980 (video)

What Google, Twitter, Angry Birds could have looked like in 1980 (video)

Summary: Despite Google being only 13 years old, one developer sought to recreate how it might have looked in the 1980's, along with a mockup of Twitter and Angry Birds.


Google, Twitter, and Angry Birds: three of the most popular 'things' in today's world.

But the search engine, the microblogging social network, and the highly addictive game have been born out of a technology made available just over twenty years ago: the Web.

Ten years previous to the Web's inception in 1980 was full of punch-cards and DOS prompts. Having said that, I stumbled into this world eight years later, so I missed out on all the 'fun'.

One retro-loving BASIC developer recreated how Google, Twitter, and Angry Birds would look like in this era gone by, and even made the code available for developers to run.

Twitter, a teenager on the Web at six years old, has 140 million users and over 340 million tweets published on a daily basis.

Angry Birds, a game where you fling chickens into pigs in flimsy-looking structures, was brought out to iOS in 2009. Despite it being less than three years old, it remains one of the most popular franchises on the Web today.

Topics: Google, Social Enterprise

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  • Neat.

    Ram U
  • If deficit spending were invented in 1776

    "The current U.S. national debt is 5 quadrillion dollars. The U.S. is currently spending $500 billion dollars a month more that it takes in in revenues."

    "A number of members of Congress have vowed that if reelected they will propose a balanced budget amendment."
  • Cool

    I'm not actually old enough to full appreciate this joke however...
    Jeff Kibuule
  • Cool

    Interesting twitter like system could have be built using 1980's BBS tech. Nobody had thought of it earlier.
    • twitter like system could have be built using 1980's BBS tech

      It actually was! Many BBS systems operated with FIDONet, which effectively scraped message bases from bulletin board systems, as specified by the SYS-OP's, compacted them, and "rebroadcast" them (tweeted?) to the next group of computers within the network. The next group of computers (at least for the FIDONet group I was involved with) were determined by area codes and calling prefixes, so as to limit the costs to the individual SYS-OP of dialing a toll or long-distance number.

      If you had a 9600 baud modem, you would be designated a larger message packet load, which usually was as "heavy" as 2 or 3 megabytes. Messages which originated in Fresno California where I lived at the time, would take nearly a full business day of doing these short hops across the country to make it to my home state of NJ. In 1991-92 there were 689 individual systems in the particular FIDOnetwork I helped start, and the shortest route across the country was through 118 machines. Each relay call lasted 3-5 minutes with the data transfer and checksum/error correction, so the shortest amount of time for a message to make it from one coast to the other was 5.9 hours.

      The protocol for FIDONet packets were to use hashtags, nearly identical to the ones Twitter uses in order to "find" their way to their destination node within the network and eventually to the specific user.

      Man... these videos sure bring back memories. The good old days of command line computing, 8 inch floppy disks (with a whopping 320k of storage capacity!), and the unshakable belief that we would NEVER use the entire 40Mb on that MFM hard disk which cost $450.00! The thought of having any more than 4Mb of RAM installed on your computer was simply a waste, since Quarterdecks QEMM (Extended Memory Manager) would go wonky addressing anything over 4Mb memory address's.

      How things have changed!
  • Thanks, Zack; great find

    80's Andry Birds is absolutely epic.
  • Fantastic!

    I love the background chirping modem / cracking floppy disk sound in the videos!

    Sounds so vintage!

    Thanks for sharing, Zack!