The Future Was Yesterday

Eyewitness Future coverThe Future

Submitter: Any book that attempts to predict the future as seen from my high school years is at best laughable, at worst a bit suspect. If this one still circulated – if nothing but so the kids could laugh at people’s guesses on future technology – I’d keep it, but it hasn’t left the library in twelve years. It’s time for this one to go.

Holly: This was published in 1998? Some of the things pictured (below) seem like they existed in 1998. The flip-style cell phone, for example. I think I had one of those in 1998, or very shortly after. Also, some of the examples in the book are written in present tense, like the disc and mini cassette in the first picture below.  If you’re talking about the present, it’s not the future! Regardless, much of what’s in this book are now in the past.

Giant mobile phone

Video conferencing

Environmentally friendly

portable telephones

Your Personal Internet

Flip phone

Palm-top computer

recording on CDs



    1. The one on the copyright page? The caption says “Millennium Tower, Tokyo”. The other long pointy thing below the telephone is the Concorde.

    2. Millennium Tower, Tokyo. No surprise you don’t recognise it, it was never actually built.

  1. I’ve still got a Psion stashed away in a drawer! I was rather fond of it back in the day. Dorling Kindersley books are still OK in schools for history, animals etc, but agree – this one has to go!

  2. Someone on this site once said anyone who still owns a Walkman is a huge loser, or something to that effect. I still have a Walkman that plays tapes that I bought on clearance back in the early 2000’s, and I still listen to it, and if you gave me an mp3 I wouldn’t have a clue how to make it work. Thanks a lot for making feel like a huge loser, as if I didn’t know that already. I also still own a VCR. Ouch.

    1. I still use a VCR, too. And an answering machine.

      If it ain’t broke, no need to add it to a landfill.

      1. No longer have my VCR, but still have an answering machine. Still have my CD player from 1991 with a cassette player component.

    2. We still have VHS and VCR’s in my library! (sting)

      At least we now have the database Films on Demand, which helps, but even after weeding half the video collection last year, over 90-95% of the physical video collection is VHS. We just don’t have the funds to replace it all, and things are going to streaming videos anyway.

      We looked at possibly converting them all over to DVD, but was probably more headaches than was worth it, from a legal standpoint. We already have the capability to convert VHS to DVD’s.

  3. I’m going to go out on a limb and say there won’t be any people landing on Mars this year.

  4. I actually own this book and yeah, it is woefully out of date at this point. But, of course, when it’s 1998 and you’re 10 years old and love the Eyewitness books like nobody’s business, you’re going to think it’s the coolest thing ever.

    I still kind of want the fuzzy/flocked robopets they have in the eighth picture down. Way cuter than Furbies and Pleos.

  5. I *LOVED* Eyewitness books. There’s a shelf in my personal library that has things extremely dated that I keep so I can read about what was once.

  6. Hey! We have less than 6 months to get to Mars!!! Let’s get busy! And it would only take 2 years to travel there, or there abouts.

    1. That’s ok, because according to the list the invention of time travel could happen at any time…

  7. I wish I could read the words on the Environmentally Friendly page. Looks really interesting, and am curious how accurate, or not, they were.

  8. Dorling Kindersley celebrated its 40th anniversary at ALA14. The commemorative tote bag and the Eyewitness commemorative journal are in the big box of stuff that I shipped home from the conference.

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