Rewind to 2004
Web – Mozilla Firefox 1.0
Why had no one thought of tabbed browsing before? It was genius. Even so, it took Firefox seven years and the help of Google’s Chrome to topple Microsoft’s dominant Internet Explorer in Europe.
Gadget – iPod Mini
The first-gen iPod Mini hit the market with enough juice for about eight hours of music and could fit 1000 songs at 128kbps on its 4GB hard drive. It may have been short-lived, but it was a revolution.
Email – Gmail
Back in the day, Google was just a search engine. Then it launched free email with 1GB (or “a whole gigabyte!” as it was known in 2004) of storage. It made Yahoo’s 4MB and Hotmail’s 2MB seem paltry and, naturally enough, it was searchable, too.
Album – Scissor Sisters, Scissor Sisters
If there’s such a thing as a musical wink, Scissor Sisters burned through a lifetime of them on their debut album, a tour of poppy disco that had its tongue wedged so firmly into its cheek it convinced 2004 it was cool and sold a million and a half copies.
Game – Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
GTA was no stranger to potshots from the conservative press, but with San Andreas it upped the ante with the sexually explicit “Hot Coffee” Easter Egg minigame. Needless to say, it became the highest-selling game of all time on its native console, PlayStation 2.
Film – Sideways
Although The Incredibles and Shrek 2 were showing off the then unbelievable rendering power of modern graphics cards, Sideways showed us that boring old stuff like a well-shot chronological narrative, a good script and a decent cast could still out-dazzle fancy CGI. Sales of Merlot have never recovered.