Ah, the 90s - the good old days! While the technological advancements that have taken place in the last couple of years have most certainly made our lives easier, there was something magical about growing up in the past millennia. For instance, there was nothing more rewarding than finally watching that movie that took three days to download or to successfully figure out how to best care for a cute Tamagotchi. And while these little hacks have no use today, they were once essential for some of the best moments from our childhood.
Though computer mice look pretty different today, when they were first introduced, they came with tiny rubber balls that determined the mouse pointer’s position. And while this might seem outdated, people were able to resolve most of their mouse problems with a simple hack. If the mouse was slow or was operating weirdly, all that a person had to do was flip it over, carefully take out the ball and clean it thoroughly.
Younger generations might know about the existence of CDs, but they are probably unaware of the hustle around burning a CD. Today, we have platforms such as Spotify, iTunes, and Youtube, but back in the '90s, most of us had to burn CDs in our computers so that we could have all of our favorite artists in one place. A hack that would help this process go smoothly was to close all other programs so that we wouldn't get an error message while burning the CD.
Here’s the thing, downloading music or movies on our computers used to be the biggest hustle ever. The internet wasn’t as quick and effective as it is today, with most of us being able to stream or download whatever we are looking for in a matter of seconds. In the '90s, it could literally take up to 24 hours to download a movie. So a smart trick would be to start the download just before going to sleep so that we could wake up with the final product downloaded.
Back in the '90s, the best way to communicate with someone while we were out and about would be via payphone. Payphones were easily found, but they cost 25 cents. So if a person didn’t have a quarter on them, the best hack was to dial 1-800-Collect, say something random in gibberish when they asked for the caller’s name, and hope that the person on the other side would think it was an emergency, therefore accepting the charge themselves.
There is something very nostalgic about going to a Blockbuster and browsing around to find the next movie we were going to watch. But the thing about getting a rental was that just after two days the person was supposed to return the film. Some regular renters might know that with a small trick, the real return deadline could be the third day. If a movie was rented in the evening, returning it in the morning of the third day was perfectly acceptable.
This hack applies much more to minor accidents but was a total life savior back then. Many people kept a disposable camera in their glove boxes for a brilliant reason. If the person ever got into an accident, they could take out the camera, document the entire accident situation, and then show it to the insurance company to make the process much smoother. While this is quickly done with smartphones these days, back then, the disposable camera was a great solution.
Prank calling was a huge deal back in the days, with teenagers and even some adults spending entire afternoons prank calling random people. Because there were no caller IDs on the old phones, people would almost always pick up. But many might not know that if they hit *69, they would be able to call back the same person that had just called. This meant that people could literally prank the prankster back, or just give them a piece of their mind.
SimCity was a huge thing back in the '90s, with people spending hours playing the game on their computers. For those who have no idea what SimCity is, a good way of picturing it is by thinking about Facebook's CityVille but in a much lower-tech version. The rich person hack was basically made of a code that would get you 50,000 extra Simoleans (the game's currency). The hack was shared by word of mouth, and only the pros knew about it.
While most people’s cars today have much more advanced radios, keeping the old school radio protected was extremely important back in the days. Robbers would very often steal car radios since they were so valuable. So people learned pretty fast that the best way to protect the radio from being stolen would be to either hide it somewhere in the car or take it to wherever the person went to instead of leaving it prone to being stolen.
The Tamagotchi was all the rage in the 90s, becoming a worldwide phenomenon for kids and teenagers. The little egg with a tiny screen and three buttons allowed the player to raise and take care of the cute pet, by cleaning it, feeding it and playing with it. A typical hack used by players was to click on A and C simultaneously to get a new egg when the Tamagotchi would fly off.