Nothing makes me feel old like thinking about that one game I downloaded in the 90s

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 2 min read
Nothing makes me feel old like thinking about that one game I downloaded in the 90s

Back in the mid to late 90s there was this game I wanted to play. It was only available online, so I had to download it, of course. I forget what the game was called, but it was supposed to be pretty cutting edge for the time. As a Mac owner, I knew most games didn’t work on my computer, but it wasn’t clear to childhood me if this one would or not.

But questions weren’t the issue, the download size was: this game was 40MB!

I had to find a download manager that could pause downloads because there was no way I was going to be able to tie up the phone line for so many hours just to download this game. I started the download using what must have been a sketchy download manager, pausing and resuming it many times over the course of 3 or 4 days. It finally completed, only for me to find out it was an EXE file and it wasn’t going to work on my Mac.

Days of effort and anticipation for a file that wouldn’t even work.

Anyway, I just download Forza Motorsport on my gaming PC. The game was 118GB and took about 15 minutes to download and install. It’s basically 3,000x the data downloaded in like 1/20th the time.

The marketing page for the iPhone 15 Pro is 72MB and it loads basically instantly.

Bonus story

I started my second year of college in 2005 and I dormed with 3 of my friends, one of which brought a USB thumb drive that they got over the summer. The drive had 1GB of storage and it seemed like absolute overkill. It cost a bit over $100 and it was the only thumb drive we’d seen that could hold an entire ripped DVD, which happened to be about 700MB. Something known for academic purposes.

We called it “the gig stick” which wasn’t exactly something we normally did for gadgets, but this was so novel we felt compelled to for this one.

Anyway, you can get a 64GB thumb drive from Target for $10 right now.

If you’re young and reading this, just know whatever you think is really cool and cutting edge today will sound like absolute lunacy to people 20 years from now.