The year was 1990. The Hubble Space Telescope had just been launched, Microsoft released Windows 3.0, and Sinéad O'Connor wanted you to know that "Nothing Compares 2 U." In addition, Adobe released Photoshop 1.0, starting the revolution.
I have a weird fascination with technology of the past. Maybe it's because I grew up with it, but it was a time when everything was marvelous and novel, and we didn't expect groundbreaking advances on the daily. I think it also gives me an appreciation for how far we've come in a relatively short time, as is demonstrated by this video. It's particularly cool to see early versions of tools we still use 27 years later and to hear John Knoll speak about the seminal program he created along with his brother, Thomas. Knoll's demonstrates shows off both the power of even the first version of the program and the cleverness it took to take full advantage of said power. Notice how he selects the water in the landscape shot using a manual channel subtraction, whereas these days, we might simply select a color range, then refine and feather our selection. It's clever, but it also gives me a huge appreciation for how relatively simple the tools have become in terms of their power.