In 1999, the last year of an innovative century, people were worried about Y2K and getting ready to usher in the new millennium. While Barbie was celebrating her 40th birthday and the planet's population was exceeding six billion, the great and creative minds of the time were coming up with some pretty interesting things.
The Blackberry 850 was released in 1999. It was a like a mobile pager with e-mail capabilities (often known as a PDA, or personal digital assistant) that was powered by two AA batteries. Though cellphone use was not widespread at that point, the phone offered a number of useful business feature like corporate data access, an organiser, calendar, paging, and wireless Internet.
Bluetooth 1.0 was introduced in 1999. Bluetooth was designed to allow small electronic devices to communicate without wires. Until Bluetooth was invented, phones, computers and PDAs had to connect to a headset with a cable. Bluetooth 1.0 was not without its problems, many users had difficulty syncing their devices with the system.
Macintosh released the iBook to offer a consumer-friendly portable computer. The iBook was shaped like a clam shell with a tough plastic exterior and rubber trim. According to the applegazette.com, the iBook was the first mainstream computer to have an internal wireless network. The iBook came in two bright, colourful designs of either blue and white or orange and white.
Napster was created by a college dropout named Shawn Fanning. The online program allowed users to share and trade files using a centralised server. The file-sharing program he designed led to quite an outrage within the record industry and ultimately The Recording Industry of America sued Napster for copyright infringement.