Party Like It’s 1991

Party like it’s 1991: The Austin Marathon returns to Freescale.

After a few years of absence, it’s great to see the Austin Marathon returning to Freescale. We helped found the race back in 1991 and produced it until 2006. A lot has happened between now and then, but it’s also easy to see how much has stayed the same.

Let’s admit it; the 90s were a strange time. People parted their hair down the middle, boy bands roamed the earth, and the internet made strange noises every time you went online. But as silly as it was, the world was changing rapidly. Technology was booming, and nobody knew what would happen next. And as different as the world was, there is a lot happening in technology right now that reflects that time. In fact, it’s hard to think of something big in 1991 that doesn’t have a modern equivalent.


Don’t believe me? Take a look at a few big moments in 1991 and their current equivalents:

  • Tech got portable

Apple released their first laptop line. The PowerBook family, with an AIM alliance CPU designed in part by Motorola, dreamed that maybe one day technology could be something that moved with the customer, leaving the office and entering into daily life. Today, Freescale makes parts for smart watches with more powerful processors. Wearable technology is proof that the dream came true and is now moving into territory previously considered impossible.

  • The gaming industry grew more competitive

The Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo went head-to-head in one of the first major consol wars. With a Motorola 68000 CPU in the Genesis, we were right there, pushing the dream that maybe entertainment could an interactive experience. Today the Xbox One and the PS4 usher in next chapter in the consol wars. The Xbox One controller contains a Freescale Kinetis microcontroller. Only this time, the video game business is not some small niche market; it is a massive global industry.

  • The world became connected

1991 was also the year where the World Wide Web reached the public. This wild, impractical idea became a reality when CERN labs posted the first public webpage in history. After that, the world would never be the same. The World Wide Web has changed everything we do from the offices we work in to the way we connect with our friends and family. Today, experts foresee another revolution, where every object in the world is connected and communicating. It’s called the Internet of Things, and it’s kind of a big deal for Freescale, since we are leading the movement. If things go as planned, it’s going to make the changes we saw in the 1990s look tame.


So, what comes next?

There is always something new, something on the tip of everyone’s tongue that requires a whole bunch of smart people to become a reality. That’s why the Austin Marathon is returning just in time. We’ll be leveraging our sponsorship to support the Freescale Foundation this year, which supports STEM education in grades K-12. With all the great things that have happened in these past years, just imagine what these kids could do with a little bit of support. My guess is by the time they’re done with us, we’ll look way sillier than 1991 does now.

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