Sitting here at the tail end of a vast, sweeping recession, it may feel grim out there. There's a good reason for that: it is. But for the technology industry, few collapses cut deeper than the dotcom bust that really hit crisis point in 2001.
That year was a defining moment for so many reasons: the attacks on September 11th were not only horrifying to witness (as millions of us did) but they have also warped the world's political outlook ever since. Not only that, but thousands of people lost their jobs as the economy plunged, struck by the double whammy of the bust and the general climate of fear.
Personally, it was a time of transition. I got my first national newspaper byline (I think it was ). It was the kind of story that told me something fundamental about the web: that the evolution we were seeing online was one that mirrored human nature, even at its most avaricious... and that meant it was where real life was starting to happen.
So, continuing our , it's time to cast our eyes over the top stories of the second year of our round-up.
• Barely a day went by without news of one dotcom company or another going bust. Literally: , closures were happening at the rate of more than one every 24 hours.
The dotcom crash was documented not only in our pages, but also in magazines like the Industry Standard - . One article in March described the climate as , while Duncan Campbell took to the streets of San Francisco to .
• Apple which had been in the doldrums for some time, started finding its way out of the woods once it early in the year. And how the company needed it: US sales had already fallen by 40% and Steve Jobs was struggling to make profit with its iMac and Cube computers.
• Early in 2001, the knives were out for Microsoft in a big way. The judge who ordered the breakup of the company labelled Bill Gates , while. A long serialised profile of Gates by Ken Auletta described him as a . And yet the Microsoft juggernaut continued: (listed in an article with the eerily prescient title of "Vista expands for Bill's window on the world") and by the end of the year the company had stretched out into yet another field by .
The company ended up , thanks in part to Auletta's reporting, and we scanned over the which appeared to exist in the form of Linux, RealNetworks, AOL and Netscape. My, that wasn't how things turned out, was it?
• With internet access and mobile phones beginning their incessant rise in the public's consciousness, discovered that 41% of us were regular texters. A survey by Oftel later that year (dial-up access, of course).
• And while September 11 was responsible for a lot of horrific things, the was among the most stunning. A number of bloggers documented the strikes on the World Trade Center - and a brand of hawkish political tirade began to establish itself as a recognisable force in blogging. In the US, politicians pushed through a series of draconian monitoring and enforcement laws known as , while Britain began to realise the breadth of things that the recently-enacted Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act granted.
Tomorrow it's time for 2002 - but if you've got any memories of the crash, or anything else you were doing in 2001, then leave them in the comments.