Gartner Hype Cycles are good for at least three things: identifying technologies that are still under the radar, taking a look back at stuff that was hyped up in the past but didn't go anywhere, and explaining to your parents what it is that you do as an emerging media strategist.
Besides, they illustrate this wonderful quote from David Brooks's "Lord of the Meme" column in NYTimes: "In order to cement your status in the cultural elite, you want to be already sick of everything no one else has even heard of."
These graphs also provide good fodder for thinking about how media consumption would change if any of the pre-hype technologies reached mass adoption.
After catching the 2008 graph on Techcrunch a few days ago, I hit up Google image search for earlier versions. (You can also buy Gartner's original reports, but at close to $2,000 apiece they are beyond this blog's budget). Below is what I've found. You will see that some of the technologies don't make it into the later versions of the graph; I think it's because these are Garther's charts for different tech sectors. Click on images to zoom in.
If you have graphs for the missing years, please comment or drop me a line.
Sources: Dave Chaffey, this blog, Techcrunch, SAPDesignGuild, Gartner, Guardian