Well, part of the answer is in your question. If you don't want all the technical information, and the explanations of why things are, just skip to the last section, then look for explanation as needed.
Let's go over individual parts.
The novel was written in 1992
First, the year 1992. In 1992, information was rather limited. There was no way to search the internet (the first fully text based search service came out in 1994), and the Internet was still brand new (to the public). Online communities were still in their really early phases. Even in existing online communities, something a few years away may not have been known about yet. In short, it could be very difficult to know about up-and-coming technologies back then.
With the Internet (and everywhere else) now, you have several sources and tools at your fingertips, which you can use to make predictions about technology advances (or even make them up). There's a pretty major contrast between what information you could find then and what you can find now (as well as the difficulty of finding such information).
However, this leaves the question of what you need to do unanswered. It merely provides some explanation on how much easier it will be now.
Near future (mid-21st century)
Regarding near-future, there are obviously going to be some things that simply aren't that advanced. Even today, there are some industries that are years behind others in terms of what they could be now. It's simply because that hasn't been the focus.
Depending on just how far in the future "near future" is (10-minutes-into-the-future alternate world, or 25 years down the line?), you can get away with variable amounts of stuff.
no "tech failure" that eliminated them. [No explanation as to why it's that primitive]
I think the short answer is that as long as you can provide an adequate explanation for why certain technology is as advanced (or as archaic) as it is, you can maintain an adequate suspension of disbelief. It's apparent that the author of the book you read failed in that respect.
Now for my own addition
As a science fiction author (not published yet - still working on my book), here's my advice. Look at the big picture as well as the many individual small pictures. On top of that, know the limitations of certain technologies (and perhaps even research). Knowing the limitations allows you to manipulate them or even make subtle indications as to why something isn't as advanced as one might expect.
Using the tools you have available can help you get a good idea of what might be coming up, and this can make it easier to make certain advancements (or non-advancements) seem logical. Looking at the big picture allows you to make adjustments to the technologies and also see why something might not be as advanced. Knowing limitations will allow you to bend the rules, or even give strict adherence to the rules, but with slightly unrealistic advances (such as something that would normally be 25 years ahead of its time in your book's world). Combining these techniques allows you to make minor stretches in several of the fields.
I suppose you want to make sure there aren't any anachronisms. One easy way is to just not mention technology that isn't critical to the story. You can also use existing ideas, with your own touch. The fewer things you have to explain, the fewer things you have to worry about.
If you're into adding a bit of a comedic spin, you can even lampshade the fact that something's not as advanced as it should be. There are numerous methods for doing this. I particularly like it when a character has to work with a certain primitive technology, and it goes through his/her mind (or he/she even says) that there's really no good reason for it not to be advanced. If you're unfamiliar with Lampshade Hanging (and by extension, TVTropes), the article will give you a good idea of how to go about it, as well as give you plentiful examples.