Down Memory Lane

Forget your latest HTML and CSS!

Forget your Flash!

Ready to turn the clock back?  Way back.

Sometimes we just take for granted all the great things that we come to expect from current web technologies.  Those of us who have been around for a while will perhaps shed a tear as we visit some of the websites from the early days of the internet at {404} PageFound!.  This is a great example of where it all started.

Perhaps you even developed for this early web.  I know that I did.  I loved learning HTML and coding in a simple text editor or in the editor of Netscape.

So, it truly was with a bit of nostalgia that I poked around this collection of old websites that are still (mostly) available today.  Fire up your latest Firefox or Chrome and it won’t even have to work hard to render these pages.

I felt incredibly old as I recognized a number of the pages that are still alive.

Even dialing back to 1993 reminded be of trying to promote the web in the study of mathematics with the Gallery of Interactive Geometry!  I even remembered some of the activities that we did during the workshops.  It’s so primitive by today’s standards but it’s always been about good mathematics.  Is there any other kind?

Of course, not all browsers are compatible and work with the site!  Your browser has to be able to handle forms!  Can you imagine a world where your browser wouldn’t allow you to buy airline tickets?  There was a time….

It’s an interesting activity to track those browsers to see what they morphed to in today’s online world.

So, why are these sites still around?  It could be for a variety of reasons…

  • They still work!
  • The concepts are still useful at some level.
  • Everyone likes a trip along memory lane.
  • The original author may have moved on and there’s a more modern revision of the site.
  • or

it could be that the original author no longer has the credentials to log in and edit or delete the site.  I know that’s true in my case.  There were some things that I created with the very best of intentions and used the best of my skills at the time.  But in 2013, I no longer have access to edit it.  So, links will be broken and the whole appearance may be very dated looking and my attempts to include Flash features just appear as blank spaces on your new tablets or phones.

I wonder if, years from now, the web will still be populated with these old and very old resources for any of these reasons.  In a wild and woolly internet where anyone can be an author, there really isn’t a requirement for getting rid of the dead rot.

In the meantime, we can visit sites like this or the Internet Archive and look at the web that was.

It really does make you appreciate what we have today and how far we’ve come technologically.

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