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The Web back in 1996-1997

Back in 1996 the Web was starting to gain some serious momentum, but it was still just a few years old. Now in 2008, looking 12 years back into the past of the Web can be a both nostalgic and entertaining experience.

To give you some perspective, in 1996…

  • Google.com didn’t exist yet.
  • In January 1996 there were only 100,000 websites, compared to more than 160 million in 2008.
  • The web browser of choice was Netscape Navigator, followed by Microsoft Internet Explorer as a distant second (Microsoft launched IE 3 in 1996).
  • Most people used dial-up Internet connections with mighty speeds ranging from 28.8Kbps to 33.6Kbps. Highly modern 56Kbps modems would arrive in 1997.
  • People had only recently started to switch from 640×480 to 800×600 screen resolutions.

We have used the good old WayBack Machine (a.k.a the Internet Archive) to track down screenshots of what websites looked like back in 1996-97.

Yahoo

In 1994, “Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web” had been renamed to “Yahoo!”. The Yahoo.com domain was created in January 1995. In 1996, Yahoo was well on its way to becoming one of the major Web portals.


Internet Archive link.

Webcrawler

Webcrawler got started in 1994 and was the first Web search engine to provide full text search (making it the first modern-day Web search engine).


Internet Archive link.

Altavista

Altavista was a search engine created by DEC that launched in 1995 and quickly gained massive popularity. Aside from strong traffic to their own website, in 1996, Altavista became the exclusive provider of search results to Yahoo.


Internet Archive link.

Ultimate Band List

Started in 1994, Ultimate Band List (UBL) provided a popular music database with information about artists, concerts, record labels, and so on. Kind of a Last.fm of the time.


Internet Archive link.

Lycos

Founded in 1995, Lycos quickly grew into one of the most popular portals and search engines on the Web. By 1999, Lycos was the most-visited Web portal in the world.


Internet Archive link.

Netscape

Founded in 1994 (originally as Mosaic Communications Corporation), Netscape is one of the true pioneers of the Web. In 1996, Netscape Navigator was the leading Web browser by a large margin. Microsoft had started going after market shares with Internet Explorer, but had not yet gained a firm footing.


Internet Archive link.

MSN

MSN (The Microsoft Network) got started as a set of Internet services in 1995 (it was launched in connection with Windows 95). It was originally intended to be both an online service and an Internet service provider along the lines of AOL.


Internet Archive link.

Apple

In 1996, Steve Jobs had not yet returned to Apple (he did that in 1997) and the company was losing market shares. Mac OS 8 was on the way (as you can see in the screenshot) and the good old Newton PDA was still being sold.


Internet Archive link.

Excite

Founded in 1994, Excite was yet another popular player in the increasingly crowded Web portal market. The website itself was formally launched in December 1995.


Internet Archive link.

Tripod

Launched in 1995, Tripod was originally billed as a “hip web site and pay service for and by college students,” but mainly became known as a place where people could create free web pages (à la GeoCities). Tripod would later be bought by Lycos.


Internet Archive link.

The New York Times

In 1996, the New York Times website was dead set on getting users to sign up to access any Web content at all.


Internet Archive link.

Things certainly have evolved a bit, haven’t they?

To be fair, the end-user Internet connections of the day would never have been able to handle most of today’s media-heavy websites without them turning slow as syrup, and the relatively fine-grained design control we have these days with for example CSS was not available at the time.

What were your favorite websites back in 1996-97? Share with us! :)



No Comments

Now THAT brings back MEMORIES! :D

Only 100k websites in 96? Wow…

I am amazed that even on those days slow connections, everyone was hell bent to send images.

>Only 100k websites in 96? Wow…
>

There were around 3k in 94 and, if I remember correctly, around 150 in middle 93.

http://robot-club.com/lti/lycos/servers.html

I setup leo.lnec.pt back in 93.

– MV

Hotmail.com

Thank you Al Gore for inventing the internet.

i dont exactly remember when it first came out but what about ask jeeves

Around 1996 I used Excite all the time because it was the default portal for the Sega Saturn Netlink, which at the time was the only way I could get access to the Web. My first PC was still 2 years away.

I still have fond memories of that Saturn console and its Netlink adapter. This is where it all started for me.

I can’t believe it’s been 12 years!

The Web has defiantly evolved. I remember using FTP sites to get images and mp3s. Can anyone predict what we will see 10 years from now? Were will everyone be migrating too?

@Ajax Union
Reality.

And what about Geocities? Blast from the past indeed!

Wow, I used to love Excite and AltaVista. Boy times have changed havent they? Google rules all now I guess.

Jiff
http://www.datools.net.tc

I remember… In 1996 we still used gopher from time to time! heeek.

http://www.robotwisdom.com/home.html

FutureGamer.com! Way back when we had to pay by the minute to be on the web future gamer was launched as a downloadable video games ezine/magazine, complete with nntp forums and even a HL:DM clan, sadly deceased it was my first serious web community, ahh the memories :)

Heheh. Back then you couldn’t just search a keyword or phrase. You had to use boolean logic to construct a good search, and keep adding ANDs, ORs, NOTs and parentheses to refine it till you got the content you were looking for. I remember, my first ever search was for “chess” and I got articles about cherry orchards (!) written by a man named “Joshua Chessman.”

The NYT site was actually pretty advanced (low graphics mode in 1996?) And I will never forget being in High School during this golden age of the Web, when teachers still didn’t know what to make of the Internet, and how quickly I could find sources for papers. While not plagiarizing, searching the Internet was great for “picking up the language” of a topic so that you knew more about a subject and came across as better informed. You could know exactly what you needed before even going to the library. It was a tremendous advantage to have once you mastered boolean-logic searching!

Another thing I remember was going almost totally floppy disk free in 1998, because I could attach my papers to an email to myself! Other people would grumble about how they left their disk at home, while I was all set and didn’t even have to print until 5 minutes before class. Floppies were SO easy to screw up, and they had SO little space! Thank god we have flash disks now.

Finally, there was the dreaded failed download! You wanted to watch a RealPlayer video or see a high-resolution photo, but the download would cut out because your dial-up connection got screwed up by an incoming call-waiting signal on your phone line! Ahhh, but back then, that was a price that I would have paid 10 times over for the then-new unlimited, unbridled access to ANY information out there! I’m old enough to remember when that was the awesomest thing imaginable.

Download.com should have been mentioned since it is the only site I could think of that was around then and provided programs and games to downlaod. Cnet

On some of the content sites (not the search engines), note the design with the left hand colored column. That’s a really wide background image repeated downwards; the only way to get a colored background area at the time. This was one of the most commonly recurring design themes on the Net for a long while (in Internet years).

I remember AltaVista becoming the deafult search engine for everyone, seemingly invincible. Then Google’s first beta came along. I switched after the first couple of searches.

Awards… Does anyone remember the awards everywhere? Top five percent of the Web and all that? (I instituted my own: The Middle 5% of the Web, for the sites that were just average.)

And Justin’s Links from the Underground started today’s personal blogging trend.

Of course Dave Winer has the official title with Scripting News, but still. Ahhh, I remember his 24 Hours of Democracy project, with people writing essays, and him sending out links for everyone to link together all the sites. Manually, no central web app there. And of course the ring broke almost immediately.

Everything done for the first time, ever. An exhilarating time of inevitable and constant progress.

In retrospect… cute, naive. In the best possible way.

It may have been 1995. But one of my earliest memories of the web, was that Penthouse and Playboy were free…

Why the HELL isn’t Craigslist here? I recall a starry background with a list of random links centered down the page…

Also, the most visited website was… Get Adobe Acrobat.

anyone remember when Yahoo! was Yahoo! (Powered by Google), circa ’99/00?

NCSA Meta-Index
Virtual Frog Dissection
Netscape’s Off the Net, What’s New and What’s Cool
Internet Shopping Network
astalavista

I worked for Mindspring (started as an ISP in 1994 out of a small residence with only eight modems, then shared a room at GA tech with some chickens) who then acquired NetCom…. us Mindspringers were pretty technical in our know-how, but NetCom was started as an ISP in 1988, so those customers always had something to say about UNIX and how they missed their shell accounts after we did away with them. Poor geeks. I use Unix and Linux every day, but those guys loved it before it was cool.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netcom_(USA)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MindSpring

Ironically, Kevin Mitnick broke into the Netcom network and were also sued by the “Church” 0f $cientology. I’m almost honored by that, LOL.

I used to use Tucows a lot to find Linux software.

Wily, Yahoo was a human powered directory. I remember waiting six months for my website to show up there.

It was later somewhat obsoleted by things such as the Open Directory project, and obviously, Google.

I remember SEO being so much easier back then. I had the #1 search result for “milhouse” (a band, friends of mine) and #2 for “honeylocust” (another band, a few who are now in Black Kids)

in ten years time people will look at this article as a reference to demonstrate how pants the internet was in 08, oh the irony. My name is Will Walmsley and i will be prime minister. lol, grammar sux.

Wow, that takes me back. I remember waiting forever for images to download. That old Yahoo screenshot reminds me how tedious it was to find information. Things are so much simpler now.

Domain names were free.

I was hoping to see Geocities in this list.

HotBot! That was the best search engine (b4 google of course). I used altavista and switched to HotBot because of the ‘exact match’ search option.

Numerous other ISP’s and ‘Online Services’ were around. Big ones I tried were compusrv (spelling?) and prodigy but WoW was the AOL killer. It didn’t last too long but was the best online isp.

wbs.net, the WebChat Broadcasting System. One of the first web based chat sites.

http://web.archive.org/web/19961230020729/http://www.wbs.net/

I started using it in 1995 in the teens 13-15 room (don’t get any ideas, I was actually 13 at the time), then migrated to the Marilyn Manson Dungeon. Wasn’t exactly a huge Marilyn Manson fan, but it was the only chat room geared towards heavier music. Forged some pretty good friendships, but I haven’t spoken to any of them since about 2000.

Then, in 1998 I think, ABC went on a shopping spree, scooping up infoseek and wbs.net and changing them to the go network, which did, and still does, suck hard. It was kind of sad watching them slowly dissolve such a great community.

screw the net i cant wait for “the grid” bloody 10,000 times faster than the net now awesome…

Suck.com, I loved that website.

http://www.suck.com/

100k websites? I visit more than that many in a year.

I still have my ‘I downloaded’ t-shirt from IE3′s download day somewhere. Web developers (such as we were) would await each new release of each browser to see how they could be hacked for new features. I worked for Global Internet in the UK in 1996 and kept up with the new technologies as part of my job. I recall that the company’s AUP specifically mentioned the use of RealAudio for streaming back then as the default protocol was UDP based and heavy simultaneous use could flatten the incredibly expensive 2Mb leased line that provisioned about 10,000 customers.
Another ‘next big thing’ technology in 96-97 was Pointcast’s push system, which we were assured was going to be the future of the internet, pushing news, images and even video to the desktop using a proprietary client, which was also a massive bandwidth hog and not really designed for a time when the majority of home users still had dial-up and in the UK at least business connectivity was still prohibitively expensive. There were other search engines that had their moment, like Wired magazine’s Hotbot which I think ended up being owned by Lycos, and Dogpile, the search engine that searched search engines, which started in 1996 and is still going today.

Oh man, that takes me way back. :D

I didn’t know it was “Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web”

Wonder what we will have 5 years from now ?

In 1997, when I was 10 and first discovered the web, I used to check every consumer product to see if it had a URL I could visit:)

Then one day my bro and I decided to download pictures of any animal we could find–with no google images that exercise was a lot more fun…until our tiny mac ran out of space.

For James comment thanking Al Gore for inventing the Internet, I suspect the reiteration of that propaganda was intended as a sarcastic comment intended to deride Gore. If so, I would like to point out that he never claimed to have invented the Internet (see the Snopes article at http://www.snopes.com/quotes/internet.asp). For a much fuller discussion of the topic and some history on the Internet’s development and Gore’s role in supporting advanced networking initiatives, I would recommend “Al Gore and the Creation of the Internet” at http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue5_10/wiggins/

His early vision of its potential and his support for funding of advanced networking activities was important. Vint Cerf, who has, I think appropriately, been dubbed the “father of the Internet” for his technical contributions, along with Bob Kahn, in designing the Internet Protocol, has credited Gore’s early support for advanced networking efforts (see http://web.archive.org/web/20000125065813/http://www.mids.org/mn/904/vcerf.html).

I see the same tactic of taking an opponent’s statements out of context being widely used in the current campaign by both parties. Unfortunately, I suspect many Americans will make up their minds based on what they see in political ads that are designed to mislead them. The tactic used so successfully against Gore still works.

800×600 isnt standard anymore. Most designers design at 1024×768…. including this website.

I still use my Excite email address.

I remember all of these sites… and I remember when they looked like this.

I dunno if it’s a website exactly, but I remember Microsoft Chat back in those days.

oh and also, zombo.com which still exists to this day.

I didn’t get online until 1997. Spent a lot of time in the chat.netscape.net chatrooms back then. Recently divorced with two school age kids, I didn’t have a whole lot of time. But the folks in chat were supportive and I miss the camaraderie. :(

We paid by the minute for internet access and my mother about died when she got her first bill. As soon as the first unlimited package was released, my parents were on it like ants on sugar.

internet gaming zone – before the MS takeover
hotmail – when it was “cool” to have a hotmail account, before the MS takeover
ICQ – before the AOL takeover
GeoCities or AngelFire – before the takeover
RocketMail
NHLPA.com – they had a cool trivia contest every week, we won once!!
theoffspring.net – my favorite band at the time

IRC – back when a 28.8k modem was an awesome connection. WebChat.org and #teenconnection rock on!! I still have copies of old scripts I wrote.

StarCraft – around 1998. I still play it today (ok, last week)

infoseek and excite were my two favorite websites. At the time Netscape and Netscape Composer were my best friends. Man how the times have changed. I was so happy when realplayer became popular

Wow. That’s awesome.

Very cool collection of info, but I just had to correct one little item: 33.6k, not 34.4k.

Well lets see we got our first computer in 93 – because my daughter needed it for school and I thought the school should buy it it cost us $2000 for now $500 a 9600 baud . If I am remembering right

Hotbot search engine I remember u only had a few to choice from
I tried AOL
then I went to dialup and we only had just so much time…
then dsl and now cable!

netscape was my browser choice… and I spent most my time in Mirc chats.
I remember how weird it was to think you where talking to ppl from across the world!! Netherlands UK wow it was amazing!!!

Glad it is better and faster today lets hope it remains FREE!!!!!

200 hrs a month I use to be on!!!

Oh well keep plugging enjoy the web….only to get better I am sure!!!

Great memories!!

Bitty

We are the lucky ones who saw history in making…I remember i asked my friend back in 1998 to tell me about some cool websites and he said Google.com is good…and now google is turning into a sentient life form.

I won my 1st Internet access in a Newspaper contest in Hong Kong in 1995. I am a Visual oriented Designer there I met another winner who was already an html addicted Designer. He offered me to built my site with me. 2600hrs later with his html and my graphics w3.visualsenses.com was born and us as new web partners. Some links may not work as this time BUT
it STILL looks clean and displayed properly “AS IS” on any Blackberry or Nokia or cellphone with a decent screen.
I am proud of that. “visualsenses.com” is an original 1995 Website that does may not look frightening to those who can live without all the new gadgets the Web is bringing us now. Sadly my webmaster is no longer part of it and therefor and i have not replaced him. So be it till I meet another one as passionate as him. Thanks to the pair hosting that has kept it up 99.99% in all the past 12 years.

Forgot to mention. Chatted over compuserve with a guy asking me if I would be interested in starting a “craiglist” in Hong Kong.He was the original creator. I wasn’t too excited about the concept .. Where was my intuition? :-) Still have online friends NOW that I met then over compuserve.. Those were the days when someone willing to chat, was nearly a “HAPPY TROPHY” find.

Times New Roman was sure a hit back then.

Hamster Dance! :D :D :D :D :D

My first favorite site online? avatar on PLATO. I started out on the PLATO network, which had the equivalent of email, chat, IM, message boards, MMORPGs, and emoticons, way back in the 1970s. I’ve been watching the Web reinvent all of this ever since.

I too remember gopher, and using nn to read newsgroups on a 22.8kbps modem. The fanfic on rec.arts.startrek when “The Best of Both Worlds” had its cliffhanger, from people too impatient to wait for the official conclusion. “Highlander” and “Forever Knight” coming out the same year and developing parallel/sister listserv fandoms. Friends chatting with people in Israel who had to log off because Iraq was shooting SCUDs at them again. Reading rec.humor.funny every week or so — no more “mouse ball” jokes allowed! Tim Lynch’s reviews and Brian Woodcock’s .sig file.

Of the web sites discussed above, I think my favorite was the original Yahoo!, back when it did one thing and did it better than anyone else. I *still* miss the well-organized directory, so easy to find what you needed and yet so inviting to browse. Of sites not mentioned yet, hands down kudos belong to “The Lurker’s Guide to Babylon 5,” which was a landmark/pioneer in the now-common encyclopedic fan-run sites for everything from TV shows to bands to politicians.

“That’s ‘Wa-hoo!’ If Yahoo! wants a plug, they can pay me for it.” -JMS (Second only to the full page of “eep!” for best B5 Usenet quote ;-)

What would be really cool is a Flash game that replicated the 1996/97 internet experience. lol

@TurboFool: Thanks for the catch. Fixed! :)

And thanks everyone for all the great comments so far!

Someone asked about Geocities. The problem we had when trying to get these screen captures was that the Internet Archive hasn’t been able to properly archive all websites, at least way back in 96-97. Geocities was one we had problems with, so it wasn’t included.

1996..

I only remember ~surfing~ http://WWW.nerikes.se and http://WWW.telia.se (with logo that of once infamously displaying the pun ‘felia’, implying a hack!) at very low speeds.

You forgot MTV.com, which at that time may still have been personally owned/operated by JV Adam Curry. I forget when he handed over operations to Viacom, it was around 1996.

-jcw

I found our original company website on the way back machine, much has changed since then (including the domain): http://web.archive.org/web/19961227073725/http://www.bigfish.co.uk/
I think looking back at what the web used to look like makes you appreciate how far we’ve moved on both in terms of design and technology. I think it’ll be interesting to see what the difference is like in another 10 years time. Will the jump be as big in the future?

Tom

I was 12 in 97′….

A cousin lent me their dial-up user id & password while I was home ill. Computer was sadly in a room without a phone line, so I tore the house apart until I found a cord with the length I needed to reach into the adjoining room. After hooking the 28.8 k modem up, and hearing that magic ‘screech’ when i dialed in, I knew I was toying with something momentous..

…Looking for chatrooms, I wondered if I could find porn with a ‘boobies.com’ in the browser…

magic moment my friends.. magic

Amazing. My first ‘net’ experience was 1999 because my Dreamcast came packed with a browser (a Netscape 3 clone basically).

Still remember my first email addy with Excite.com and the thrill of browsing the web for the first time (in fact I was on for about 30 hours trying to see everything, little did I know).

Great looking back, but looking forward is even better.

I remember first seeing the internet at university in 1994. I had no idea what to do with it. I recall using Altavista, and looking up info on the Euro Fighter, as i had heard about it on the news, and thought that maybe I would find something secret! They had a website, but it was a bit dull.

My next memory was when I started at a new company which had internet, in 1998. A colleague told me about Google, and later one of my IT pals was curious, and asked why I used Google instead of the other search engines. 10 years later and he now works for Google.

For me the most interesting part of the net has always been the social aspect. I used it for email and newsgroups through University and little else.

Just wait until we are stumbling upon Web 3.0. Try to learn as much about it as you can…I can’t explain it all here but it is way cool.

The internet is still SO young…give it a few years and it will be as necessary to us as food and water for our survival. Everything you see is going to be linked to the web. EVERYTHING! It will basically be known as the earth’s machine, with every object becoming a portal to the machine. So far, our only portals to Web 2.0 are computers and some other small devices (cell phones, game consoles, etc.)

Once our machine has been built and is up and running well, it will be like the first computer. That is, until we link it to another machine (from another planet) creating a Super Web, where we can share information as we do today on our own internet.

Our civilization is only about 200,000 years old. Imagine linking our machine to a 2 million year old civilization! We would advance ourselves so much just on the things we would learn from them. Look at what we’ve learned in the last 100 years! The internet is so important. I am proud to have lived through its birth.

Like I said, learn as much about the future of the web as you can…it’s incredible. Today’s computers will play such a small role in the new web, becoming nearly obselete since every other object will be connected in some way to the machine.

Ah compuserve with a 2400 baud modem. Big Hayes jobbie, selectable speed incase it was too fast!!

I remember the excitement when compuserve moved from numeric ids to acutal names – heady days.

in 1998 we launched first virtual village with fast display on a 28.8 modem !

http://www.noname.fr/village

Then there was NAPSTER!

Excite is still my home page,call it Loyalty.pageflakes,netvibes,ect,keep em’As Long as I’ve got stumbleupon I’ll
be sitting here for hours upon hours.

these bring up some memories…. thanks! :)

Oh my heart! altavista was indispensable to me back in the 90s. I started working for an internet company in March of ’96 and was so excited, I had my first website up within weeks. On Geocities. Boy, that used to rock.

What the hell is the matter with me, I am *never* nostalgic! Feh! HTML was never meant for design. And GIFs! Yuck! I shudder just reading my previous paragraph.

Oh–And Bukator: This may sound pathetic, but internet access to me is on a par with utilities at this point. I agree, it’s a matter of time before the networks dry up and streaming TV–that is, the channel system we’ve been using since radio in the 1920s–will disappear. Am I the only one for whom turning on the TV is a quaint concept?

Plus, I’d agree computers as we know them now will be obsolete in, say, 20 years. Replaced perhaps by cheap OLED touchscreen net machines about the size of a steno pad. And by cheap, I mean $30 at Walgreens cheap. With ubiquitous wireless access (pleasepleaseplease) providing web-based apps like what google and MS offer, powerhouse machines are almost unnecessary. Almost, anyway.

Aah, just a thought.

50megs.com they owned! (for decent web hosting)

oh damn.. they’re apparently back.. probably not the same guy in his basement as back in the day I bet, though.

The yahoo site is the best of them i think. But now… google rocks.

In 1996 I was working for Music Boulevard, one of the first online music stores, as the lead encoding specialist — ripping 30 second samples from disks and scanning cover art. Music Boulevard was actually started by another company, Telebase, that (I think) offered access to various financial databases. Music Boulevard then merged with N2K who then merged with CDNOW (Music Boulevard’s main competitor while I was there). One of my bosses left actually to join Amazon and was part of the team that started their music store.

I spent a good chunk of my time participating in the ModList mailing list and used to check the various members’ GeoCities pages religiously. I wish I could remember which “neighborhood” my site was in! And I remember trying to get my site listed on Yahoo! and, later, DMOZ (that was the Open Directory site, right?).

Someone mentioned Tucows, and I too used to rely on that site for all sorts of downloads. I think I may have downloaded GoldWave there and then used it to create an entire album’s worth of music based on the samples I was ripping at work. And I still use the same software today for simple audio editing jobs!

Yeah, it’s amazing how things have changed and, to some extent, how they really haven’t. The web was, and still is, empowering individuals, inspiring creativity and bringing people together — this post and series of comments is simple proof of that! And, like everyone else here, I can’t wait to see where it all goes…

Finally someone mentioned ICQ and IRC. Two old but early and popular web tools…not in 1996 though, I don’t think. ICQ, great chat tool. Still available today. But the early versions, when you typed, the sound effect made it seem like you were typing on an old keyboard with each keystroke. I loved it.

IRC. Biggest chat network out there.

Oh goodness, I feel so old now. I’ve had my Yahoo e-mail since the beginning. Remember startsampling.com? Or iwon.com where they gave away a million dollars? I miss some of the “newness” and excitement of the internet, but I wouldn’t go back to dial-up for anything!!

Greg, I’m former wbs user too….dungeon mostly…what was your screen name?

I lost track of all the guys from wbs too…..kept some email adresses and lost others…would be great to get everybody together and see what’s happened in the last 8-10 years

band fan sites….you could search “Van Halen”, “Green Day” or any band name in yahoo and you would get tons of pages apart from the official webpage

all addresses were printen in full form (http://www.hotmail.com)

superbad.com

ICQ ruled

Anyone remember WhoWhere or Four11 (later bought by Yahoo and relaunched as Yahoo People Search)? I was in my last year of college when I first began using the Internet and WhoWhere was one of the first sites I discovered. Both of these were sites where you could list your e-mail address(es). WhoWhere also allowed you to list favorite music, books, etc., and to write a personal message at the end. Lycos acquired WhoWhere in 1998. Yahoo’s people search used the same system as Four11 (with the trademark Yahoo screens) until Yahoo bought Four11. I had my then-current e-mail addresses on both of these and found some people I knew, but I didn’t find a whole lot of them.

someone mentioned Pointcast.. I remember that, I actually sat around to wait for the screensaver with ‘real-time’ info to come on lol. I started with Excite as my homepage I think in 94-95, and I hadn’t changed it until Google came on in 98 -by then the barrage of moving GIFs had just made me sick. I remember my then-wife taking home a Google mousemat from some convention where they were announcing their launch!

As for sites, homepages were the thing, where people built ‘shrines’ to their favorite movie/music stars. Good times indeed. Oh and I remember the pain of the phone bill before the ‘free’ internet access hit Europe ca. 1999/2000!

I was online back in 1996, I used webtv then and was a regular at Simpsons.com chatrooms

That brings back memories of my first internet experiences… lol… it was all about AltaVista back then =)

It’s shocking to see how far yahoo has come. Lycos, excite, altavista are BG (before google)…

Do I spot Bliss’s (Windows XP default wallpaper, the one with blue sky, clouds, and green pasture) uncle on the old MSN.com site? LOL!

30yearsandcounting

June 23rd, 2010 at 7:44 am


In the fast moving social network driven world of today’s web we want it all and we want it now. We post and we share and we Twitter and we blog. But for those of us who have been surfing the web for the last decade or so we can look back and remember a much simpler time. In the late 90’s there were only around 100,000 websites, compared to more than 160 million in 2009. The web browser of choice was Netscape Navigator and most people used dial-up Internet connections with mighty speeds ranging from 28.8Kbps to 33.6Kbps. It was a time of hamsters, chain-letter emails, chatrooms and a man called Mahir Çağrı

You can find a great little post about the webs in the 90’s which might be of interest here:

http://thirtyyearscounting.blogspot.com/2010/06/lkjkghg-hampster-back-in-1998-canadian.html

I may be biased because I helped start it, but my favourite website of the time was CricInfo — a portal for cricket fans.  Back then it was http://www.cricket.org, and now it’s part of ESPN as http://www.espncricinfo.com.  In fact we initially set up a CricInfo gopher server (in 1993!) and stayed out of the web till 1995 or so — we though gopher was good enough, and didn’t want to mess with this new-fangled “www” thing :)