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CERN Launches Line Mode Browser Emulator 92

Posted by Soulskill
from the out-with-the-new-in-with-the-old dept.
itwbennett writes "As part of the project to preserve the world's first website and all of the accompanying technology, CERN last week launched a line mode browser emulator. To make the browser experience authentic, the developers recreated how terminals would draw one character at a time by covering the page in black and then revealing each character by erasing a character-sized rectangle from that cover, one-by-one, line-by-line. They also recreated the sound of typing on older keyboards, specifically an IBM RS/6000 keyboard, by using HTML5 audio elements."
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CERN Launches Line Mode Browser Emulator

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  • Looks familiar... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ak_hepcat (468765) <leifNO@SPAMdenali.net> on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @08:04PM (#45009607) Homepage Journal

    Almost exactly what browsing with lynx looks like on my CIT-101e VT100 dumb terminal that i still have, and still works.
    It's been a workhorse since 1989 or so, and has yet to fail.

    Granted, i don't keep it ON all the time.

    Now, is CERN going to make an archie/veronica tty client for the web as well?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Now, is CERN going to make an archie/veronica tty client for the web as well?

      I'm never sure, but I think that's irony.

    • WE picked up a vt220 from the dumpster outside the compsci building and had a direct link in one of our freshman dorm rooms. Oh yeah, lynx (served from a Challenge L running irix)... thems was the days!
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        I lived in a house with six pair to every bedroom back in the nineties, and a Linux server in a garage with a 28.8k CSLIP to scruznet. We installed serial terminals in two of the bedrooms to permit housemates without computers to use the network, over three wires, right next to the phone. At 9600 bps, it worked fine. This was before the widespread web, though.

    • by rvw (755107)

      Almost exactly what browsing with lynx looks like on my CIT-101e VT100 dumb terminal that i still have, and still works.
      It's been a workhorse since 1989 or so, and has yet to fail.

      Granted, i don't keep it ON all the time.

      Don't keep it OFF too long, the cable might dry out and the thing might go up in smoke when turned on...

  • by gallondr00nk (868673) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @08:05PM (#45009617)

    It'll be better than using the beta.

    Yes, that was a cheap shot, I admit it.

    • by TWX (665546) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @08:52PM (#45009907)
      Unfortunately I'm finding it difficult to disagree with you.

      When there wasn't an unlimited amount of screen or an unlimited amount of graphics capability, interface designers had to be very diligent in how they used what they had. With only eighty columns and twenty-five rows, or if you were lucky, one-hundred-thirty-two columns and forty-four rows, there wasn't a lot of room for waste or poor design.

      Modern web designers have embraced the ooh-shiny parts of modern HTML specifications but haven't held on to the basic purpose, to efficiently convey information. Beta is an example, embracing eye-candy at the expense of that which the site's purpose is for, to convey information that's mostly text-based.

      I also used to use Lynx/links/elinks as testing for what I wrote. I haven't written HTML in a big way in some time, but I imagine that most pages will fail the text-mode test.
      • by mekkab (133181)
        Does it make me olde and out of touch that I agree with your post? So be it.

        /Mod parent up.
  • by JazzHarper (745403) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @08:06PM (#45009627) Journal

    FTFS: "...terminals would draw one character at a time by covering the page in black and then revealing each character by erasing a character-sized rectangle from that cover, one-by-one, line-by-line."

    I don't know of any terminals that ever worked that way.

    • FTFS: "...terminals would draw one character at a time by covering the page in black and then revealing each character by erasing a character-sized rectangle from that cover, one-by-one, line-by-line."

      I don't know of any terminals that ever worked that way.

      They didn't.

      I think what that poorly worded sentence meant to say was "... the developers simulated how terminals would draw one character at a time ..."
      FTFY

      • To be clear, I think what the summary should have said "the developers recreated the appearance of a terminal using an emulator which covered the page in black and then revealed each character by erasing a character-sized rectangle from that cover, one-by-one, line-by-line". The actions described are those of the terminal emulator. Saying "terminals would draw..." makes the historic video terminals, and not the emulator, the subject of the entire subordinate clause, which is obviously wrong.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      No one claimed they did. You only quoted part of the sentence to make it say something different.

    • They didn't, but Tek's 4014 and 4051 looked kind of like they were doing that.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpD1QXvtlcg&list=PL3DACE89AA461F5BC [youtube.com]

      • by drkim (1559875)

        They didn't, but Tek's 4014 and 4051 looked kind of like they were doing that.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpD1QXvtlcg&list=PL3DACE89AA461F5BC [youtube.com]

        Very cool...

        Has any one made a text simulator that reproduces the way a storage tube display would draw characters, stroke-by-stroke, onto the screen?

        • by drkim (1559875)

          They didn't, but Tek's 4014 and 4051 looked kind of like they were doing that.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpD1QXvtlcg&list=PL3DACE89AA461F5BC [youtube.com]

          Very cool...

          Has any one made a text simulator that reproduces the way a storage tube display would draw characters, stroke-by-stroke, onto the screen?

          Yeah, but the 4010 and 4014 are the real thing!
          I was wondering if there was a simulator for PC.

      • I had forgotten that thing. I used a 4014 in 1979-1980. Apparently, our design automation department had acquired it as an experiment, but it was almost useless, since we had very little software (on the IBM mainframes) which could make use of it. I think I did manage to get curves and waveforms from SPICE simulations onto it. I still carry the Tektronix ASCII reference card that came with it.

  • by Guest316 (3014867) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @08:09PM (#45009649)
    I've occasionally startled people by identifying their brand and model of computer or terminal over the phone just by the sound of their keyboards. Membrane keyboards have deprived me of this form of amusement though.
  • ... if they can emulate the tactile feedback of those old terminal keyboards. :)

  • I'd be more impressed if it SSH'd into a VM running lynx/links/elinks/etc.
  • by d'baba (1134261)
    I'm just sayin'
  • The simulated sound canvas just isn't complete without the horizontal scanning squeal of the CRT, which is about 15 kHz. Some of us used to be able to hear that 20 years ago. (Can't anymore, darn.) Around the time the web was born, I once walked past a computer that had a particularly loud CRT. I asked the woman who was using it how she could even stand to be next to the thing - it was that loud. She didn't seem to understand and looked at me like I was crazy. So, I explained it to her. But she still
    • The simulated sound canvas just isn't complete without the horizontal scanning squeal of the CRT, which is about 15 kHz. Some of us used to be able to hear that 20 years ago.

      I was 7 when I first started using computers and writing my own programs, and I could hear that squealing back then. It seemed my hearing actually got better since I could hear it even louder as I grew, well the CRTs got larger too. All through the 90's I spent more and more time coding and the CRTs squealed to me. I just learned to ignore it, didn't pay much attention to it. Then one day I watched a movie: The Matrix. Leaving the movie theater I thought I could still hear that faint CRT squealing? N

      • I had fun reading this, mostly because I have had the same train of thoughts before. (Right up until the end)
  • All they will accomplish is remind people how utterly crappy the web was until Mosaic introduced the IMG tag.

  • # stty speed 300
    # lynx http://www.slashdot.org
  • During the next two hours, the system will be going up and down several
    times, often with lin~po_~{po ~poz~ppo\~{ o n~po_~{o[po ~y oodsou>#w4ko

  • I think all that javascript is a bit annoying. And probably just providing a gateway to lynx and tin would be surprising enough to people?
    q: "I'm not a quitter"

    • by Lennie (16154)

      Serving the Javascript means a lot less load on the server and works in every modern webbrowser.

      This whole story is about webbrowsers.

      Anyway, if you check the interview section, the people that created it probably volunteered to do it.

      So why would you care ?

  • by morethanapapercert (749527) on Wednesday October 02, 2013 @01:46AM (#45011187)
    Y'know, say for sysadmin appreciation day (July 25th) , or for April 1 instead of some gawd-awful "OMGPonies!" colour scheme?
  • This emulator doesn't seem to be able to load an actual page on the web, just a limited bunch of stuff that's programmed into it, right? I mean if I type www.google.com and press enter, it doesn't load Google.

  • Cool demonstration. The last time I had a similar experience (except for the low bandwidth and latency) was about ... yesterday, when I used Lynx. It's still a great browser in my opinion. I prefer text, and it's fast on sites like nytimes.com or linuxtoday.com which both spend so much time loading crap and analytics when using a regular browser that they're almost unusable in my low bandwidth environment.

    I still like Lynx and don't care that I don't receive all the pics and javascript shininess and flas

  • Figuring out how to view a website took too long. No obvious way to do after looking at the help pages and list of commands. Typing in a web address results in nothing happening.

  • On Fedora, in your favorite terminal:

    yum install w3c-libwww-apps

    www http://www.site.foo/ [site.foo]

  • Nearly as cool as Gopherpedia http://gopherpedia.com/gopherpedia.com/ [gopherpedia.com]

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