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Mozilla The Internet

The Original Revived 137 writes "For those of you that missed the emergence of the the World Wide Web the first time around, Mozilla co-founder JWZ has recreated it for you. In honor of Mozilla's tenth anniversary, he's recreated the original sites in all their 1994 glory. He even has vintage browsers to go with them."
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The Original Revived

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  • by Hyppy ( 74366 ) on Tuesday April 01, 2008 @11:48AM (#22931114)
    Ahh, the days when changing your browser's "background" color to anything other than (off-)white meant most pages became unreadable.

    Oh, and good job, Slashdotters. The page is down already!
    • by dougmc ( 70836 ) <> on Tuesday April 01, 2008 @11:49AM (#22931130) Homepage

      Oh, and good job, Slashdotters. The page is down already!
      I got the impression that that was part of the `early web experience'.

      (Seriously, it looks like the web server is patched to feed data as if you were on a slow dialup ...)

      • by Brian Gordon ( 987471 ) on Tuesday April 01, 2008 @11:54AM (#22931164)
        They're certainly written to be like 1994.. WORST. HTML. EVER.
        • Re:Ahh, the days.. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by electrictroy ( 912290 ) on Tuesday April 01, 2008 @12:33PM (#22931534)
          I like to look at the old webpages for and

          Ahh simpler times. Plain text with just two or three images (resembling a newspaper). Not like today's pages that seem to take forever to load because they are so overburdened with a lot of junk.

          • P.S.

            Worst example: - Why does this site insist upon loading 1000 K of flash movie on every page??? Grrr. Not dialup friendly.
          • > so overburdened with a lot of junk.

            Srsly, at one moment I thought I did read "java".
          • eLion [] still looks like its from 1994! :P

            Although, if they went and screwed with anything there and lost some transcripts or student schedules, Old Main would burn.
            • eLion is relatively new.

              It did not exist when I was a Penn State student (1997). If it's vintage, it's in style only, but in reality it's a 2000-era page.

        • A friend of mine just stumbled upon the "penguin recipe page":
          To quote:

          Page last updated: July 4, 1996

          I had to post the link here given the topic and that it has to do with penguins.
          Hilarious site, and has a lot of the same "mosaic feel" as the original (not to mention frames with nice, fat borders for resizing!).

          • Neat.

            Look at how "narrow" the page is. All of the graphics were designed to fit inside a 640x480 monitor from the early 1990s. Ya know, somebody ought to start an archive to capture and preserve vintage sites from pre-1999. It could be very educational someday to show future programmers how the Web looked when it was still a toddler.

    • by Hawthorne01 ( 575586 ) on Tuesday April 01, 2008 @11:53AM (#22931160)

      Oh, and good job, Slashdotters. The page is down already!

      Naah, they're just re-creating the experience of websurfing on a 14.4 modem.

      • by Hyppy ( 74366 )
        Pshaw. In 1994, I got my hands on a shiny new V.FAST 28.8 Sportster!

        I was... still godawful slow.
        • Re:Ahh, the days.. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by electrictroy ( 912290 ) on Tuesday April 01, 2008 @12:49PM (#22931708)
          In 1994 you probably though 28.8kbit was fast.

          In 1995 I was surfing the net with a 2.4 k modem. I had to select "don't load images" but it was still possible to visit my favorite sites like even at that slow speed. If I would have had your Sporster modem (~20 times faster) I probably would have been in heaven! :-)

          Today I still use a 56k modem while traveling. With image compression the 56k is almost as fast as my 700k DSL w/o compression.

          • In 1995 I was surfing the net with a 2.4 k modem.

            Ouch. I had an AT&T 14.4, and that was pretty standard around my scene.

            • I grew-up in the era of 1980s BBSes, and you didn't need a fast modem because a BBS was just plain ASCII or ANSI. In other words, colorful text. In that era, 0.3 or 1.2 kbit/sec was the norm, and 2.4k was "fast", and anything faster was the domain of the "elites" like BBS owners.

              The reason I was still using a 2.4 kbit/s modem in 1994 is because I was a college student and didn't have any money to buy a faster 9.6 or 14.4 model. Plus my parents were not convinced I needed a faster model, so it was obvious
              • My first dialup computer was a Commodore 64 with a 300 baud Vicmodem - the one where you manually dial the phone, unplug your handset's cord, and plug it into the modem. I think I can still dial half those BBSes from muscle memory. :-)

                One of my prized possessions in the early 90s was a Supra 2400 baud modem card for my Amiga 2000. I suspect much of our BBSing experience was pretty similar.

          • by 00_NOP ( 559413 )
            Yes, I had a 14.4k modem back in 1994/95 which was considered ok, but still not fast enough to seriously considering using a browser. I borrowed a 28k one from my work and downloaded "chello" by ftp in later May 1995 and that was that...
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by prockcore ( 543967 )

            In 1995 I was surfing the net with a 2.4 k modem.

            In 95 my dorm was fitted with ethernet.
            • Ditto my dorm, but when I came home in Summer 1995 I had to make due with what I had:

              - Commodore Amiga 500
              - phone jack
              - 2 k modem

              It was slow but it worked, and it allowed me to continue using the Web to look-up television schedules and/or chat with people online. Aside: (Googlegroups still has some of my public messages dating back to 1988! Wow. I guess the web's not as ephemeral as I thought.)

          • by Culture20 ( 968837 ) on Tuesday April 01, 2008 @06:27PM (#22935670)
            I was using a 2400baud modem in 1995-1996 too, but I didn't have to select "don't load images" I was using lynx on a unix server I dialed into. My computer was an IBM 8086 with TWO 5.25 floppy drives. I could copy floppies like a mad man!
      • They're probably using a 1994 NeXT to host them
    • We managed to /. the original interwebs. The circle is now complete.
    • by twistedsymphony ( 956982 ) on Tuesday April 01, 2008 @12:42PM (#22931640) Homepage

      Oh, and good job, Slashdotters. The page is down already!
      That's unpossible, slashdot readers never click to read the article.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Hyppy ( 74366 )
        Well, I'm sure the 1.2 billion RSS readers and bots immediately preload every link that makes the front page.

        Don't blame the users, blame the technology!
    • by mini me ( 132455 )

      Oh, and good job, Slashdotters. The page is down already!

      If only our modern browsers supported client-side load balancing like they did in the good old days.
    • Actually it was about that fast back in 94...
    • It would appear they're running it on 1994's servers, too.

      Speaking of which, I recently bought a toaster that has a higher processing speed than my first computer. Sort of depressing, actually.
    • by edwdig ( 47888 )
      I remember the Netscape default background color was gray. White of course was the only other reasonable choice.
    • ... a copy of mozock.dll. So I can review a local copy -- in my browser!
    • Funny how much all the new mobile sites look like these sites from 10 years ago.
  • HYPE tag. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by thesolo ( 131008 ) * <> on Tuesday April 01, 2008 @11:50AM (#22931140) Homepage
    One of Jamie's trivia questions is the origin of the HYPE tag. I remember the tag well, it was an easter egg that played a sound when it was used (only in certain versions of Mosaic/Netscape), however, I haven't a clue as to when or why it was implemented.

    Does anyone know? Google reveals nothing on the subject.
  • Bandwidth (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kelson ( 129150 ) * on Tuesday April 01, 2008 @11:50AM (#22931142) Homepage Journal
    The best part is the bandwidth throttling, back to 1994 dial-up speeds. I was looking at this yesterday, and it was weird to watch the interlaced GIFs load line by line. (Remember how Netscape used to have a LOWSRC attribute for images, so you could specify a low-res version that could be loaded quickly and displayed while it tried to download the massive, whopping 50K full image?)

    A flashback to the way I first encountered the web.

    Of course, it's probably even slower today, now that it's linked here.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dkf ( 304284 )

      The best part is the bandwidth throttling, back to 1994 dial-up speeds. I was looking at this yesterday, and it was weird to watch the interlaced GIFs load line by line. (Remember how Netscape used to have a LOWSRC attribute for images, so you could specify a low-res version that could be loaded quickly and displayed while it tried to download the massive, whopping 50K full image?)

      I remember switching to Netscape very early because it would load images asynchronously, rather than waiting for everything to be loaded before showing me any of it (what NCSA Mosaic used to do at that time). Of course, we now get that sort of annoyance anyway due to the vast gobs of (terrible) javascript inflicted upon us by websites and (especially) advertisers. (Which is one reason why I use NoScript; I don't mind ads too much, but don't slow down my browsing just to show them to me!)

      Of course, I can al

  • Can our modern browsers pass the 1994 test?
  • Unfortunately, it seems to be running on Netsite.

    • by markjl ( 151828 ) on Tuesday April 01, 2008 @06:18PM (#22935558)

      :) Netsite evolved into the Netscape Enterprise Server and I was there at Netscape when the web site cluster served over 100 million hits per day in 1996. Those were amazing times, many server manufacturers would bring in hardware and we would benchmark a portion of's traffic on them, which usually led to discussions about how to tune or optimize the OS or the IP stack, I know we helped SGI at the time.

      The server and software engineering folks helped develop a dynamic DNS server that would help globally load balance web traffic based upon the inquiring IP address. They also helped hack SSL into rsync back in the day, so that is how we securely published web content updates out to the cluster.

      Sadly, we also pioneering web advertising at Netscape. My colleague Alan spec'd out the dimensions to the ad banners, in case you wondered where those 460x68 dimensions came from: it allowed a minimal amount of horizontal white space on each side of the web page when the web browser had a vertical scroll bar on a 640x480 laptop display running Navigator, IIRC.

      So those ad banners were physically changed on the docroot via a cron script in order to rotate them. The joy of hacks in a funded start up, but it made money! In fact, unlike most corporations today (e.g.: Microsoft), there was a strategic decision *not* to create an advertising server, so we helped create an industry and did not compete in it. Well, didn't complete until TW/AOL acquired Netscape -- but that was the day Netscape really died (it could be argued that bought Netscape solely for our web site traffic and advertising revenue since they didn't know what to do with the browser and server software. Witness the eventual release of the browser software to the project (thanks also to jwz!) and iPlanet/Sun eventually selling the server line to Red Hat, who continues to open source the directory and certificate servers today).

      I wrote the plug-in finder, could it have been the most used CGI on the web at the time in 1996 -- who knows? I went on to become a technology evangelist at Netscape.

      Good days indeed, thanks for the memories!

  • Next up (Score:3, Funny)

    by i_ate_god ( 899684 ) on Tuesday April 01, 2008 @11:54AM (#22931166)
    revive gopher and geocities
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      I kinda liked the Geocities neighborhoods. The old URLs still work for individual sites, but the index pages for blocks and neighborhoods are gone, so you can't wander around and meet your neighbors. Too bad, I guess it was MySpace 0.1 - before its time, or before critical mass.
      • I miss the free POP3 account, and those primitive web based chat rooms that destroyed your browsers with all the refreshing it would do.
      • by British ( 51765 )
        Geocities was effectively killed by Yahoo with unrealistic daily bandwidth quoats. You could literally hit refresh a few times on a page, and it would be locked out for the day.
  • Be sure to use this link [] to have the "Resolution Controller" switched to L to "reduce download time" and give the server a little breathing room.
  • Welcome back to 1994, for real.
    • If you had a 28.8 modem in 1994 you were from the future, man. IIRC, 28.8 modems didn't hit the streets until sometime in mid-1995, although the spec was ratified in mid/late-1994.
  • by kabocox ( 199019 ) on Tuesday April 01, 2008 @11:57AM (#22931186)
    That looked like a clean myspace page to me.
  • by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) * on Tuesday April 01, 2008 @11:58AM (#22931190) Homepage Journal
    ... the site loads instantly. It's easy to navigate. There's just enough information near the top of each page so you know immediately what the page is for. The text is easily readable with default browser settings, even on a small screen.

    Modern web developers could take a lesson from this.
    • by Reziac ( 43301 ) * on Tuesday April 01, 2008 @12:09PM (#22931276) Homepage Journal
      mcom, if it exists, seems to be slashdotted, but the livejournal page was quick... I agree, there's just too much sheer JUNK on the average page today. Most modern sites are now so gunked up that they perform on broadband about like the most primitive 1994-era sites did on 14.4 dialup.

      One of the major reasons why on every site that still halfway works with it, I still use (are you sitting down?) Netscape v3, is because it strips most of the sheer JUNK, making web speeds tolerable. The same page can take 10x as long to load in Mozilla (not only because Moz is SLOW to render, but also because of all the JUNK).

      IMO, NS3 is still the best, most stable, fastest, and most bug-free of all browsers. It's too bad source code is not available (I asked JWZ about that a while back, he said he'd tried to get it and no joy) as if user-optionable modern features were implemented atop this fast, lean old browser, we'd really HAVE something.

      • Try a modern lightweight browser, like Dillo or Links2. I like Links2, myself.

        They are both amazingly fast.
        • by Reziac ( 43301 ) *
          Aside from that I run mainly Windows and Dillo is *NIX-only... can it disable CSS entirely? can it disable image-loading, yet load single or all images as desired with a single click? (Mozilla does that wrong; it HIDES images rather than preserving position yet merely not LOADING the image. So in Moz it is not possible to load only *desired* images.) Do I have to click twice to Open In New Window? These may seem like small things, but they are critical to my uses, and out of all the dozens of browsers I've
      • I asked JWZ about [getting the source code for Netscape 3] a while back, he said he'd tried to get it and no joy

        As I recall, back when Netscape wanted to make their browser open source, the big issue was dealing with various 3rd-party libraries that were used (and not interested in giving away their product).

        That's why they decided to create Mozilla as a ground-up implementation.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Reziac ( 43301 ) *
          Yeah, figured there was a lot of third-party stuff that couldn't be tracked down/licensed/released. Goes to show that if there's any chance you may =ever= open your source, best not use 3rd party closed libraries.

          Of course the trouble with the rebuild from the ground up is that it threw away all the lean functionality of old NS3. ISTM they'd have been better off to strip out the 3rd party code and rebuild just THOSE parts, rather than try to start over entirely (thus losing their formerly dominant marketsha
      • by sootman ( 158191 )
        I'm (almost) right there with you. I stuck with NS3 when NS4 came out and I stuck with it for years, right up until Phoenix (Firefox) 0.2 came out--it was fast, like NS3, but with TABS, and had a modern JS engine so I could look at pages which more and more demanded javascript. And then FF got chunky around 0.8 and I liked 1.0 even less and 1.5 even less and 2.0 even less. I played with other browsers, like K-Meleon, but they all were missing various features I'd grown used to. Plus the pages changed too, a
    • Apparently it's running on 1994 hardware, too....

    • I thought the slowness was part of the original feel that they were bringing back.
  • by downix ( 84795 ) on Tuesday April 01, 2008 @12:04PM (#22931228) Homepage
    Well boys, we sure killed that connection fast.... feels just like the old days!
  • If you're going to pull an April Fool's joke like this, at least roll out servers that can handle the load. Or maybe it's the pipe, It's not like serving static web pages is hard, even on that era of equipment.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by maxume ( 22995 )
      It's not a joke, it's nostalgia.
    • You know those ads that pop up as comments on /. now? I just got the funniest one ever as a reply to your post... 404 Not Found The requested URL /iframe/tech.html was not found on this server.
  • It figures some duschebag media mogul would sell off a historic domain name to the highest bidder than to give it to someone who actually would be willing to maintain the historic content.
  • Time to fire up Mosaic and OmniWeb on the Next Cube at home!
  • The site is obviously pretty Slashdotted at this point, so I was not able to download some of the Mosaic versions he links to.

    Since I already have a copy of NCSA Mosaic copyrighted 1-27-1994, I decided to fire that up and load the page.

    A screenshot [] of that I was finally able to load. It had issues with some of the .gif files on the page. I am not sure if that is de to the client or if the transfer timed out from the load.

    This is Mosaic v1.0.3 under System 7.6.1, running in BasiliskII.

    Strange timing. Just last night I started playing around with some gopher servers, so I fired up Basilisk and downloaded TurboGopher. I got my first access to Usenet feeds in about 1992, and was able to get more online in the fall of 1993. Gopher, FTP, and email were huge. I remember downloading Mosaic sometime in early spring of 1994 and playing around with it.

    Ahh, the memories...
    • by raddan ( 519638 ) on Tuesday April 01, 2008 @12:54PM (#22931760)
      In the early 90's, my dad used to bring me to work every now and then when he worked at BBN. Since BBN was an early internet pioneer, they had some really big pipes (er, tubes?) to the arpa/internet. I was in high school at the time. I would fill my backpack with blank floppies and spend the day on gopher and FTP (anyone remember Anarchie?) just filling those disks up with freeware/shareware and every other cool thing I came across. Their offices had an interesting mix of phonenet (Appletalk) and BNC ethernet. Lots of Macs around back then, and those networks were fast, but crashed all the time.

      Anyway, one day I came across this image [] and my brain just about exploded. Keep in mind that I was a high school aged male. Yep, that was the beginning of the end for me... ;^)

      As for the "web", I remember an MIT postdoc excitedly showing me this new "world wide web browser called Mosaic", and he just couldn't get me enthused. "You mean it's read-only?" I remember asking. I just couldn't see the point.
  • It is always interesting to play with old software to see how brittle it really is.

    I tried the earliest windows version (mosaic04.exe). It runs on wine without problem. Unfortunately it is impossible to load any page. I tried a variety of sites (google, yahoo, slashdot, ...), none of them load. Here is a sample of the errors I got:
    • infinite chains of 302
    • no viewer for text/html
    • bad request

    Next I tried the earliest linux version (netscape.i486-unknown-linux.B093). You cannot even run it on a modern dist

    • by vidarh ( 309115 )
      Read JWZ's livejournal page, it addresses both your problems.
      • You want me to RTFA ? Are you crazy ?

        On a more serious note, blockout (1989) works out of the box on a current windows machine. No patch, no special config, no nothing. These browsers do not. That is all that really matters. Of course you can tweak the web server,grab old libraries and what not to coerce them into working. My point is that you shouldn't need to.
    • by anss123 ( 985305 )
      Linux has never cared much for binary compatibility. Back in '94 Linux was pretty much a grass root effort, not quite comparable to Windows in dev resources. Breaking binary compatibility saves time and it's not like they had large test labs to insure they uphold binary compatibility anyway.

      W3C has done a good job upholding compatibility despite the feature push of the browser wars. Try out browsers that are a little newer and you'll still be able to surf the web. You may have to look into the html code fro
  • Way back when, SGI sent out a CD-ROM that contained a product catalog as a collection of HTML files. The CD also included all of the binaries for Mozilla 0.9 listed at []. For several years thereafter (until browsers became a standard part of software distributions) I kept that CD close at hand; whenever I had to work on a particular workstation or PC, I used it to install a browser (and usually then bootstrap a more recent version).
  • Here's a minor chapter for the history books. The address for Mosaic Communications (later Netscape) was, not was owned by a pre-existing company working on document scanning. Mosaic Communications lawyers threatened to sue them out of existence, so the original Mosaic was given to Mosaic Communications.

    The funny thing is the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) NCSA lawyers made Mosaic Communications change their name (eventually Netscape), because Mosaic was a

  • It isn't slashdotted, it is merely providing you with the classic, 9600 baud experience.
  • I know the pace of change only ever increases, but looking back at those 1993/4 pages is just weird. I remember 1994. I was 15 years old, Jurassic Park was the hot VHS cassette release at Blockbuster, Sheryl Crow and Madonna were topping the pop charts.. I tasted the internet for the first time in my school computer lab.. I used the brand new Yahoo search engine to search for "three valleys water" for a school project and it got 3 results (yes, really, three.. and none of them were the one I wanted) .......
  • Jim Clark and Marc Andreessen did.
  • Found this on the mcom links page: gopher:// []
  • A LOT more [], and for systems like the Amiga, DOS, etc. Unfortunately, it looks as though the site is obsolete, at least for current content.
  • Even these primitive webpages look better than most on myspace.
  • Readable. Restrained graphics. Actual information amongst the sales talk. Decent navigation.

    Oh Internet, I weep for thee! What happened?

Remember to say hello to your bank teller.