Did you know that Altavista, the omnipotent web search platform before Google woke up, is still live? Okay, it’s integrated with Yahoo, but the domain and interface are up and running. Just like HotBot! Anyone remember HotBot? And Lycos? WebCrawler?
These legendary search engines have survived for almost twenty years. In the 90s, for most of us, they were The Internet. Even though their current design has become completely different, the fact that they are alive and functional is nothing short of amazing. I did a quick search for more of those intact interweb sites and homepages with original historical details – HTML 2.0, frames and animgifs – perfectly preserved from the glorious 90s. After wiping away my tears, I present 23 of them to you .
The lost World
Warner Bros has a few well-preserved promotional websites. Everyone knows the Space jam classic, and the Wild Wild West page. My favorite is the Jurassic Park: The Lost World site, which was (is) a full viral marketing campaign INGEN, the shell company at the heart of the film.
One of the first community blogs ever, in fact one of the first blogs, period. Started in 1998, cut in 2006, restarted in 2012. Still looks exactly like 1998. YAY!
With its messy layout, this huge Norwegian gadget shopping site is surely the craziest of them all. Most of the content is up to date, but for most contemporary visitors it is more fun to collect all the animated items than it is to make real purchases. Spot the waving Santa Claus, find all the dancing robots and don’t miss the hot “PIKE.flashtits1.gif” among the remote control helicopter models. Also check out the Christmas themed footer!
Dynamic photorealistic 3D graphics software for mathematical and physical visualization. Pure hardcore science and psychedelic animated gifs from 1997, could you want more than that?
Dole / Kemp’96
We recently noticed that Bob Dole’s dismal 1996 campaign website is still live. I just checked: still online.
It is a piece of automotive history. Pacific Racing was a motor racing team from the United Kingdom. Following the success in inferior formula, the team competed in two full seasons of Formula 1, in 1994 and 1995. Their 1995 site is optimized for the Netscpae 1.1 browser. Tune in for the latest information on the Pacific Grand Prix!
The OJ Simpson Test Center
CNN has still not removed the main page from Orenthal James Simpson’s 1996 trial. It’s actually a pretty comprehensive resource – the backlinks walk you through the trial, from “Simpson Recalls Day of Murders” to “Sobbing, Elation at Simpson Verdict”.
SEARCH THE WORLD! ALIWEB (Archie Like Indexing for the WEB) is considered the first web search engine (announced in November 1993). Thanks to the god of interwebs, we can still admire its prehistoric beauty.
CNN’s 1996 Year in Review
A nice little subpage hidden on a remote CNN server. Oh yeah, the Olympics were in Atlanta … weird!
The Universal Internet Exhibition 1996
This site, with a huge number of subpages, is like an Internet directory in ’96. Quote from Rob Blokzijl, General Secretary of the Information Age World Expo: “It provided a meeting point for artists, engineers, business leaders and people from all walks of life. Several thousand pavilions from 75 countries participated in this show and we had 5 million visitors from 130 countries and territories. “What a success!
Biggest, Loudest, Most Read Anti-McDonald’s Extravaganza the World Has Ever Seen. Take them, McLibel.
“We don’t sell tacos. We don’t make tacos. In fact, some of us don’t even like them very much.” This is the website of the Technical Advisors Company (TACO), straight out of the 90s, still sparkling with this subtle SysAdmin humor.
INFORMATION AND SERVICES IN PRODUCTION AGRICULTURE. That says it all. Created 1996, last updated 1996, last seen 2012. Best seen with Netscape software!
Click here. WestNet was a full-service Internet service provider located in Westchester County, New York, founded in 1994. The company provided dial-up access for the New York metro area and northern New Jersey, in addition to DSL, leased line access and web hosting. services. They still store a lot of nice subpages, like these User home pages.
When it was founded in 1995, this site was probably the first online travel magazine. Its content dates from 1996, and among the articles you can find nuggets like the APPLE QuickTake 150 digital camera, or KODAK DC40 Digital Camera Comments.
Fanfare.wav! The Excite search engine is also still online and looks almost exactly like it did when it was brand new. You can use it to search for news on the Dole / Kemp ticket.
If rare HTML 2.0 pages could be auctioned off, Instant Internet Corporation’s web page would be worth millions. Just look at this source code —’DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC “- // IETF // DTD HTML 2.0 plus SQ / ICADD Tables // EN. ‘ Wow.
“Connecting Portland to the world since 1985” and the World Wide Web since 1997. Services provided by RainDrop Laboratories include Unix shell access, Unix system administration, and network administration on an hourly basis. Email and website hosting is also available.
The Klingon Language Institute
Hello, all Star Trek linguistics fans! Although the doctype statement in the source states that this page is in HTML 4.01, it is certainly a magical 1.0 website that has not been updated for over a decade.
Has made you say “Nomomnomnomnom” since 1997.
I FOUND IT
I Find It – THE BIGGEST SUPER SEARCH GUIDE ON THE NET. (Please set your screen resolution to 800 × 600 for best viewing.) It’s 1995. Holy Mother of Strategic Microsystems! Google, where were you in 1995? Guess we were looking for your rattle.
A little “Knowledge Portal for Small Business” that hasn’t changed much since 1996. Except, maybe, the Like button was probably added in 2012. Hold on. What? Only 5 people like it? I like this! You could also be the first of your friends to like it!
Here is, folks, the thing that has taught most of us what even “search engine” means.