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Archaeology on the Information Superhighway
February 21, 2013 12:39 PM   Subscribe

Websites from the 90s and early 2000s that are alive, but unupdated.

As a starting point, The You've Got Mail website is still alive, in all its late-90s glory. (Warning: Flash, sound, animation)

(Previously, Previously, Previously)
posted by frimble (59 comments total) 46 users marked this as a favorite

 
This one is pretty special
posted by forgetful snow at 12:43 PM on February 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've been looking for a new Matthew and Jake adventure every day for about sixteen years now.
posted by bondcliff at 12:44 PM on February 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


This post has been up for four minutes and no one has mentioned zombo.com?
posted by procrastination at 12:44 PM on February 21, 2013 [10 favorites]


"Error establishing a database connection". DAMMIT THAT'S A 500 NOT A 404.
posted by asterix at 12:46 PM on February 21, 2013


"Error establishing a database connection". DAMMIT THAT'S A 500 NOT A 404.

For me too.

Then again, I was getting those messages back in the day too, so I guess it's apropos.
posted by Debaser626 at 12:49 PM on February 21, 2013


This post has been up for four minutes and no one has mentioned zombo.com?

zombo.com is web 5.0.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:50 PM on February 21, 2013 [12 favorites]


Dammit this site should be 200 OK. 404 PAGE FOUND makes no sense!
posted by ardgedee at 12:53 PM on February 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


What, like my personal webpage?

Don't judge me. I'm just very lazy.
posted by Hamusutaa at 12:53 PM on February 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


the sad thing is that they're all probably better looking and better designed than my Web site
posted by bitteroldman at 12:56 PM on February 21, 2013


How do you know it's alive if it hasn't been updated? (What does "alive" even mean in this context?)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 12:56 PM on February 21, 2013


"Alive" probably means the DNS registrations has been kept up to date and that there's a web server on the other end that will still respond "200 (OK)" to GET requests.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:00 PM on February 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Looks like it's missing Warner Brothers' Space Jam.
posted by ardgedee at 1:01 PM on February 21, 2013 [8 favorites]


Yep still a 404 on my end
posted by TangerineGurl at 1:01 PM on February 21, 2013


zombo.com is the beginning and the end of the Internet.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:01 PM on February 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


The weird thing is how many of these pages I remember visiting, back in the day. That somehow makes the internet feel smaller and I'm not sure why.

Having said that, 253 was a good read. I'm glad its site is still up.
posted by DingoMutt at 1:02 PM on February 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


From twenty years ago; the first web-book / ebook / website I read in its entirety, and got me hooked on the web thing, America, and traveling through America. Read it several times since. So probably one of the big influences on my life for the last two decades.

Blue Highways for Generation X: Travels with Samantha, by Philip Greenspun.

Still online (originally on an MIT server), never "upgraded", no need to be.
posted by Wordshore at 1:04 PM on February 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


*groan* ... moving along now ...
posted by TangerineGurl at 1:09 PM on February 21, 2013


I haven't re-designed my homepage since at least 2006, though I occasionally add small amounts of info.
posted by Devils Rancher at 1:11 PM on February 21, 2013


I had a moment of stark terror that this might include the only web entity of mine from before 2000 that still survives (thanks to the tenacity of Tripod free-but-ad-filled hosting). The OXY2K, my endeavor to curate an Oxymoron list of over 2000 items before the Year 2000 (beat the deadline by several weeks). Still there, complete with the design mistake on most of the pages of alternating white-on-black and black-on-white (to symbolize opposites), my misspelling of "millennium" (see, typos are a LONG tradition with me) and a warning for the page with the complete list "WARNING: OVER 310 KB FILE"

Of course, The End of the Internet is there. I briefly tried to compete with that site with a page declaring "you have gone beyond the End of the Internet; like Wile E. Coyote there is nothing beneath you; don't look down" where when you moved your mouse, it would 'drop' about 2000 pixels to where I simply wrote "thud."
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:15 PM on February 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Previously on MetaFilter: Popular Search Engines in the 90's.
posted by Wordshore at 1:16 PM on February 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I knew that "people eating tasty animals" thing was an old joke, but I didn't know it was THIS old.
posted by Curious Artificer at 1:19 PM on February 21, 2013


Also previously: Club Bacardi '97
posted by filthy light thief at 1:25 PM on February 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh my god, why can't I see larger versions of those You've Got Mail webcards?
posted by amarynth at 1:26 PM on February 21, 2013


Three River's Stadium's website is still serving twelve years after the actual building was imploded.

"optimized for Netscape 3.0 or above and Internet Explorer 4.0 and above."
posted by octothorpe at 1:44 PM on February 21, 2013 [9 favorites]


This certainly ranks among the Top 5% of All Websites!
posted by Spatch at 1:56 PM on February 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


procrastination: "This post has been up for four minutes and no one has mentioned zombo.com?"

Oddly enough, whomever is responsible for Zombo isn't exactly asleep at the helm -- the site was blacked out as part of the 1/18/12 SOPA protests.

It's almost funny to think about the fact that some guy has been consciously paying to keep that server alive for all these years.... According to the server's HTTP headers, it's running a version of Apache from 2008.
posted by schmod at 1:57 PM on February 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


zombo.com is web 5.0.

You kid, but someone did html5zombo.com
posted by juv3nal at 2:24 PM on February 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also, zombocom has a twitter.
posted by juv3nal at 2:29 PM on February 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


On this subject, does anyone know of a way to search the web and filter by HTML DOCTYPE?

I've been curious how many legacy web sites written in HTML 1, 2 and 3 are still floating around in cyberspace.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot at 2:35 PM on February 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


I always have a disconnect between these sites from around 2000 or so that look really bad, and realizing that's when Peter Jackson's TLOTR came out, which set a high bar for compelling CGI in moves, and have kept their visual appeal. It's a major dissonance in widely used types of technology at the same time.
posted by SpacemanStix at 2:39 PM on February 21, 2013


I'm not saying that I'm old, but I found CDNow on gopherspace using veronica and went there via telnet to buy physical CDs. Sigh.
posted by sonascope at 2:48 PM on February 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


You can tell how old some of these sites are by counting the webrings.
posted by orme at 2:51 PM on February 21, 2013 [22 favorites]


also FYI the amazing nosepilot is still around.
posted by juv3nal at 2:57 PM on February 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Some I remember visiting my first years on the internet as a kid that are still alive in some form:
The Barney Fun Page! Interactively murderize the purple galoot with an assortment of high-tech ASCII weapons.

Amazeworld interactive webmazes

FreeArcade.com, including such "classics" as Wicky Woo, Javanoid, Jet Slalom, Super Kid, and Flea Circus

One Slime volleyball

The Mystery of Time and Space, one of the first "escape" flash games

The Alternate History Travel Guides, user-generated stories of parallel Earths

The Nitpickers Site, for spotting goofs in movies and TV (archive.org link since the domain apparently expired just three days ago)

Also, the Active Worlds virtual world service is, amazingly, still alive and kicking after almost 18 years. It even has a subreddit!
posted by Rhaomi at 3:04 PM on February 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wow. I worked on this project back in the early 90's. NICMOS is one of the Hubble Space telescopes science instruments.

http://nicmosis.as.arizona.edu:8000/NICMOS.html
posted by Increase at 3:05 PM on February 21, 2013


I like Ted's Caving Page.
posted by Ouisch at 3:07 PM on February 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I always have a disconnect between these sites from around 2000 or so that look really bad, and realizing that's when Peter Jackson's TLOTR came out, which set a high bar for compelling CGI in moves, and have kept their visual appeal. It's a major dissonance in widely used types of technology at the same time.

Not if you compare their budgets.
posted by notyou at 3:17 PM on February 21, 2013


Reminds me of the time when I used the NCAR web page in a demonstration because it was one of the few web sites that actually had sound.

Multimedia in 1994 was more media than multi.
posted by tommasz at 3:18 PM on February 21, 2013


My favourite Irish music site from the late 1990s was Ceolas. Here's what's new:
The "What's New" service is suspended indefinitely, but hopefully not for too long. The work of maintaining Ceolas and working in the 'New Economy' has got to be too much for one person, so I am working on refocussing Ceolas to provide more of a service with less needs for manual updates. While I work on that, the "What's New" service and regular monthly schedule calendars will be suspended.
-Gerard
Sep 5, 2000
posted by salishsea at 3:21 PM on February 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Angelfire still exists?!?!?!?
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:41 PM on February 21, 2013


Most of the businesses in my area still have websites like this, but they tend towards the wretched, not the retro-awesome. Lots of Papyrus, cheesy gradients, and stock photos of bald eagles, happy-looking ethnic people and young hands holding old hands.

I suspect a lot of these really, really bad designs are because the designer got pissed off and gave the idiot client exactly what they wanted, and then some.
posted by dunkadunc at 3:45 PM on February 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


> Also, zombocom has a twitter.

I don't know if I'm impressed by the level of dedication that feed shows, or deeply frightened.
posted by Panjandrum at 4:03 PM on February 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


One of my former coworkers once casually mentioned that his cousin had made zombocom. Obviously I asked for an autograph.
posted by migurski at 4:18 PM on February 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Looks like the extra traffic from the Introduction to Laserdiscs caused someone to finally pull the page.
posted by hwyengr at 4:37 PM on February 21, 2013


I feel as if I need to click on them real gently so I don't break them.
posted by sourwookie at 4:42 PM on February 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


my favorite old school website is tim's atari midi world - doesn't quite qualify, as it was last updated in 2007, but it was around in the 90s and is a great resource for old atari midi goodness - which can be emulated on pc and used with 80s and 90s rackmount synths - i've done it

i'm afraid tim passed away, but someone's been good enough to keep the site up
posted by pyramid termite at 4:46 PM on February 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Fear not, vintage videophiles. The link from 404pagefound is just broken. Here, in its 1995 glory, is the Introduction to LaserDisc.
posted by hwyengr at 4:51 PM on February 21, 2013


NO DAMMIT I NEED TO KNOW HOW!

Now I'll NEVER make it to "Advanced Web Surfing"

Current Mood: :( dejected
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 4:56 PM on February 21, 2013


Let's not forget Prof. Dr. Style.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 5:18 PM on February 21, 2013


My shitty teen experimental poetry AOL website from '96-'97 still exists on web.archive.org. There's no way in hell I'm linking it, though!
posted by naju at 5:36 PM on February 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


Proudly, one of these sites is mine. Wrote the whole thing in Notepad and used MSPaint in windows 3.1 using Chameleon TCP. Remember Chameleon? What a lifesaver.

The site made this list solely by virtue of it being hosted on a university server and promptly forgotten about when the owner graduated. Kind of amazing it made it this far.
posted by JoeZydeco at 6:01 PM on February 21, 2013


My mid-'90s favorite was the MMF (Make Money Fast) Hall of Humiliation, which was a takedown site of various online scammers. The guy who ran it, Rolf, could get a wee bit jackassy at times (good god, the number of times he'd refer to his Porsche Boxter: YES WE GET IT, ROLF, YOU ARE RICH AND HAVE AN ENORMOUS PENIS), but there was something quite satisfying about seeing the dumbest schemes undone so neatly.
posted by scody at 6:03 PM on February 21, 2013


I've been looking for a new Matthew and Jake adventure every day for about sixteen years now.


Given Matthew and Jake are both fathers now, I suspect their adventures in real life are very much along the same lines nowadays.
posted by ocschwar at 6:54 PM on February 21, 2013


Current Mood: :( dejected

Oh man..what was that mood widget I used to use back in like 1998? Or maybe it was later than that... But that just brought back a flash of a memory for me.
posted by limeonaire at 7:51 PM on February 21, 2013


The best example of a website that is blast-from-the-past but still ACTUALLY up to date is Berkshire Hathaway Inc's. Just look at that don't-give-a-fuck glory. There are FONT tags in that header, son, FONT tags. That is how Warren Buffet rolls.
posted by emeiji at 8:20 PM on February 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


This collection of Infocom sample transcripts is lovely.
posted by grabbingsand at 9:11 PM on February 21, 2013


You can tell how old some of these sites are by counting the webrings.

Oh man! Why exactly did webrings disappear? I used to love moving around the web in those things, so much more interesting than the browsers back/forward buttons.
posted by grog at 4:51 AM on February 22, 2013


Why exactly did webrings disappear?

You can still see them in the wild. I did a post here the other day and the site has webring (scroll to the bottom, natch).
posted by marxchivist at 7:09 AM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


My old Geocities web page still exists on archive.org. I checked out some of the links and discovered that SirLinksalot is still around, still updated, but looking pretty much the same as it always did. Who knew?
posted by SisterHavana at 7:55 PM on February 22, 2013


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