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01 October 2023

On the old web

I stayed up late last night searching for the "old web"— personal homepages, digital gardens, manifestos, guides— the type of stuff FAANG buried under algorithms and shiny interfaces.

And boy, did I find some stuff.

The old web is alive and, well, its alive at least. I have a bucket-full of bookmarks I have to sort through but, I'd like to post them here soon, under some undecided context.

Update: this is now a growing list of sites from the old web.

Various sites from the old web #

Some of these sites haven't been updated in decades, some are still updated regularly.

  1. There was Tigerden's Big Page of Furry Links, which delivers exactly what it promises (I wouldn't click on the links in that list, though. The site is twenty years old, who knows where those URLs go to now).

  2. There's the Project Xanadu page from the folks who invented the concept of hyperlinks (jump-links to them). They're snarky and stubborn in their philosophy. I love it. Here's a 1995 article from Wired about their story titled The Curse of Xanadu. Good read.

  3. Stinkymeat— A well documented three week prank.

  4. Internet Explorer is Evil— haven't read the entire site but I vibe with its premise. Wonder though if sites like this were a precursor to the Bill Gates micro-chip conspiracy theories?

  5. The Internet Pizza Server is a charming little oddity. Here's the pizza I ordered with pepperoni, green peppers, and fingers.

  6. A forum discussing 9/11 as it was happening. Eerie and surreal stuff. "I was on the "E" Train, which heads straight into the WTC, only seconds before the crash, when I decided to switch to the "R" Train (which avoids the WTC). I would probably still be stuck on the train now, and for hours afterwards."

  7. The LoserUsers— I can't make heads or tails on what this site is in reference to.

Special Interests #

  1. Lost Parks— a page dedicated to all of Florida's lost tourist attractions. Started in 1997 and was updated as recent as 2015 from what I can tell

  2. A brief history of Psychological Operations from a Desert Storm Vet. A fascinating read. I couldn't find any mention of the internet as an effective medium for PSYOPs, to give you an idea how old the site is.

  3. "Weird Al" Yankovic Homepage

Guides & Tutorials #

Detailed instructions for accomplishing something.

  1. DIY Cellphone is a guide that literally shows you how to make your own cellphone, by a couple of MIT folks.

  2. An old HTML Tutorial from Stanford with a fun writing voice. "...we'll share what we've learned over the months in the School of Hard Knocks. Of course, everything we tried worked...NOT!!"

  3. Cold Water Reactor

  4. The SECRET Guide to Computers

Digital Repositories, Collections, & Archives #

Writings, graphics, gifs, and other things made of 1s and 0s from the old web.

  1. Iconology

  2. Hacked Sites

  3. Complete Review— A Literary Saloon and Site Review

  4. Ascii Art Dictionary from Andreas Freise

  5. Lies, Damn Lies & ICQ Messages

Vintage Digital Gardens #

Personal homepages from the old internet dedicated to documenting their lives, experiences, and interests.

  1. Dennis M. Ritchie

  2. Julia A. Ziring's Home Page

  3. Ziring MicroWeb Homepage

  4. Paul Burgess

  5. Blaisdell's Little Corner of the Web

  6. Sprott's Gateway

  7. Phil Reynolds' Home Page

  8. Ivy's Domain

  9. Phillip Helbig

Contact me about this list #

How to reach me.

If a listing is harmful: While I always poke around, I haven't thoroughly reviewed all of the sites listed. If you see something listed you think is harmful, please contact me so I can remove it.

If you have an addition: I can't promise I'll add everything submitted, but I welcome contributions!

If you want your site removed: If your site is listed and you want it removed, let me know. I'll be happy to remove it.

If a link is broken: If you come across a broken link, let me know.


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