Everything Old is New Again
You may not have noticed, but Monday was the ten-year anniversary of the birth of the Mozilla project.
Specifically, it was the anniversary of Netscape’s release of the source code for its Web browser — an event which made possible the creation of Firefox and which eventually broke Microsoft’s monopoly on the Web browser market (though the path to get there was longer and stranger than anyone at Netscape probably imagined at the time).
To mark the occasion, Jamie Zawinski (one of the original Netscape programmers and the current proprietor of the DNA Lounge nightclub in San Francisco) has resurrected a bit of Internet history — the original Web site for the Mosaic Communications Corporation, which is what Netscape called itself before it called itself Netscape. You can view it today at the same URL it was found at in 1994 — http://home.mcom.com — and all the content on the site dates from ’94 as well, since that was just before the company released the first beta of the Netscape browser and officially became a Big Deal.
If you want to complete the paleo-Web experience, Zawinski has also put together a collection of old versions of Netscape that you can download and use to view the site (and any other sites you care to try — though odds are most modern sites will fail in dramatic and/or hilarious ways). The collection goes all the way back to Netscape 0.4, so you can get a 1994-vintage browser to go along with the 1994-vintage Web site.
I first discovered the Web myself early in 1994, so if you’ll excuse me, I have to go wallow in nostalgia for a while…