When it comes to tech nostalgia, there is nothing quite like it, and it shows in all forms, from social gatherings and music to historical preservations. When you get the itch to experience the old clunky days, there are sites to help you, such as The Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, making it easy to revisit some of the digital content of history.
However, there’s now a new way that people can browse the older sites, said Mike Murphy of Quartz. There is a web portal that allows visitors to view how the internet looked like in the past using browsers that are 20 years old.
Oldweb.today is the brainchild of Dragan Espenschied and Ilya Kreymer. Murphy stated that “it captured the experience of browsing the web prior to the new millennium.” This was back when designs were simple, but pages took much longer to load. Dial-up and webrings still existed too.
There are various browser emulators available in the collections at oldweb.today, allowing the users to see any content, but experience it as they would have decades ago. The users have the option to decide on 14 versions of browsers, including some that have been laid to rest long ago, such as Netscape Navigator and Mosaic.
There are 13 institutions worldwide that this open-source tool gains its content from, and it also provides users an “I’m feeling random” option to randomly venture through all sorts of the phenomenon that was known only as the World Wide Web or the WWW in the dot-com era.
Anyone who gets nostalgic will be able to see how various web pages appeared way back, from Gap’s wide leg jeans to Yahoo’s homepage in 1996. It can be fun and hilarious, but just because we have a way to see how things have changed over the past 20 years. It does not mean that everything has changed. There are still sites that are going strong with their 20-year old ways, such as Bob Dole’s 1996 campaign and Space Jam webpages.