Ghost Sites of the Web

Web 1.0 history, forgotten web celebrities, old web sites, commentary, and news by Steve Baldwin. Published erratically since 1996.

June 22, 2007

This Site Proudly Optimized for Netscape 2.0

Netscape's 2.0 browser was released in February of 1996 -- that's eons ago in Web time.

Still, there are many sites out there proudly announcing that they are "optimized for Netscape 2.0." Here is a quick survey of these hardy, Luddite survivors, all of which have stubbornly resisted the impulse to become slick. Clunky, clumsy, and pixelated, sporting absurdly colorful backgrounds, these sites, untouched by the flow of time, might be said to be "forever young."

The Multicultural Recycler

Amazingly enough, this strange application (which recycles "live web art from almost live web cams") still works! Dig that centered page layout and mixed-font collage look - it typifies the 1990's peculiar design sensibilities!

Earthquake ABC
Let's scare the daylights out of the kids with colorful blinking animated GIFs! A government-built site that's still horrifyingly effective after all this time.
My Gosh - is this Web site unbelievably ugly or am I looking at it in precisely the wrong way? Maybe if I play Garbage's "Stupid Girl" it will look better. Yup, that works - this beautiful period piece just needed a little help!

Stratamagnetic Software
A simple one page layout that would probably look just as good using Lynx as it does with Netscape 2.0. Love that "legal pad yellow" background; and that rotating mail icon. If it ain't broke...

Kid's World
This site is pure Netscape 2.0 joy. Play around with some of the links and you'll be plunged into a chaotic world of pixelated graphics, bizarre Javascript, and and disorienting frames. Love it, love it!

The XXY-Files
Another great, well-preserved Netscape 2.0-optimied site from the crypt of time, with a centered theme. Last updated July 1996.

The Canadian Learning Company
A typical site of 10 years ago, a bit rotted out (several home page graphics are missing). Still, many pages remain to remind us of the glory of yesterday.

The Great Globe Gallery - Awards 1997
I haven't made up my mind whether the rainbow gradient background make this site hideous, hilarious, or sublime. Especially wonderful are the Awards from such defunct award sites as Computer Shopper's Hot Spots and Your Personal Net, Michael Wollf's ill-fated project. A fantastic time trip!

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