World Wide Web Turns 20

Story here. It was 20 years ago last weekend, on Christmas Day 1990, that the very first Internet page was loaded. And the website for that first page still exists, here.

It almost wasn’t called the World Wide Web. The Mine of Information and the Information Mesh were two suggestions.

I recall exactly what I was doing on that day too, completely oblivious to the coming revolution.

And I remember buying my first modem - for use on my land line.
Downloads took forever - “Oh wow - porn!” And sure enough, a mere 3 - 5 hours later, there was a 3"x3" not-so-great porn photo…

The thing that impresses me is that first web page was a pretty good design that doesn’t look out of place even now. The early web took a nose dive in that regard all the way through the 90’s and into the early 2000’s with Geocities sites and Myspace being the big culprits.

I obviously wasn’t on the web in 1990 but I have been daily since 1994 on Netscape 0.8 Beta when there were still printed directories of web sites. The stories I can tell since the early days. The early part was like a wagon train dragging in to build supplies to build the major highways today. It is a pretty impressive achievement for something only 20 years old. It is also scary for IT people like myself to have things move that quickly. People in most occupations don’t have their skills rendered obsolete every year or two and have to regroup to to work on the next big thing.

I’d forgotten all about Netscape. Is it even still around? That seems like so long ago.

Some people take it as a joke, but porn really did fuel the development of the web in a big way and still does. Without anyone knowing what Netscape or the web was really good for, I figured it out in about an hour by myself and lots of other people did too independently. There weren’t any real search engines. You just had to click from place to place and mine what you found. In the very early days, that amounted to about 1 unique picture an hour which I thought was great and the rate of return was just high enough to keep you clicking on everything like a rat on a random reward schedule. The porn industry was the first to come up with profitable independent web businesses to prove it could be done and it also helped develop ways to make secure payments over the web easily. They are still developing some cutting edge technology including streamed 3-D content.

Dec 25, 1990? I had not yet experienced any of the Internet–that would come later, in 1992 (one demo telnet at Sheridan College). In late 1990 I was preoccupied by my sister’s illness. :frowning:

Firefox is closely related Netscape in a round about way. It came full circle. Internet Explorer destroyed Netscape as a company but Firefox is still in the same project lineage. That is a simplistic way to put it. The full story is below if you are interested. Netscape Navigator is no longer supported but Firefox is doing great.

I was actually listed in one of those! In the early 90s, I ran a web page for the one of my University’s sports teams… With their permission, I created a digital version of their media guide, listed the schedule, and kept it up to date with scores and results.

I was in a bookstore one day, and say something like “The Internet Yellow Pages”…and sure enough, I was listed. Not realizing how cool that would be eventually, I didn’t buy a copy. :smack:

Hmm… lists used copies from that era for under $3. Maybe I’ll buy a few years and see if I can find myself.

On Christmas Day 1990 my then-wife was pregnant with my first child. I don’t remember anything about the day, but the city and state was all fired up about the University of Colorado’s upcoming Orange Bowl game on Jan 1st against Notre Dame.

Colorado won that game (20 years ago right about exactly now) 10-9 for their only National Championship. My oldest is now a college sophmore, at the University of Colorado.

I first encountered the WWW in 1994, via a Macintosh Performa which cost about $2K, which would be just about $3K today.

I wasn’t on the net in 1990, but joined AOL in 1994. It didn’t offer the world wide web yet, but it had email and a ton of content. I don’t know if the Dope was on AOL in 1994, but it was by '97 or so, when I joined(if my memory is correct).

I was on bulletin board before '94, though, using a 2400 Baud modem(I think??).

Heck, I loved bulletin boards. I miss them, actually.

Note the Internet predates the World Wide Web by many years. I had an email account at my university starting in 1986. I sent less than 10 email messages between 1986-1990 because hardly anyone had email at that time. The Web (and AOL) made the Internet user friendly so that anyone could use it. The Internet was accessed via Unix command line in 1986.

While we’re celebrating the WWW, please remember gopher

OH won’t someone please think of the gophers :smiley:

Well wouldn’t that be typical. I clicked on Siam Sam’s link and got this:

Not Found
The requested URL /sdmb/-6 was not found on this server.

Hey Cicero, there’s a related thread in ATMB about that link problem. I posted a link to your post there.

The link in the OP works…something on your machine is not working with SDMB.

Give it another 20 years and the wrinkles might have been ironed out.

Heh- I doubt I’ll be here in 20 years time.

ZipperJJ, thanks for the help. I found the second link did work and at my 3rd try the first link worked. <shrugs> Computers and I sometimes tend to disagree.

Find it here —>

Go here to go all the way back to 16 bit, version 0.4 —>

My flatmate ran a BBS, so I learned a lot about the internet through him. One of my earliest memories of the Web was when I saw my first animated gif, in Netscape 2, but I had been on the web about a year or so up till then, so that should date things pretty firmly for beginning my cruise on the Information Superhighway in 1995 sometime.

It died a couple years ago, after a while of just being Firefox combined with the old version of Netscape for compatibility.

While Mozilla (and therefore Firefox, SeaMonkey, Flock, K-Meleon, and Camino) is its successor, about the only thing that remains from Netscape is the plugin system and the internal names for some things.

I’ve never really liked Firefox. IE has always done well for me, but I always hear people complaining about it.