Web Relic Showcase: Furniture Porn

Furniture Porn main page screenshot
Screenshot of the main page. Appropriately viewed on Netscape Communicator on Windows 98.

Name: Furniture Porn
URL: www.furnitureporn.com
Year created: 1992
Year abandoned: 2001

If there’s anywhere to go searching for something bizarre, it’s the Internet. Most websites created before 1995 served a serious purpose of some sort. Someone may have created a website to promote their business or organization, provide information to the public, or to host a digital personal portfolio.

Between all the seriousness, there were also some personal websites with no more of an intention than to make users laugh. One of these websites was Furniture porn. Continue reading “Web Relic Showcase: Furniture Porn”

Virtual communities and self-expression

Habbo screenshot
A populated room on Habbo. (Screenshot from Virtual Worlds For Teens)

Aside from providing a plethora of information, the Internet’s rise in popularity can also be credited to what it allowed users to do socially.

Communication with a far-away relative was made easy with e-mail, and meeting a new friend halfway across the world could be done from your own living room while browsing a forum. This advanced connectivity introduced a fascinating experience previously unavailable to the world and changed the way we interact. Beyond the typical e-mail and instant messaging programs, one thing that took online socialization to a new level was virtual world games. Continue reading “Virtual communities and self-expression”

The freebooting debate: Keeping obscure legacies alive

Aaliyah One In A Million
Album cover of Aaliyah’s One In A Million (Photo from Wikipedia)

I recently read a Complex article explaining why Aaliyah’s music cannot be legally downloaded on the Internet. Often times for artists who do not make their music available online, typical reasons include issues with royalties, ethics, or quality. What makes the late R&B singer’s case so unique is how there appears to be a lack of motive behind it. The article goes on to question if as a result, illegally sharing her music on the Internet is one of the main things keeping Aaliyah’s legacy alive.

While Aaliyah is by no means an obscure musician, her situation falls similar to actual obscure artists. This raises a question of if illegal access online for not only obscure music, but any obscure media is a positive thing. Continue reading “The freebooting debate: Keeping obscure legacies alive”

Web Relic Showcase: GeoCities NorthPole

NorthPole community page
The NorthPole community page as displayed on Internet Archive

Neighbourhood name: NorthPole
Year created: 1996
Year abandoned: Unknown
URL: http://web.archive.org/web/19961221000658/http://www.geocities.com/NorthPole/

Before the elimination of GeoCities neighborhoods, homesteaders were given 41 different places to categorize their webpages, based on community and interests. In 1996, there were only 29 neighborhoods. For a short time in 1996, a temporary 30th neighborhood called “NorthPole” was created for the Christmas season. Continue reading “Web Relic Showcase: GeoCities NorthPole”

25 years of Web memories

Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web
WorldWideWeb creator Tim Berners-Lee (Photo from CERN)
Tuesday Aug. 23 marked Internaut Day, the 25th (unofficial) anniversary of when Tim Berners-Lee introduced the World Wide Web to the general public. Berners-Lee and his team brought more than just an interconnected society to the masses, but also brought positive change to users lives in more ways than one. Continue reading “25 years of Web memories”

The rise and fall of the Yahoo! dynasty

"Jumping guy" Yahoo! logo used in 1995.
“Jumping guy” Yahoo! logo used in 1995.

Let’s get one thing straight before we get into it — Yahoo! isn’t closing, its assets are just being sold to Verizon. What’s the big deal then? The big deal is that while Yahoo! may have already been on the decline, this purchase can be considered the official end of the company’s reign over the Internet. Continue reading “The rise and fall of the Yahoo! dynasty”

The struggles of WebTV

A screenshot of the WebTV homepage in its first year
A screenshot of the WebTV homepage in its first year (Photo from TheFreeDictionary)

The growing popularity of the internet in the late ‘90s had people curious as to what the web was all about. More people started going out and buying computers and subscribing to an internet service provider to explore what this emerging technology had to offer. For some, it was harder to access. Whether because of financial struggle, tech illiteracy, or only minimal interest, using the web, let alone owning a computer was considered either a luxury, or something only for those who had an interest. A low-cost alternative, WebTV, was invented for these types of users. Continue reading “The struggles of WebTV”

Sounds of cyberspace: How the internet has influenced music

If there are any two things that are constantly changing with the times, it is music and the internet. Good things happen when one meets the other. The internet has had a helping hand in bringing musicians and fans together in ways once impossible, but the internet’s influence on the actual sound of music raises questions.

How can one take the merely visual internet, and associate it with sounds? Can the internet make a sound? And how do we come to the unanimous decision regarding what defines the “noise of the net”? Musicians of the 21st century have found ways to bring aspects of the internet into not only their visual aesthetic, but also into their styles. Continue reading “Sounds of cyberspace: How the internet has influenced music”

Web browser history part 2: The browser wars

See also: Web browser history part 1: The evolution of the browser

88x31 buttons promoting Internet Explorer and Netscape
88×31 buttons of Web 1.0 promoting Internet Explorer and Netscape. These were commonly found on both personal and professional web pages at the time.

In its prime, the Mosaic browser was instrumental in bringing the web to the average person. As its architecture carried over to the foundations of future software, developers found ways to improve its features. This was done not only through creation of their own browsers, but also in finding ways to knock out any other competition. This ushered in the first of few eras of “browser wars”: A competition among developers to have the most popular browser. Continue reading “Web browser history part 2: The browser wars”

Web browser history part 1: The evolution of the web browser

Original WorldWideWeb logo
Original WorldWideWeb logo, designed in 1990 by Robert Cailliau

If there’s any 20th century invention that changed the world in a revolutionary way, it is the World Wide Web. What started as a small project to easily host internal information over the internet has since transformed into an integral part of our modern society. The information and content we have today would not be accessible without the creation of web browsers. Before web browsers, internet users did not have much to rely on aside from e-mails and newsgroups. This has since changed. From simplistic software in its early days, to multi-functioning products today, browsers have come a long way. Continue reading “Web browser history part 1: The evolution of the web browser”