Old Web Wednesday #5

I mentioned Netscape Navigator in last week’s OWW blog post so I used that to get this week’s post started; I searched for “best viewed with netscape navigator”.

Netscape was a popular web browser in the 90s as an alternative to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer; adopted perhaps by people who wanted to be different and avoid Microsoft. I think of Netscape as the Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome of the day, in fact Mozilla Organization was formed in 1998 and largely funded by Netscape. Netscape Navigator is no longer a current browser although the last release can be downloaded and installed on Windows 10, it just doesn’t like modern websites all that much and it’s probably not all that secure.

I found my way to isp.netscape.com although I had to use Firefox for this and a VPN to pose as a US resident.

The site wouldn’t look out of place in the early 2000s although it displays current news – I quite like the lack of visual clutter and larger dosings of text compared to other such sites like MSN; this one probably just acts as a landing page for those still using the email service there. For UK residents the page has a CompuServe link that takes you to a similarly-themed page, which does appear to work with Netscape.

The Search box on both of these websites are powered by AOL who took over Netscape in 1998 and ultimately ditched it five years later a tale that is all to familiar since I was then and still am a user of Nullsoft Winamp; Nullsoft were taken over by AOL in 1999 and then winamp.com was shutdown by them in 2003.

Using the Waybackmachine here is how the website looked in 1999:

Winamp had a large fan base and part of the fun with it was that it was possible for users to customise the player, creating personalised ‘skins’ and plug-ins. I did dabble in skins for a short while but the process became more complicated once the player received a new look at the end of 2003 with the release of Version 5.0. The website also went through numerous iterations over the years; I don’t actually remember the above style, rather the following two are more what I recall.

Winamp.com in 2003.
Winamp.com in 2005.

In another musical-related link I was looking up a sculpture by Sir George Frampton of Mysteriarch, as seen on p.4900 of The Children’s Encyclopedia and found myself on a website called Metal-Archives, specifically on a discography page for a band formed in 2001 called Mysteriarch. I thought the style of the website fit the bill here. I also listened to their album whilst I created this post, although not entirely to my liking (I prefer this type of music when it’s only instrumental).

Mysteriarch is “one who presides over Christian sacraments” or “one who rules over religious mysteries”, although I am struggling to find much else.

Here is a page on Frampton that is deliciously dated in its peach colours, created in 2011:




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