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Unraveling the web's story


  • A compendium of important historical links compiled by Zach Leatherman (the ones that haven’t succumbed to link rot anyway). For a quick demo site, there’s a lot of interesting stuff there. Continue reading

  • Thinking of The Straight Dope today (earliest possible archive link). It started as a weekly column in the Chicago Reader, and then other newspapers, and then way back in 1996, on the early web. In some ways, its perfect for the web. Every week, it would answer some new, offbeat but still practical and relatable… Continue reading

  • Recalling the still-simmering Browser Wars in 2002, Steve Champeon makes a pretty good point. The past six years have brought enormous change, standardization, and stability (not to mention top-notch implementations) from the major browser vendors. And that isn’t just because “Microsoft won the war.” We all won the browser wars. Compromises were made on both… Continue reading

  • The new Beanie Bubble movie (available on Apple TV) documents the rise and epic fall of the Beanie Baby craze of the 1990’s. Beanie Babies are notable for their website, the first true “e-commerce” site. The year was 1995, before the likes of Amazon and right around the time eBay was founded. The site spawned… Continue reading

  • One corner of my research has me looking at a wave of blogging that started to build in the early 2000’s, in the wake of the dot-com crash and in the build-up to the Iraq war. In September 2000, blogger Rebecca Blood wrote a first draft of that new history in weblogs: a history and… Continue reading

  • I’m reading through Thomas Pynchon’s Crying of Lot 49 and it features this absurd and morbid aside: How did the post horn come in? That went back to their founding.In the early ’60’s a Yoyodyne executive living near L.A. and located someplace in the corporate root-system above supervisor but below vice-president, found himself, at age… Continue reading

  • I’ve been digging into the invention of what’s sometimes called “Netscape Time,” the rapid acceleration of software development once it moved to the web thanks to digital access to that software. But Netscape Time also was often chaotic and without purpose. When Jamie Zawinski (one of the original programmers on the Netscape team) left the… Continue reading