Sep 9, 2010

Just hit slash slash dotcom... - Part One

Hit return, hold down the option key, shift three times, slash, slash, dot com, blue blue sky. H-A-W-A-I-I dot com.
One world, one operating system.
And there you are, in the middle of the blue Pacific.
Four. Three. Two. One. Zero.
(As heard on the 'Songs and Stories from the Nerve Bible' video by Laurie Anderson)

I decided not to let Alan Lasky's priceless contribution to the Laurie Anderson / World Wide Web history vanish into oblivion. He is the guy who was committed (or crazy) enough to type in all the URL-s that he'd found on his Nerve Bible Tour memorabilia t-shirt, and updated the list around, hm, 2000-ish.

("So think of the potential."
Laurie Anderson, Nerve Bible Tour, Budapest, 1995)

When the original URL still works, it is a hyperlink. When I had to substitute a current URL, it appears in parenthesis after the name, and is a hyperlink. If nothing is linked,no current URL could be found.
(Alan Lasky on his website) 

Now it's time for another revisit of the URL-s, this time with a little help from Teh Internet Archive's Wayback Machine. What I contributed to the list is some actualized / dug-out-from-the-internet-archive URL-s (if necessary), plus some basic information on the websites' subjects (if I thought it would fit). I removed all direct links that are no longer working.

Since the list is epic, I'm going to divide it into three parts.

1. Louvre Museum
The Louvre Museum's 'original' webpage cannot be found in the Internet Archive. The Wayback Machine though features a database / file list of the root of the website ( from 1997 but without any index.html, which means the domain might not have been working anymore in 1997. Alan's contribution (the new Louvre URL) is working fine.

2. Brooder of Banner Ads
  • -- Global Network Navigator Home Page -- The Whole Internet Catalog
According to Wikipedia, "Global Network Navigator was the first commercial web publication and the first web site to offer clickable advertisements, now commonly referred to as "banner ads"." In 1996,'s archived index site did feature a Whole Internet Catalog (wow!) in its top menu, and it linked to the AOL website.

3. Putting the MOCK in Democracy
American political satire group The Capitol Steps was formed in the Reagan era and they are still working and active with more than 25 members. They update their website weekly with new material (see Alan's URL).

4. Mobile Manipulators and Integrated Bimanual Humanoids
Here is what the Wayback Machine preserved of the original website. Not much change in design since 1997.

5. All Kinds of Cool Sh*t
Another piece of history: links to all kinds of Cool Sh*t on a personal website - from a period when one single website covered the whole, for example, beer scene on the Net.

6. All Aspects of Cinema and New Media
  • -- CinemaSpace titlepage ( )
The domain is named after German antiwar writer Erich Maria Remarque, 'xcohen' is Alexander J. Cohen, the original URL links to his home page from 1996.

7. Collision in Outer Space
  • Comet P-Shoemaker-Levy 9 Impact Home Page
The original website (as preserved by the Wayback Machine) documented the collision of a comet and the planet Jupiter in 1994 with lots of photos.

8. Virtual Observatory
The Internet's Virtual Telescope ("Virtual Observatory on the Net generating images of any part of the sky at wavelengths in all regimes from Radio to Gamma-Ray") is fine and working as of 2010, actually it has recently endured a temporary breakdown due to heavy usage.

9. "We thought people would like it."
  • -- Images from the WideField and Planetary Camera 2 ( )
The WideField and Planetary Camera 2 was Hubble Telescope's main camera between 1993 and 2002, responsible for such famous Disney-like pictures like Embryonic Stars Emerge from Interstellar "Eggs" or The Ring Nebula (M57).

10. For Your Internet Music Needs
  • -- Internet Underground Music Archive ( )
Sadly, all that remained to posterity is this archived page by the Wayback Machine of "the Net's first, free hi-fi music archive" from Xmas 1996.

11. Experimenting with Video Processing Filters
The original website can be seen here (via Teh Internet Archive). Ironically, the page that the actual URL links to used to be hosting a copy of the US Tax Code for a while. The next two links in the list still have some additional info on the subject.

12. Web Robots 101
  • -- World Wide Web Robots
Yay, Wayback Machine rules again! A vintage website for all things web robots, web wanderers, crawlers, spiders - whatever you call them.

(to be continued)