Monday, March 13, 2006

I feel so old Web...

Didn't do any of the things I said I would do this past weekend. That's about the way my weekends go. Working on projects is too much like work.

So, tonight, instead of playing catch-up on all the stuff I was supposed to do, I started running random searches. I remembered I had downloaded some old backup CDs to my new 120 Gig hard drive and thought, "Hey, I used to have an old Bookmarks file -- I wonder how many of the links are still live?"


I'm not sure of when I actually saved those bookmarks but they have to go back to at least 2001 if not longer, so they are at least 5 years old. Some of the sites date back to the period of 1995-1997, because I bookmarked them when I was working for a software firm in Albuquerque.

Not even my own links are still active. I've changed all the URLs for Xenite.Org. And oddly enough, I had completely forgotten that Parma Endorion, the original site, had once been framed. I was so concerned about people whose browsers didn't support frames that I had created a non-framed version. I'd forgotten that people used to do that.

It's a lot like the Flash-versus-nonFlash alternatives we get today (and I still usually pick non-Flash when it's available).

There were some history Web sites that were pretty interesting, but they're gone. And I had a few celebrity sites bookmarked that are now gone (fan sites, I think -- probably bookmarked for research for articles and directories).

Back in the pre-Blog days I came across the Yale University personal home page of a girl named Ann Kim. She has long since graduated and become an attorney, but she was blogging about her college life years before Weblog software was even written. You can't even find the stuff on now, because Yale blocked the robot.

Well, who wants to read about other people's lives anyway?

RogueMarket is gone. You once could trade in celebrities like they were stocks. There was a chance to win a t-shirt and a few other dinky prizes. I learned about RogueMarket, I think, from Tom Simpson's Xena Fan Site. Tom has a blog now, but his Xena site was the grand-daddy of Xena sites. There were very few before it, and none quite like it. Tom once emailed me to compliment me on Xena Online Resources (which is no longer at the original URL). He mentioned as an aside that I might want to create some sort of index page for Xenite.Org.

Yes, Xenite was once an indexless domain, with several disparate Web sites that didn't mention each other or really indicate that they existed as part of a larger network. I've learned a few things about Web design and promotion since then.

Not that my Web design ever won any awards -- well, actually, it did win a few awards. Hey, most of those old award sites no longer exist, and even Britannica has stopped feeding the graphic for the award they gave us.

The Dead People Server is gone. I'd have thought that one would have no end of new listings.

The good news is that Genealogy and Heraldry in Slovenia is still around, but I have no idea of why I bookmarked the site. Obviously, I was doing research into heraldry. It may have been Tolkien-related but Slovenia is a bit far removed from Tolkien's usual sources.

The Keirsey Temperament Sorter - Jungian Personality Test is gone. I don't recall where I found out about that site, but I took the test and got for letters of the alphabet. Doesn't matter. I've lost the letters, thought the test was kind of crazy, and people don't mention whether they are MBRK or QRTS any more anyway, so what does it matter?

Internet Classics Archive is still active (sort of -- I got tired of waiting for the page to render -- did I really visit that dog when I was connecting at 33,600 BAUD?).

CJ's Xuxa archive is gone. I'm not sure, but he might have set up Xuxa-USA. At one time, he had the most extensive Xuxa archive on the Web. Xuxa, for those of you who don't know, is a Brazilian television star who rose to international fame and sputtered out in the United States. She actually is better known here for her appearance in the 1980s in Brazil's Playboy rather than her work in getting 90% of Brazil's children immunized against Polio. She had a children's television show with a ton of cute girls called Paquitas who helped her keep the packs of children in line. I suspect more adults watched that show than children, if only because men got hooked on Xuxa and the Paquitas instantaneously.

U.S. television shows can be so boring, when you get right down to it.

I used to link to some "cool" starter sites like Web Counter and Starting Point. They are but sad sorry shadows of what they once used to be. I doubt many people visit either site now, but there was a time when being listed on either one could drive thousands of visitors your way. is gone. I have no idea of what was so great about it -- maybe the Add-A-Link page.

I had a ton of science fiction and fantasy sites bookmarked, but most of them are gone now, too. Many were related to conventions, and conventions come and go. But some of those old sites were pretty interesting, like Myth & Magic, which was to do with science fiction and fantasy. It was interesting enough that I bookmarked it.

No idea of what L-Space Web was about, but someone suggested I had to see it and I bookmarked it. Gone.

K'Mel's guide to Klingon Cyberspace -- gone. Where, oh where are my Klingon sites?

Happily, Peder Langlo's Hobbit Site is still online. I know something about Peder that most people don't know. And if I told you, then everyone would know. But let's just say that Peder knew about a once very well-kept secret long before other people in the Tolkien world knew it.

Gothmog's Tolkien Archive is gone, too. I don't remember much about it, but apparently I was impressed enough to bookmark two separate pages from the site.

Incanus' home page is gone, too. The original Encyclopedia of Middle-earth (ETEP). The original Rolozo Tolkien. The original Other Hands. Gone. All gone. They have sailed over Sea and gone to that great Web archive in the -- well, maybe they are at The Wayback Machine, but it's not easy to find old content there.

A MEOW Primer is dead. I think I know what it was about, and probably it's just as well that it's gone.

Andrew and Julie's home page is gone. Who are Andrew and Julie? No idea, but the URL indicates it may have been Tolkien-related.

Kidz Game Connection -- gone. Don't know if I actually found anything useful there, but back when I had a kid running around the house it was helpful to know about such sites. She liked the Barbie Web site anyway.

Norwegian Writer's Web is gone. Someone please tell me why I bookmarked their site.

Tabnet's Reserve Your Name now! is gone. I wonder if I reserved mine and, if so, what it was and whether the reservation is still good.

Webthing was a pretty cool Web design tool -- almost as useful as WordPad, and then the designer "improved" it and added tons of features I couldn't use and didn't want to begin with. But it's gone. Wonder why....

Rocketmail, MailCity -- both folded into other free email services.

Venator's Castle is gone.

Maybe some of these sites have found new URLs. I don't know. I don't visit them any more, so why should I care?

But I still feel a little nostalgic looking at those bookmarks. And I feel like Xenite.Org is kind of special, having outlived thousands, perhaps millions of contemporary Web sites -- many of them created with the backing of venture capital.

Nowadays people are blathering on about Web 2.0, which as far as I am concerned looks really sucky. I can't wait for Web 3.0. Maybe it will bring back sensible design quality and useful content.

Then again, maybe I'll just have to persevere and keep maintaing my Web .90 site just so people can see how grandpa used to do Web sites back when they were still something special.


Post a Comment

<< Home