April 4: Netscape

NetscapeToday we go back to the recent past, though it seems like a lifetime ago in internet terms. It was on April 5, 1994 that the computer services company Netscape was founded as the Mosaic Communications Corporation. Netscape is best known for its famed Netscape Navigator browser, which was designed as “the web is for everyone”, a browser that would look the same on any computer operating system.

Tragically folks, Netscape Navigator has gone the way of the dodo. Netscape is now a division of AOL, which is shockingly still a thing, and AOL stopped servicing the browser in March of 2008. Now, we could get into the history of Netscape, or we could have a bit more fun and look at some of the Netscape era “zombie websites” that are surprisingly still online and haven’t changed much since the 20th century:

  • Perhaps the most famous zombie website is that for the 1996 Looney Tunes/Michael Jordan movie Space Jam. This site’s “press box” page rightly informs us that there is “No Spacejam [sic] news at the moment! Go back to the Space Jam home page to see more of the site!”
  • Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign website is still online, maintained for educational purposes by the 4President Corporation. On the Dole/Kemp website you can still download computer wallpaper featuring Bob Dole, Libby Dole and running mate Jack Kemp.
  • Remember the suicide cult Heaven’s Gate? Their website is still around, apparently kept alive by a foundation set up by the cult’s living members, who were specifically left behind to continue to spread the cult’s message.
  • Fire.com is the website for La Cañada Flintridge, California’s A&A Fire Protection Inc. A quick search indicates that A&A Fire Protection Inc. has shuttered its doors, but its website still lives on, complete with a not particularly helpful MapQuest map.
  • Most surprising perhaps is that deep inside the bowels of the TBS’ website, you can still find information about the Atlanta Braves on TBS Superstation. TBS stopped airing regularly scheduled TBS games in 2007, but interestingly this webpage hasn’t been updated since 2000.

As you browse these webpages of the living dead on a browser that probably isn’t Netscape Navigator, why not enjoy a Navigator? Created by London based bartender Jamie Terrell, the Navigator is a bitter, citrusy gin cocktail.

Navigator

  • 2 ounces Gin
  • 3/4 ounce Limoncello
  • 1 1/4 ounces pink grapefruit juice

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Tomorrow: Sherlock Holmes returns.

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