Internet Nostalgia: The 1990s
The 1990s were a great time. Not only did they mark my entire teenage life but so many cool things were going on.
Generally I am an 80s fan. I love the cartoons, the music, movies, even the clothes. But today I am waxing on the 1990s.
High School sucked yeah but I lived at home, most of my pets were still alive and I discovered the Internet.
And that’s where this post really takes off. All it took was a few Hampsters (sic) to spin me back to a great time to be a net citizen. And I’ll tell you why.
The Hampster Dance
In 1997 a Canadian made a website with 4 different animated hamsters dancing to a sped up version of a song from the Disney cartoon film Robin Hood.
It was annoying, choppy and wonderful. I wouldn’t have remembered it if it hadn’t been for a BoingBoing story today. The story itself was a quick joke regarding the new scientific discovery that mice sing to get laid. But hearing that old song just brought up warm memories.
Hampster Dance has since lost the popularity it once enjoyed, though Radio Disney still plays it and hampsterdance.com has it archived with a handful of other hampster dances.
The 1990s marked a rise in popularity of electronic versions of popular tunes. MIDIs, when I discovered them were one of the most awesome additions to add to a website. It was a time before Peer 2 Peer and little things like this were trendy and cool.
The first MIDI I ever heard I believe was Rainbow Connection. I immediately taught myself how to code these into my webpage of the time.
Appropriately the MIDI was Video Killed the Radio Star by the Buggles. I eventually found code to put up an entire MIDI jukebox on my site! Oh how exciting that was! Not only could people hear what songs they wanted, but it gave my website the smack of tech wizardry!
To this day I feel nostalgic when I hear one of these electronic beep-like songs. Strangely enough a few of Gwen Stefani’s songs like Run and Cool remind me in some way of the MIDIs of yore.
Back in the 1990s webring.org was one of the most awesome sites out there for a budding webpage author. I ran several webrings including The 80s Child Webring which lives on today. I am no longer the webmaster of it but it is still there with plenty of 80s sites for the purviewing. It was one of the biggest 80s webrings in existence and still holds its own very well.
My first real website
In 1997 I started the 80s Child Website at http://www.geocities.com/awsome80s and to this day tinker with it. It’s there to view though updates are only a few times every year. It still gets 20 hits a day which I find surprising as all hell.
It does bring me a lot of fond memories to work on that site now and then and it was one of the first five 80s websites on the Internet. I was an avid consumer of 80s sites and I do not exaggerate it’s early history, as strange as it might sound.
The 1990s were an exciting time for the Internet. The dot com boom, the introduction of so many cool and free web hosts and the Internet trends that cause us to recall those days when the Hampster Dance ruled and MIDIs flowed freely.
Miss some old sites you can’t find anymore? How would you like to see them in their glory days?
The Wayback Machine
The Wayback Machine is an archive.org feature that allows you to see just about any website you can remember, whether it still exists or not. It allows you to look at it by year and I have yet to find a website not available there. I’ve seen them from all the way back to 1996. Just enter the old address in the box and be transported back in time. We’re sending you, back to the past!