Enjoy Today's Internet on Retro Browsers

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
March 4 2014 6:36 PM

Enjoy Today's Internet on Retro Browsers

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Internet Explorer 1.5 never knew Reddit until now.

Photo by Antoni Sawicki.

Retro trends emerge all the time, like high-waisted jeans, shoulder pads, or typewriters. It all comes back around. And app developer Antoni Sawicki, otherwise known as Tenox, works in a lot of old-skool browsers, so he had the idea to surf the Internet as it is now in browsers from a different time. It was a tough project, but eventually he was browsing on Netscape like a champ.

Sawicki used a Python script he found, plus some image manipulation, and HTML to get websites loading that would normally be far beyond the capabilites of old browsers. Though the fix only works in OS X right now, Sawicki wants to expand it to other operating systems like Linux. He writes on Fun With Virtualization that:

Apart from being obsolete themselves they suffer from a common problem – the web browsers are simply unusable on a present day Internet. You start by getting JavaScript error on google.com and it only gets worse once you go further.
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But his successful setup allowed Sawicki to look at sites like the Apple homepage and CNN on all sorts of retro browsers. It might not be the height of retro glamour, but it's really fun to see these old browser friends in all their anachronistic glory.

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Netscape 4 showing the current netscape.com.

Photo by Antoni Sawicki.

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IBM WebExplorer on OS/2. Remember that one?

Photo by Antoni Sawicki.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Lily Hay Newman is lead blogger for Future Tense.

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