all praise the company

torgo_x takes us on a tour of what it's like to run a 13.5 year old copy of Mosaic Netscape 0.93b on the modern interweb.

There used to be an archive of the old pages at but that's no longer resolving.

BTW, if anyone has a copy of 0.4 for Irix, please give. That was the very first release to ever leave the building, and it's the only one missing from my archives...

Tags: , , , ,

20 Responses:

  1. Who's responsible for the circle-m-relaxing-on-rectangles logo?

  2. boggyb says:

    I remember using an elderly Windows 95 machine on a corporate network (so behind a handful of hardware firewalls) for something or other about 5 years ago, which had the original Win95 version of Internet Explorer 2.

    That's one of only two occassions in the past 8 years that I felt I didn't need any network or software security, the other being a couple of years ago when I took a fresh install of Win98 SE, excised all mention of NetBIOS, and gave it a USB DSL modem to play with.

    Wouldn't dare do that with anything released since 2000.

  3. allartburns says:

    When we moved I found my Netscape 1.0 client cd that my company bought. I wonder what it's worth on eBay....

    • zonereyrie says:

      CD? I still have my 1.22 Gold floppies. ;-)

      • jwz says:

        I have the retail box versions of 1.1 (Unix) and 3.0 (Unix and Windows), but that's all...

        • zonereyrie says:

          I think they're 1.22 Gold for Windows - but back then I had UNIX on my desktop (first IRIX, then SunOS), but since I was doing the site I also had a Windows box to test with, and Windows 95 OSR2 at home. I think I have the floppies and the docs, not sure if I still have the boxes themselves. If you wanted them for your archives I can dig around when I get back from CES.

  4. violentbloom says:

    I might have it on my irix.. not sure. haven't booted it up in a long while. I'll let you know.

  5. anyfoo says:

    Nice idea with that tour but I'd enjoy it more if we actually saw any webpage, because except for his simple own page and some very simple local static files we don't.

    I understand that that's virtually impossible out of the box, because of the issues with the Content-type charset and missing HTTP/1.1 support, but using a very simple proxy should take care of that? (assuming that Netscape 0.93b supports proxies at all, if not, you'll have to be very creative to work around that Host header problem since a transparent proxy wouldn't know what virtual host you want to reach)

    Anyone care to try it out?

    • jwz says:

      That's a good idea! I'm reasonably certain 0.93 supported proxies... 1.0 did, certainly.

      There's also this: Browser emulator.

    • torgo_x says:

      I went thru my whole list of common links and
      my web page was literally
      the only one I could get to load.  But
      I tried some bookmarks and


    • lionsphil says:

      I have a habit of playing with old browsers...a big problem is that a lot of them get so utterly confused by modern webpages that you don't get much of anything to look at.

      Mosaic 3/Windows, for example, will get stuck in an infinite redirect loop on IIRC. Netscape 4 tends to crash at the slightest provocation (and its pitiful attempts to support CSS just break things harder). Mosaic 2.7 (which I used through, what, 2003--2005?, as a newsgroups client, because it was preferable to Thunderbird) even crashes on its homepage, because some corporate genius "modernized" it.

      If you want to browser-dive with The Evil One, IEs4Linux has a flag to grab IE1 and 2 for use under WINE. IIRC, one of these doesn't send the Host header at all, ever.

      • lionsphil says:

        Oh, and I should probably point at SillyDog for a pretty damn comprehensive archive of Netscapes, down to 0.4 for Windows 3.1.

        (Argh. Just to taunt me, has a Hyper-G directory listed which doesn't actually exist.)

        • edouardp says:

          Arrgh - '90s flashback! Hyper-G. Wow.

          I remember doing all I could to make sure that never took off at the university I was at - Hermann Maurer was at Auckland Uni at the time, and tried to bring Hyper-G along as the answer to everything. I, in turn, offered to install NCSA httpd for anyone who wanted it running, so they could run their own servers under their own control, and let the loosely-coupled, distributed internet function as designed.

          Luckily gopher-on-steroids ("hyper-g" - get it?) never took off except in a vanishingly small number of niches installs. It wasn't without uses (I reckon it would make a pretty good wiki engine for example) - but trying to get people to use it rather than a web server was always going to be counter-productive.

          Sorry - rant over - I'll return you all to your regularly schedule program now.

      • theducks says:

        Yeah, IE2 was the one that said it did HTTP/1.1 and then never sent a host header.

        I used to run some CGIs that borked quite badly because of it (I didn't write them :P)

  6. jsbowden says:

    Did SGI ship versions of Netscape as part of Irix that early on? I think I've got some Irix 4.0.5 install disks hiding around here somewhere, and I'll dig around for them if so (they go with the R3000 Indigo sitting on the floor of my still boots, shockingly enough, but it's running Irix 5.3 currently).

    • jwz says:

      Yeah, they were our first customer. Mosaic Netscape 0.4 was distributed to all internal SGI employees, and it was the first version to be used by non-MCOM employees. It went out a few weeks before the first Windows beta, I think.

      0.4 was never shipped to SGI customers, though. They probably waited for 1.0 or 1.1 for that, depending on when the next Irix went out. The earliest Unix binaries I have are 0.9.

  7. artlung says:

    It looks to me like does not have that version, sadly. Though I expect if you have browser versions they don't have they'd gladly take copies of same.