Help me keep online

Dear Lazyweb, tell me who inside of Oath / Verizon has the ability to edit the DNS records of the "" domain. Or, preferably, just transfer the domain to me.

Longer version:

For eleven years now, I've been keeping the historical web sites alive, because those host names were hardcoded into the UI of the first few releases of Netscape, and the browser doesn't function properly if and don't exist. (And they also have to each be hosted on dedicated IP addresses, since the primordial browsers didn't send a Host: header.)

AOL controls the domain names, which I think means that Oath / Yahoo controls them now?

Since 2008, the DNS records for and have pointed at IP addresses that I control. But that web host is shutting down, and my new hosting of course has different IP space.

In order of preference, I would like:

  1. Just transfer the domain to me. I'm only ever going to use it to keep the historical web sites up, not for profit, and I'll happily sign something to that effect. In the past they've been unwilling to do that.

  2. Transfer the domain to Internet Archive. If donating it to a 501(c)(3) makes this more palatable, we can arrange that. Maybe you get a deduction.

  3. Sell it to me. I'll do a Kickstarter or something to pay for it. Give me a number. (Back in 2008 apparently Time-Warner believed "four letter domains are worth > $100k", even though they were clearly never going to monetize this one. Perhaps saner heads will prevail?)

  4. Update the DNS records to point to my new IPs. The table should look like this, probably. I hope the DNS clients on 1994-vintage operating systems followed multiple CNAME hops instead of requiring direct A records. I think so?

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

27 Responses:

  1. andyjpb says:


    I'm really glad you're doing this!
    Best of luck with finally getting sensible control over the domain.

    In your zone file you have a CNAME and an MX record at the apex. Perhaps I'm out of date, but is that allowed or will something get confused?

    • sde1000 says:

      That isn't allowed. See RFC2181 section 10.1.

      • Doctor Memory says:

        What they said. `@ IN CNAME` is a no-go and will quite likely break resolution for all the other names because the CNAME will trounce the NS records.

  2. jon says:

    I can't offer anything other than moral support, but this is just awesome. I really appreciate the work you do to try and keep this stuff alive.

  3. Me says:

    Do you have any statistics on how much use these actually get?

    • jwz says:

      In 2018, 295k page views per month.

      I don't have easy stats on how many of those were from ancient browsers.

  4. Valerie Detweiler says:

    I've picked this up at Verizon Media and will be deploying DNS updates today.

    Long live RIP Fishcam.

  5. shem says:

    Seems to be working, sweet!

  6. James says:

    I work for oath. I'll look into it and get back

    • Gil says:

      James, there’s a conversation about this that you should join. Valerie is looped in. Check out the water cooler. Domain people are on it and discussing what we can do to help.

      • Adam says:

        Heh! Hey Gil, I also filed a DNS request for this as well. Valerie noted it was completed around 5PM ET :)

  7. Rob says:

    It is always such a pleasant surprise to find good being done in the world.

  8. Tristan says:

    Hmm, if four letter domain names are worth >$100k, my three letter domain must be worth- wait, what? It's worth less than the yearly registration fees I've spent on it?

    I wish I had the foresight to add another letter, I could have made some money!

  9. jwz says:

    I just found out about mod_ratelimit so now serves documents at 56kbps, you're welcome.

  10. Leonardo Herrera says:

    That's absurdly awesome. I just had to change the background to #c0c0c0 on my browser.

  • Previously