Feeds

CERN releases retro 'Line Mode' browser

Surfing like it's 1992

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The history-conscious chaps at CERN have wound back the clock to 1992 by releasing a “line-mode browser” emulator.

Reg readers doubtless recall that the first web browsers were text-only affairs, until a young fellow called Marc Andreessen had the bright idea that lots more people could be interested by the World Wide Web if only it had a graphical user interface.

The results of that insight are history, but CERN is determined to ensure that the Web's early days don't go un-recorded. One of its efforts to ensure that's the case is the line-mode browser emulator which offers the chance to surf like it is 1992 and is available here.

CERN points out that the browser was important because it could run on many platforms: before its release only NeXT machines could run anything to do with the web.

Ironically, the emulator is only possible thanks to HTML 5, a superset of the original HTML the browser revives.

CERN's line mode browser renders El Reg

The Reg, rendered in 1992-style glory

CERN has provided a bookmarklet that renders any site you're viewing as it would have appeared in 1992. The results, as you can see above in a screen shot we grabbed depicting The Reg put through the retro wringer, are not particularly good.

They do, however, make your correspondent wonder if it's time to bring back the Pine and Elm mailreaders on which Vulture South cut its internet teeth. Both are still out there (here's Pine and here's Elm) if you're keen. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.