Stand-out titles include:
"Nintendo-64 or PlayStation? Which to buy for XMas?"
"NGLayout now called Gecko to be released this week"
"Microsoft blows it again with Windows 2000 name"
"George Lucas Talks about new Star Wars movie"
"Debian 2.0 Beta IRC Party Tonight"
"PDA Overview: Pilot Still King"
Well not that much changed. (The submission comment talks how 1999 will be the year of the Linux desktop.)
A much bigger issue is that now people have much less freedom on all of these platforms, in much the way I wrote about in this essay in 1999: https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/kragen-software.html
Netcraft confirms little of value was lost.
Here's  some comments from the big story of September 2001. I remember watching that happening live on a bash pty on a desktop computer at home. Did the same (albeit a laptop) 500M seconds later on the other side of the planet.
In the old days Slashdot was great - you'd get people from Bruce Perens  - he's still there, to John Carmak  to Wil Wheaton 
It went downhill, but it might be worth revistiing.
Were there really zero comments on these articles? Or did they use an older commenting system that wasn't archived, maybe?
The current site doesn't have all the comments, the earliest comment I can see is Jan 1 1999 
Unless you could December 31st 1969 
P.S. been looking at a few things -- really impressed by slashdot. They seem to have fixed the rabid randian comment sections and actually have a good discourse. But the best thing? Actually deleting comments.
I remember that era of mIRC and eggdrop bots and fservs and Hotline clients and NNTP servers and RealMedia encodes of Transformers Beast Machines from Canada (which came out months before they did in the US and we'd leave our dialup on all night to download them and then play them through a CRT so they didn't look like trash).
A time when if you didn't find something on Lycos, you'd go to Yahoo and Hotbot and Dogpile and different search engines gave you different results.
It was a different era.
The web was minimal and slick and information-dense. Content owned the day, whether it was super-active IRC channels or news groups or websites with a 728x90 banner at the top and the rest was content (most of which fit “above the fold”!).
Now.. holy shit the web is a mess.
EDIT: Are these downvotes about the content on 4chan, which indeed is generally terrible, or my thoughts on its UI design?
It was more efficient than the library, but finding something that takes seconds today could have taken hours. There were lots of dead ends.
Sometimes you just had to try searching for the same thing next month.
Remember before search engines, there were this lists, sure, but more interesting were the Web Rings. (Yea, even that far back, everything about hypertext was one mixed metaphor after another.)
Now I'm wondering if the archie (and veronica) search engines that had their brief moment are still operational. So much info with so little overhead and spam!
(Browser I'm using atm can't handle gopher URLs so I haven't been able to check again.)
EDIT: Checked - it's still working.
I'm currently happily browsing from Windows 3.1!
Why man ? Is this machine your daily driver or just for HNing ?
It also apparently still exists.
It proxies the initial html request and then you'll notice any assets on the page load directly through archive.org.
IRC is ridiculously fast and so is phpBB.
People signed up for accounts again with a different email but it besides the point really. The problem with almost all of these companies is that there is no straight forward TOS.
So for example this is my rules on my board:
> 1. Don't harass people.
> 2. No doxing.
> 3. Unless a board is marked NSFW avoid posting anything NSFW.
> 4. Don't be abusive for the sake of it.
> 5. Don't Spam.
Now I am sure I will have to amend those at some point but they are straight forward and I intend to keep it that way. I am developing a youtube/twitch/reddit hybrid, I believe the comments on youtube are soo dire because fundamentally their commenting system is dire. I intend to keep that pretty much free-speech with almost no algorithms because I am fed up of things being manipulated constantly to the point where Youtube has kinda broken itself (about 3 years ago it was amazing for finding video of stuff). The same with Google search has got worse over the last few years because they are messing too much with the algorithm.
Slightly aside. I am looking at a client for IRC that is easy to use and Discord-esque features. I believe it is possible to do a lot of this by simply getting the client itself to do a lot of the heavy lifting and using IRC more as a message broker. The thing is what do I build it in. One of the things I hate about Discord is Electron. It application is garbage on a mac and the web version performs better. Python's GUI tools are dire, so I am left really going to the C# or god forbid Java. I dunno enough about C++ to make a client in that and the other options are too esoteric tbh.
Any source on this. On all discord servers I've been on, there is little holding back on any of that and am just curious.
I know that some servers have been shutdown because because of racial slurs but what is effectively illegal pornography (at least in the UK) is A-OK.
Discord like every other company will enforce their TOS when they want to.
For example, this post has some screenshots: https://jamesaltucher.com/blog/whats-changed-in-the-past-17-...
Edit: Ah, if you go to the very bottom of the page, it explains the situation: "It is a dumb, pass-through proxy. If the content exists in the Internet Archive, and the content is requested by the end user, theoldnet will blindly pass the search result from the Internet Archive to the end user."
Maybe this is the solution to all the unending changes. In Vernor Vinge's Rainbows End, there is an old man who wakes up in the future and is struggling to use the latest interfaces. So the comp just overlays the old Windows 95(?) interface that he is happy and familiar with.
On the flip side, about 8-ish years ago, I installed Xubuntu on my parent's PC, replacing XP. I told them here's Thunderbird, Firefox, Solitare, and how to shut down. Once I said that it worked like Windows (i.e. the X in the corner closes things), they didn't have any problems. I anticipated having to move them back to Windows, but didn't need to.
I was never a fan of WinXP and Vista/7 icons, too plasticky, often faded out and shiny.
I did like macOS icons before they decided to get rid of skeuomorphism and made everything like it was designed by a 5 year old with a vector application. They were high quality but also had high readability. As a developer i hated them though because they were very hard to make something decent.
I also like the GNOME 2/Tango style and the elementaryOS style which seems to me to be based on Tango. Tango is a bit WinXP-ish but i think they did a better job with making the icons less plasticky and more readable.
But my favorite is the Win9x and KDE1 styles because of both how they look and how easy (relatively speaking) is to make them (which is important, otherwise it is hard to get a consistent look).
Cars are getting pretty bad, too. Especially with the transition to inscrutable icons. Apparently words like "On", "Defrost", "Fuel", etc., are unhip and so 20th century.
Also do you want to get into a car rented in Europe and find the texts to read (for example) "Włącz", "Rozmrażanie", "Paliwo"?
No they don't. I've been in a car with a front window defroster and a rear one. The icons are different, but who knows which is which.
> Not everyone understands "Fuel"
More than understand an inscrutable icon. Besides, anyone can look up Fuel in a dictionary. How do you look up an icon?
> "Włącz", "Rozmrażanie", "Paliwo"?
Dictionaries are marvelous tools. translate.google.com works great, too. There are no icon dictionaries, especially when everyone copyrights them so every icon is different. If you don't know what the icon means, you're borked.
Hey, I'd settle for the wretched icon if underneath it they're write "Defrost".
Besides, I've traveled in Poland. I don't know a word of Polish, but had a wonderful time regardless. Everyone I met was very nice.
1. If you have one. Google translate may also not be available due to lack of data or lack of mobile reception.
2. It assumes you know how to input/lookup the word. It's easier with Latin script. But try the same in Korea / Russia / Thailand / ... Even if you translate into target language you may not find the same version of the word, or just mix up symbols. (Without knowing they're different, what are the chances you'd mix up シ and ツ ?)
> There are no icon dictionaries, especially when everyone copyrights them so every icon is different
Is this really a thing? Every rear window heating icon I've seen since the 90s looked the same. I did check and can't find an image online from any brand not using that same symbol.
Google translate for icons is 100% not available
> know how to input
Just use the English word. No problem. English works well on tiny phone keyboards. Always easier than inputting an icon.
> Is this really a thing?
Here's Apple suing over their copyrighted icons:
And icons are copyrightable:
I remember when I worked at Symantec we had to create new icons to avoid copyright problems. Every vendor did this.
I addressed entering English words before: "Even if you translate into target language you may not find the same version of the word" For example "gas" may not translate into what you expect.
I recently bought a domestic car in Japan. I had no problems using any features since they all use the same icons that my parents' domestic Swedish 1991 Volvo had that I learned to drive on. If they used kanji words instead I'd be lost.
> There are no icon dictionaries,
It’s called “the manual”. You clan usually find it in the glovebox, and it doesn’t require a data connection. But in reality you've learned all these symbols by the time you get your drivers license (just like you've learned all the road signs).
> especially when everyone copyrights them so every icon is different.
Car interior icons are standardized by the ISO https://www.iso.org/standard/54513.html
This makes sense. But I think that's why the unicode consortium adds common gestures/symbols/icons so actively. The icon-recognizing problem you address here is not impossible to fix with some app combining scanner and translator.
Symbol language works better in the longer term. When there's consensus about the icon functionality, they work. Look at traffic signs in Europe. They barely contain text. In the USA, they contain text all the time. In a large country where the main language is English this makes sense. In a continent consisting of many languages (and tourism), its important to have consensus on symbols instead.
What does suck is converting to symbols from text whilst you're used to text. That's the legacy of backwards compatibility.
On the text end of the spectrum you have high clarity, but it takes longer time to take in and find the one you are looking for. These are good if you rarely interact with the them and it's in situations that aren't urgent and you can't or don't have to train for.
Abstract symbols on the other hand are fastest to identify but require you to be trained. This makes sense for power users out urgent situations that are worth preparing for.
Icons are the middle ground. You can identify them faster than a walk of text and you might be able to guess pretty well what they mean on first encounter.
Using icons on a car this makes sense. You might have to do a little bit of trial and error the first time around, but will be much faster on future usage. This is a worthwhile trade off for a car, since you want the driver to quickly find the right control and then look at the road again. It works especially well given that the vast majority of icons are common between different cars.
I think it's even a better trade off for traffic signs, since drivers get trained anyway. All but new drivers will quickly start relying on the shape of the text on the sign, rather than read all the text on every speed limit sign. If you do need to read it, the amount of text is not practical.
I just don't believe it takes a longer time to find the word "Defrost".
> These are good if you rarely interact with the them and it's in situations that aren't urgent and you can't or don't have to train for.
Take a look at aircraft instrument panels. They are very much designed for clarity and to be usable in emergencies, usually the hard way. They use words. Altimeter, Airspeed, Vertical Speed, etc.
> you might be able to guess pretty well what they mean on first encounter.
Not me. 3/4 of icons in new cars I don't know what they mean. Most of the ones on my iphone as well. Thankfully, sometimes they use words like Save, Edit, Library, etc., and I no trouble with them. The ones on the app screen thankfully have a word under them. After all, look at that weird stick icon, which has "App Store" written under it. Or the Photos icon. Apple has even given up on the trash can, reverting to the word "Delete".
> but will be much faster on future usage
Pilots and airplane cockpit designers evidently disagree.
Quite a lot of concepts have no picture that makes any inherent sense for it. Like "60 miles per hour". Or "stop". or "yield". You can certainly get used to a red octagon meaning Stop, but for someone who is not trained on it, the red octagon might as well mean "pizza next exit".
I lived in Europe around 1970, when they were transitioning from the old signage with words to the new ones. They wanted to harmonize the signs. The trouble is, if they used words, it was a matter of national prestige which language was used. Using icons was a solution to the political issue, not a readability one.
The American stop sign was settled on because nobody could agree which European stop sign would be selected, so the compromise was none of them.
To sell this all to the public was the notion that icons are better, but it was really political.
People are trained for those instruments. The written names are not that useful, because you won't fly something before understanding most of the cockpit. The instruments often use shortened or genetic name which is you need to learn beforehand. Example:
What can you learn from reading "FD", or "INS", or "DH", or "M/CG"? Or from tens of completely unlabelled indicators. You either need to already know it, or learn from the manual.
Believe it or not, but pilots can get frazzled under stress and make mistakes. Having an actual label that says "Altimeter" is better than the pilot having to remember that squiggle means "Altimeter". Just call it "Altimeter" in the first place. One less level of indirection.
For a related UI case, pilots would learn the different sounds of all the warning horns in the cockpit. But pilots under stress would get confused about which sound meant what. The solution? Replace the sound with a voice saying what's wrong, like "pull up pull up". Works much better.
It can be fairly simple, I think.
Or is it watch out for the alien with his wiener in his ear?
Or are you simply accustomed to it?
Umm ... I do?
For me this was really a "figure out once" and remember forever.
And even if I can't remember which is which, it's trivial to press them and find out. Especially if you have the fan/ac running.
Perhaps they should make this as an international standard and part of the driving test? I mean, if we can learn what all the road signs mean, this isn't any harder.
Edit: Cannot add more comments so replying here:
Looking at your comment above, you seem to believe we're transitioning from words to pictographs in cars. My experience doesn't agree. I've never seen a car without these, going back to the 80's. Looking at old Toyota Corollas, they use the icon. Same for the 80's Corvette.
Given how prevalent they are, did you ever ponder why they use icons instead of text? Serious question.
When you drive a car rarely, you don't really remember what all the frackin icons mean. Besides, that's why phonetic written languages were invented - so you don't have to memorize 10,000 pictures. Just 26 of them.
Phonetic writing really is a great invention. It's better than pictographic languages. Good luck looking up a pictograph on google.
What's next? Back to using Roman numerals?
In the US at least the fuel level indicator is fairly easily recognized by a gas pump symbol, and the temperature gauge is recognized by a thermometer icon. The problem is, these don't denote those things exactly but fuel and temperature in general, and sometimes they are instead dummy lights indicating a warning about high temperature or low fuel, and not where the guages are.
We did that already and called it written language.
Are you sure? When I was in Japan I compared books printed in English with the same books in Japanese. The Japanese versions always had more pages. It looked like while the Kanji characters conveyed more meaning, they were larger and in the net required more space.
- What I'm referring to is the fact that in order to write down a Chinese word, you often need to know what it means. The semantics inform the spelling, to a much greater degree than in European writing systems. I am in fact sure about this.
- Translations are usually much wordier than the original texts they translate, for philosophy-of-translation reasons. Were you comparing Japanese originals to their English translations?
How does that help our international user who cannot understand "Defrost" to be faced with an English manual?
Every time I see an icon, I have to think - what is it the person is trying to tell me. Usually, words work much better for me.
I know many people that love architecture diagrams. I much prefer to read the words instead of looking at pictures. To me, a word is worth a thousand pictures.
I wonder why an “international user” has bought a car whose manual isn’t localized and who can’t get a localized manual online.
This hasn't been the standard for a long time. My 2003 and my 2015 cars both have them both as buttons.
Is it O for On, or O for Off? I never remember. Besides, if all you know is Sanskrit, how much harder is it for you to learn that On means on than O means on (or is it off)?
Does it matter? You know it means either on or off, and you know whether it's already on or off... I haven't seen anyone struggle to figure out what happens given these two pieces of information?
When I discovered that there was a new standard of RFID pressure sensor chips embedded in the new tires I bought, suddenly it all clicked.
But that's what it took. I needed to shop around and buy a new set of tires, notice that there were some, a little bit more expensive than others, read the feature list, and notice the RFID chips listed in the spec.
RFID chips? In my tires? It's more likely than you think!
Suddenly it all snapped into place. The worthless idiot light tells me nothing, by magically interfacing with systems behind my back, and what's more, every tire on the road is uniquely identifiable, through remote passive electronic sensors.
This just quietly appears, on the down low. Low key spyware on essential disposable components that everyone needs, and that everyone will eventually be forced onto.
To get rid of them, usually they're in the valve stem, so you could probably just microwave them with a disassembled magnetron, or run a high voltage arc through them with a stun gun. But no one does.
That said, I rant a lot more these days, but not because it's new or different, it's because I know that the change is not done for the right reasons.
False flag, or malicious?
If you're on a coorporate network or have some kind of security firewall setup this could be flagged as a tampered URL.
Putting some urls in the text box made me remember this.
The choices were made by clicking hyperlinks. Hypertext is so normal now that it's hard to relate, but at the time it was fun to see the transformation from book format to hypertext. It was just such a natural fit.
Here's their predictions for the future from 1996:
Lots of talk about speech-to-text. Dragon doesn't seem to be 100% there yet today in my observations.
Not sure if intentional or hilarious irony.
This doesn't look much like the old internet to me...
Plus, realist art isn't pretending to be what's really there, with the possible exception of trompe l'oeil. It's a representation in paint, a mimicry created for various purposes, none of which is to make you think you're standing in front of the thing being depicted.
> Warning! The website contains malware. Visiting this site may harm your computer
> Fraudulent sites that mimic legitimate sites to gather sensitive information, such as usernames and passwords.