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Hackers resurrect NCSA Mosaic

Hackers resurrect NCSA Mosaic

The NCSA Mosaic browser was the first graphical web browser ever released - and now you can take a trip back in time.

If you fancy taking a step back in time - or if you're Johnny-come-lately looking to find out just what the previous generation had to put up with - then perhaps you'd like to try one of the first web browsers ever created?

The source code for NCSA Mosaic 2.7 - Marc Andreessen's browser which became the basis for Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer, and would eventually become Mozilla Firefox - has been uploaded to source-code sharing site GitHub by user Alan Dipert.

Linux users capable of compiling programs from source are free to download the package and learn just what the early days of the web looked like circa 1993.

According to Webmonkey, the package runs surprisingly well on modern Linux systems, and the few niggles that exist - such as poor support for PNG format graphics - are busily being patched out by GitHub community members.

The Mosaic browser is the precursor to most modern graphical web browsers, and a piece of history. While being able to run it on your modern system might not have any practical purpose, it's an exercise in digital archeology for anyone interested in the birth of the web as we know it today.

Just don't try doing your Internet banking on it.

Are you impressed by the efforts made to port the Mosaic brower, or could the coders behind the project have found something better to do with their time? What browser did you use when you first got on to the web? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

32 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
praxis22 9th March 2010, 14:17 Quote
I remember upgrading from Mosaic to Netscape as Netscape supported background images :)
liratheal 9th March 2010, 14:23 Quote
Oh god. The memories!
amacieli 9th March 2010, 14:43 Quote
Oh god. The nightmares!
paisa666 9th March 2010, 15:17 Quote
The first web browser I used was netscape navigator :)

but i remember seeing this being used by teachers and "older" ppl.
Lethal Jelly 9th March 2010, 15:17 Quote
Still beats Internet Explorer
Dave Lister 9th March 2010, 15:21 Quote
We always used to use netscape navigator, because of worries about security using internet explorer ! cant remember ever hearing about mosaic.
Flibblebot 9th March 2010, 15:46 Quote
Mosaic?

Bah! Real users used Lynx :p
OWNED66 9th March 2010, 15:50 Quote
i wonder what happened to netscape
Bazz 9th March 2010, 16:38 Quote
Netscape stock traded between 1995 and 2003, subsequently as a subsidiary of AOL. However, it became a holding company following AOL's purchase of Netscape in 1998. The Netscape brand is still extensively used by AOL. Some services currently offered under the Netscape brand, other than the web browser, include a discount Internet service provider and a popular social news website. In December 2007, AOL announced it would no longer be updating the Netscape browser.
nakchak 9th March 2010, 16:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by OWNED66
i wonder what happened to netscape

Its called firefox;)

Basically netscape founded mozilla, open sourced rendering engine and few other bits and bobs, and firefox was born, with seamonkey being closest to what navigator used to be
TSR2 9th March 2010, 18:28 Quote
I used IE2 running on a virtual machine. Unfortunately it refused to open Google so I gave up.
Furymouse 9th March 2010, 18:46 Quote
And somewhere Opera is complaining
GravitySmacked 9th March 2010, 19:50 Quote
Those were the days... the halcyon days of the internet and 5 minutes for a page to load... happy times.
thehippoz 9th March 2010, 21:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by nakchak
Its called firefox;)

Basically netscape founded mozilla, open sourced rendering engine and few other bits and bobs, and firefox was born, with seamonkey being closest to what navigator used to be

more detailed explanation.. http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/ben/archives/009698.html
theflatworm 9th March 2010, 22:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by amacieli
Oh god. The nightmares!

This would have been around the time that the internet was charged by the minute, right: Oh God. The phone bills!
dire_wolf 10th March 2010, 00:32 Quote
Pah, when I first started using the internet there wasn't a fancy browser, it was all BBS! Granted I was only pretty young but I still remember my first steps in networking, all good fun :)
chrisb2e9 10th March 2010, 05:48 Quote
Yeah bbs for me too. And I surfed the internet in a dos browser. Pure text. Was crap!
thehippoz 10th March 2010, 07:17 Quote
started back with a 300 baud modem.. yeah bbs's were it- internet it was the usegroups at first through compuserve and prodigy.. there was a lot of interesting people on at the time
Pookeyhead 10th March 2010, 08:26 Quote
I remember Mosaic well. The Amiga used a version of Mosaic :)

My first PC browser was Netscape. I used to love the little icon when it was searching :)

Good memories.
GravitySmacked 10th March 2010, 08:34 Quote
I've still got my acoustic coupler somewhere, shame my phone wont fit it.
Pricester 10th March 2010, 10:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Article
the few niggles that exist - such as poor support for PNG format graphics - are busily being patched out by GitHub community members
Two weeks later... We've fixed all the bugs and missing features, but, uh, guys, it's Firefox now!
crazyceo 10th March 2010, 10:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by fac51
Those were the days... the halcyon days of the internet and 5 minutes for a page to load... happy times.

Yeah those porn pictures just took forever to fully download and they were just stills. Thank god the porn industry got of it's bare ass and enhanced our porn to the high standard it is today. The internet has nothing to do with Netscape, Mozilla, Opera, Microsoft. It was the porn industry that drove the quality to such a high standard more than any of the big companies claiming ownership of the internet today.

Why would anyone want to download and run this dinosaur?
Evildead666 10th March 2010, 19:37 Quote
Back in 94, internet porn adn't really been invented.
No pop ups.
You could reliably search for something, and actually find it quickly. there weren't 10 billion pages to search thru...;)

antivirus's didn't exist. Virii hadn't really been written yet....

Oh the old days....
OWNED66 10th March 2010, 19:41 Quote
wow people here remember the horrible old days
good thing i was introduced to computers on the xp era
got introduced to torrents a year later
good times :)
MiT 10th March 2010, 19:43 Quote
Thats what you call old school, i never heard of it, need to speak to some of the older people at work, and see if they had.
crazyceo 10th March 2010, 19:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evildead666
Back in 94, internet porn adn't really been invented.
No pop ups.
You could reliably search for something, and actually find it quickly. there weren't 10 billion pages to search thru...;)

antivirus's didn't exist. Virii hadn't really been written yet....

Oh the old days....

Obviously you weren't looking in the right places because there was loads of it.
OWNED66 10th March 2010, 21:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyceo
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evildead666
Back in 94, internet porn adn't really been invented.
No pop ups.
You could reliably search for something, and actually find it quickly. there weren't 10 billion pages to search thru...;)

antivirus's didn't exist. Virii hadn't really been written yet....

Oh the old days....

Obviously you weren't looking in the right places because there was loads of it.

+1
InSanCen 10th March 2010, 23:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by OWNED66
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyceo
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evildead666
Back in 94, internet porn adn't really been invented.
No pop ups.
You could reliably search for something, and actually find it quickly. there weren't 10 billion pages to search thru...;)

antivirus's didn't exist. Virii hadn't really been written yet....

Oh the old days....

Obviously you weren't looking in the right places because there was loads of it.

+1

+2
knuck 11th March 2010, 01:54 Quote
you're all old
OWNED66 11th March 2010, 06:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghys
you're all old

im 19 :|
ive seen the horror of win95 but the n64 saved me and gave me hope for the future
InSanCen 11th March 2010, 08:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghys
you're all old

yup indeed young whippersnapper.
crazyceo 11th March 2010, 09:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghys
you're all old

Isn't it a crying shame when three little words slice you like a hammer!
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