The old town of the Internet.
Today in Science [jump here] [permalink]
Today in science - dozens of facts and stories broken down by date and category. Also replete with quotes from many noted historical scientists. It's possible to enter your date of birth and see which natural philosophers share your birthday. Spot quizzes and polls still feature on the site and get plenty of answers from visitors.

I discovered this website whilst researching the history of the propeller cap - a quaint accessory I remember from American cartoons. It happens that they were real! And originally "atomic".

The website has been online since 1999, its was regularly expanded until 2013 with its last update was in 2018.
Heaviness: Lightweight Eccentricity: 9/10
Submitted: 04/06/2022 Visit Today in Science
The Flight Simulator Vault [jump here] [permalink]
A website devoted to the history of Microsoft Flight Simulator, detailing the history of its creation by an aspiring graphics programmer in the 70s, then how it was acquired by Microsoft as something that would encourage PC sales. The research is original and the author prides himself in his effort.

It's worth a look at the screenshots; the evolution of Microsoft Flight Simulator through the 80s, 90s and 2000s is the evolution of computer graphics themselves. Certainly, in the earliest versions, it is no small accomplishment what the developer managed to put on PC screens using the limited hardware of the 8086.

Downloads of old FSim versions are provided on his companion website here.

The website was last updated in 2008.
the lfight simulator vault
Heaviness: Light Eccentricity: 8/10
Submitted: 28/05/2022 Visit The Flight Simulator Vault
GoldenEye 007 Mysteries [jump here] [permalink]
A labour-of-love tribute website for the classic Nintendo 64 shooter, GoldenEye 007. It features many screenshots, walkthroughs, character descriptions and even details for a level editor.
Heaviness: Light Eccentricity: 6/10
Submitted: 21/02/2022 Visit GoldenEye 007 Mysteries
Scaruffi's General Index of Music Biographies [jump here] [permalink]
Analysis and reviews of thousands of musical artists. All sourced from the mind of one man, Piero Scaruffi, an Italian philosopher who is very well read and listened.
Scaruffi has a wealth of knowledge of musical history and brings that to bear on his reviews. Most famously, or infamously of all, is his teardown of The Beatles. He argues the Liverpudlians weren't groundbreaking, but imitative and reactionary, more a marketing myth that persists to this day.

The scope of his writing is vast. The web site is styled just as idiosyncratically as the author; visit the homepage to read his other pieces. Music is but one of his interests, I am in awe of how one man can achieve so much. His first language is Italian; many pages are presented in both Italian and English.
Heaviness: Light Eccentricity: 8/10
Submitted: 29/01/2022 Visit Scaruffi's General Index of Music Biographies
Chinese Tools Online [jump here] [permalink]
A website that aims to introduce you to Chinese language and culture. A visit to this website feels like excavating a long forgotten world, just like how the nation of China reaches time immemorial.
There are some Java applets which are long unsupported in modern web browsers, but there is a Chinese name generator that is still functional; it takes your English name, combines it with your zodiac sign and goals, and renders a possible Chinese equivalent. It also has a downloadable Perl module that helps identify Chinese dialects.
Heaviness: Light Eccentricity: 6/10
Submitted: 05/01/2022 Visit Chinese Tools Online
Toastytech [jump here] [permalink]
Nathan Lineback's GUI Gallery, aka Toastytech.com, has been online for as long as I can remember. I don't know how I first found it, I'll guess it was in 2006 or earlier. And it has always been the same; the style hasn't changed once. That, with the strong opinions, makes it the dowdiest of all sites.
Here you can see screenshots that document the development of graphical user interfaces, all the way from the 1980s until now. Toastytech details many UIs and systems, like Unix, Windows, Macintosh. And certainly many you'll learn about for the first time. The author is very inventive, often showing screenshots of the systems in unusual configurations.
An absolute gem is this page: IE Is Evil. At least Ballmer was spared crucifixion. And if you believe IE is evil, for your own sanity please keep your innocent eyes from MS Edge.
Heaviness: Lightweight Eccentricity: 9/10
Submitted: 01/12/2021 Visit Toastytech
The Well-Tempered Computer [jump here] [permalink]
A website with a wealth of knowledge on all things PC audio. It has a focus on Windows and OSX but I see Linux and Android mentioned too. Detailed are all the aspects of sound APIs, optimal configuration, opinions. Also reviews of many music playing applications.
What's an ASIO? Why would I want to use WASAPI? The answer to these, and many other questions, may be found here.
Heaviness: Lightweight Eccentricity: 6/10
Submitted: 30/11/2021 Visit The Well-Tempered Computer
IRT [jump here] [permalink]
If you're planning to time travel back to 1998, bookmark this website. Hither you will find enough information to be employed as a webdev should you find yourself trapped in the past.
It provides tutorials, reviews and opinions on a variety of web technologies at the turn of the millenium. IRT proclaims that XML will soon supercede HTML, as it seems that many back then believed.
A highlight is this news piece on the release of the Gecko engine my Mozilla, which would eventually become Firefox. Such things as DOM and CSS were just breaking ground then.
Heaviness: Light Eccentricity: 2/10
Submitted: 26/10/2021 Visit IRT
IwayNet on FrontPage Express [jump here] [permalink]
When I was ten or eleven years old, I read of 'FrontPage Express' in a book. I yearned to build my own website and put it on the Internet for all to see. But this elusive program wasn't available on my PC.
In the days of dial-up, finding it online proved quite the task too. I asked a distant relative and months later she visited, presenting a 3.5" Floppy Disk bearing the FrontPage Express installer. Overjoyed, I set about building this website (which still exists online but is well hidden).

Years later, I find scant mention of FPE on the Internet, except this very old website of an independent ISP detailing basic usage. My favourite part is the screenshot of the UI, which shows an estimated download time of 9 seconds for one small JPEG. How far we've come.
Heaviness: light Eccentricity: 4/10
Submitted: 25/10/2021 Visit IwayNet on FrontPage Express
The Jargon File [jump here] [permalink]
An invaluable guide to hacker culture. Hackers aren't driven by malice but by curiosity, a desire to get more from their hardware and software than its makers intended. Unfortunately in common parlance, the term 'hacker' is now synonymous with 'cracker', which is what hackers call those who break things for dishonest gain.
You can learn more of the hacker culture here, which has given rise to everything we value in the world of computing.

There are many good quotes here, like: "Compromise is not particularly a hackish virtue, but the honest presentation of divergent viewpoints is."
Heaviness: Light Eccentricity: 8 /10
Submitted: 24/10/2021 Visit The Jargon File

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