I was away over the weekend and spotted this on my in-laws book shelf – The Internet Atlas by Richard Dinnick. A guide to the “best 1,000 sites on the web”.
Even though the book is only a few years old, it was published in 2000, it is a fascinating snapshot on what the web was like only thirteen years ago.
It includes sections on the browsers available which besides Internet Explorer 5 and Netscape also includes the first alpha version of Mozilla.
There is also a section on search engines which includes Altavista and Ask Jeves along with a full page spread on Lycos. Note that this is before the emergence of Google. I remember being an active user of Altavista and wondered what had happened to it and was surprised to find that not only was it still active but that it was owned by Yahoo!
What this books shows is a couple of things. Firstly how much the web has changed in a very short space of time. Things that were popular just a short time ago have virtually disappeared replaced by others. The second thing is that I don’t think that anyone would attempt such a book these days, there are far too many sites to try and curate them and surely these days you would do it as a website.
There are some more pictures below, unfortunately I only had my phone with me so they are not great but they do give a good flavour of both the book and the web at the turn of the millennium.