First Website

I recently took a trip down memory lane by looking at old websites. I had forgotten that my first website was published in 1996. It appeared on the University of Michigan EECS server for artificial intelligence. I was only in high school but had early JavaScript for a random quote generator. That was version 5. Later versions of the website had built-in Virtual Reality Markup Language (VRML), allowing users to spin a three-dimensional cube in outer space and click different sides to access various sub-websites. It was really cool for the time—I haven’t seen anything quite like it even today.

Unfortunately, the hypercube and VRML are lost to time. I’ve tried to find them, but I think there’s nothing in the Internet Archive, nor have I found anything on old hard drives. I did have a major hard drive crash in the early 2000s without a backup. That was probably the only copy. But I still remember creating it in high school on an old Pentium 90 computer, or perhaps something earlier.

What I really reflect on is how different the internet was in the 1990s compared to today. Today, the internet is a corporate landscape, but back then it was like the wild west of freedom and information theory. My website even had a blue ribbon for the free and open information campaign of the internet. I think it was the Blue Ribbon Campaign, but I’m not quite sure. I also recall that I was very interested in online gaming, and some of my early thoughts and memories about gaming were on the website. There were a few other websites I made that were lost to time, like everything else, in an unfortunate digital loss.