XKCD's eye-watering Geocities tribute

T sez, "I know you folks follow xkcd as good alpha-geeks should, so you won't have missed today's dose of nostalgically eyeball-searing brilliance [ed: a tribute to the soon-to-be-shut-down Geocities]. Just wanted to make sure you took an extra couple minutes to "view source" on the site's "redesign" though. Well worth poring over the lovingly crafted neolithic HTMLer in-jokes there. <FONT COLOR="#88FF88" STYLE="FORTHRIGHT">srsly.</FONT>"

COMIC TITLE: Nachos (Thanks, T!)


  1. Geocities taught me HTML. I still “code” on notepad. WOW, the internet was so young then. RIP Geocities.

  2. Jeez, I did look at the page source to see how he did it. Quite fun to read. I especially like the occasional use of BROKEN~1.png to get his point across.

  3. The star background reminds me of my first Angelfire web page back in the mid nineties. The days of dial-up paid by the hour seem so far away.

  4. I love some of the malformed names in the source code. For example, under the language tag in one line, he lists:
    “AMERICAN/ESPA☃ISH” — the strange character being the unicode symbol for a snowman (U+2603).


    Does anyone know what it does apart from print out the error “Common Lisp or Netscape Navigator 4.0+ Required”?

    1. The Scheme code is the skeleton of a metacircular evaluator for Scheme — that is, a Scheme interpreter written in Scheme itself, or the code for a version of the Scheme (eval exp env) function (evaluate an expression in a specified environment). It is, in fact, mostly a copy of the code from “The Core of the Evaluator”, section 4.1.1 in the classic textbook “Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs” by Abelson and Sussman.

      1. … which makes me think (@octopod) that the last tweet might be :

        ((lambda (tweet) (tweet tweet)) (lambda (tweet) (tweet tweet)))

  6. Aww that takes me back. I prefer Angelfire though. Oh for the days when kids actually had to learn HTML before they were set loose on the internets… it’s filled with uneducated attention seeking angsty emos now :o(

    Still, I’m not sure I ever saw HTML as neat as that in a page, and I deffinately didn’t see
    INT MAIN(VOID) { COUT << “\ In fact, there’s not even a hint of Microsoft Frontpage in there. XKCD, fail.

    1. Actually there is an “INT MAIN(VOID)” if you look at the page’s source code. There is also a few other goodies in there:

      HTML WEB=”2.0″



    1. Wow, if there’s any way it can be broken, it is, and in the most creative ways. Reminds me why I started using Golive for site management to kill broken links and for the HTML editor that gave me a useful IDE.

  7. ah, so our nostaglia centered culture moves onto the nineties :)

    I still have a geocities page. i looked it up a month ago and was amazed it was still being hosted. Not for much longer i guess

  8. All it needs is a “web circle” image. Back when the web was too big & scary for individual pages, you had to join one of those themed groups and hope someone clicked “random page” to get to yours.

  9. I still host things on GeoCities. Now, after today, everything will disappear, lost in time, like tears in rain. *sigh* I have little to no intention of fixing my affected accounts.

  10. Nice. I don’t think I ever had a Geocities site- I was on Tripod in the olden days. I too still code by hand in a text editor.

  11. I remember geocities being hated back in the day. Good riddance. Only people who didn’t “get it” used geocities and Tripod.

  12. My favourite comment from the the xkcd forums:


    For awhile I was wondering if I could explain why the first thing out of my mouth when I saw this was “Adorable!”
    Then I realized this is just like looking at baby pictures of the internet.

  13. I was relieved (yet also dissapointed) when embedded MIDI background music failed to flood my speakers.

    1. I think that hit counter INTENTIONALLY doesn’t work – to emphasize the absolutely enormous amount of visitors to the sites :P

    2. Kind of the point, most of the time hit counters didn’t work, or worked too well and when my boss demanded one, I showed him how continuously reloading the page incremented the count, creating a false impression of activity.

  14. Ah, the nostalgia! My first web page was hosted on geocities…


    So uh, don’t let the door hit you on the… you know…

  15. It is very hard to believe that Geocities is gone. It was the place where I created my first website. Bye Bye Geocities

    1. y, I think I’ll feel sooo old when in the future the inevitable stories run but with %s/geocities/myspace/g

  16. Oh, how I miss the pre-2000 Internet era, when everything was simple and we had Webvan. I wish I could go back in time, get a Compuserve dial-up connection and surf away and sign up for Beenz and update my Geocities page.

  17. I was curious and checked my geocities website – it still has a guestbook and comments from 1998! I have to say I’m a little embarassed about my old HTML and am glad to see it wiped from the nets.

  18. I was /athens/5168, joined in about ’95, but when my account got hacked (my fault: dictionary password) and I couldn’t recover it through their awful techsupport, I had to get it trashed by a DMCA.

    Fun times.

    The counter is 10 digits and only 2 digits used. Pretty sure that’s a deliberate joke about scale, yeah.

  19. …As someone who had an FAQ site trashed by Geoshitties in 1997 due to a credit card foulup on *their* end – very long story I’ll one day go over on OMBlog – I personally will not shed one iota of a tear for the demise of this particular festering pustule. The only thing that would be better is if it meant that the two choads who were responsible for the site frackup were losing their jobs at a very bad time.

    So long Geoshitties. Don’t let your ass get stuck on the doorknob on the way to Hell…

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