Microsoft's 1994 home page

Microsoft has recreated its first home page, from 1994. From Microsoft's The Fire Hose blog:

In 1994, among the reasons Microsoft started a website was to put its growing Knowledge Base online. At the time, the company managed support forums for customers on CompuServe, one of the earliest major Internet dial-up service providers.

“We had started to build up a community there; people would answer questions for each other,” recalls Mark Ingalls, a Microsoft engineer in 1994 who would become Microsoft.com’s first administrator. He was also the only website employee at that time, other than his boss. But the staff doubled early on, when Steve Heaney was hired to offer vacation relief, Ingalls says.

In terms of “Web design,” the notion, much less the phrase, didn’t really exist.

“There wasn’t much for authoring tools,” Ingalls says. “There was this thing called HTML that almost nobody knew.” Information that was submitted for the new Microsoft.com website often came to Ingalls via 3-1/2-inch floppy disks.

“Steve Heaney and I put together PERL scripts that handled a lot of these daily publishing duties for us,” he says. “For a while, we ran the site like a newspaper, where we published content twice a day. And if you missed the cutoff for the publishing deadline, you didn’t get it published until the next running of the presses, or however you want to term it.”

Read the rest

Beach Cat: photos from the Boing Boing Flickr Pool

Boing Boing reader Simon Turkas captured this "Beach Cat." Read the rest

Murderer Patricia Krenwinkel's "Life After Manson"

"My Life After Manson": Patricia Krenwinkel talks from prison about her experience in the Manson Family on the 45th anniversary of the Tate-Labianca Murders. Read the rest

New Turtles movie sucks

A throwaway line in io9's review of TMNT (2014) is just one of the many data points on its chart of why the movie fails. But it struck me as imparting something important about why Hollywood is often so bad at this kind of thing.

"[In the new movie] the Turtles are apparently embarrassed to say 'Cowabunga,' and apologize profusely before actually saying it."

The movie-makers took something unselfconsciously goofy and funny and made it anxious and answerable to social norms. They were embarrassed by it, by the turtles' original goofiness. It made them cringe.

Knowing enough about the workings of the magic they buy, perhaps they feared complete removal? So they fixed it by making it superficial and ironic, in the hope that it would come across as a winking in-joke rather than, say, mocking the joy of perpetual, idealized adolescence to better reflect the nervous moderation of adulthood.

I guess it'll make a ton of money on the strength of relentless marketing, though, so there's that. Read the rest

Sword and Laser bookclub kicks off The Name of the Wind

This episode is brought to you by Squarespace, the all-in-one platform that makes it fast and easy to create your own professional website or online portfolio. For a free trial and 10% off, go to squarespace.com and use offer code SWORD.

New IBM chip inspired by human brain

In the journal Science, IBM researchers report on a new computer chip that mimics the way the human brain recognizes patterns by leveraging an architecture they describe as "1 million programmable spiking neurons and 256 million configurable synapses." Read the rest

Bonsai chickens

"Hen Thrives in Bottle." Read the rest

Editing TV commercials for fun

The folks at r/CommercialCuts are masters at improving TV commercials. Digg has a nice selection. Read the rest

Self-folding origami robot crawls around

MIT and Harvard researchers developed a laser-cut robot that when powered up folds itself into a 3D shape and walks away. Read the rest

Shortest-known abstract for a serious scientific paper: only 2 words

(via Clifford Pickover) Read the rest

How to beat airlines' excess baggage weight fee

Redditor stou says: "These two guys were flying to Singapore from Sydney and their carryon was over the 'free' weight limit so the airline, Scoot, wanted to charge them $130. Apparently when they started putting on the clothes the airline agent told them something along the lines of 'I am going to come to the gate and make sure you are still wearing everything.'" Read the rest

Parker: The Hunter - new illustrated edition of the classic 1962 crime novel

After reading Donald Westlake’s The Hot Rock (read my review), a humorous crime novel about a gang of professional thieves who repeatedly bungle a jewel heist, I picked up Westlake’s The Hunter. Read the rest

US launches airstrikes on Iraq. Again.

Déjà vu, guys: "American warplanes struck Sunni militant positions in northern Iraq on Friday, the Pentagon and Kurdish officials said, confirming the first significant American military operation in the country since United States forces withdrew in 2011." Read the rest

Red Dwarf's fantastic cat

I have always believed this is the future of feline evolution. I started rewatching Red Dwarf, it stands the test of time. Read the rest

Bridal shop refuses to sell gowns to same-sex couple

A couple hoping to buy gowns for their wedding were turned away by the W-W Bridal Boutique in Bloomberg, PA. The shop's owner told one of the two women that it would violate their religious beliefs to serve them. Read the rest

The life of a hoarder

Corinna Kern documented the life of George Fowler, a compulsive hoarder. In her photographs is "a closeness between the young woman behind the camera and the old man in front of it." [Itsnicethat via Digg] Read the rest

Lousy video from an amazing dive trip

I am far too lazy to review the 10+ hrs of underwater video I captured last week diving off of California's Catalina Island. This eel will have to serve. Read the rest

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