It's hard to fathom sometimes the kind of things people believed in the olden days -- that the earth was the center of the solar system, that the world was flat, that hysteria was caused by woman's womb coming loose and moving around in her body, etc.

The fact is, the past is embarrassing. Just look at a picture of your hair from 2002. The Internet is no different. What looks minimalist, cool and dynamic today will look like the pixelated rantings of a pathetic cyber try-hard in no time.

With that in mind, we decided to bring to you 10 of the best still-functioning golden-oldies of Internet.



Internet Explorer Is Evil
Created: 1998
The brainchild of Nathan Lineback, this genuinely interesting website explores the controversy around Microsoft's inclusion of Internet Explorer in Windows 95/NT. Obviously the browser battles have moved on somewhat since 1998, with I.E. now competing with innovators like Firefox and Google Chrome. Microsoft's diminished market share and reputation, we think, is in no small part due to Nathan and his stone-cold wit, encapsulated neatly by phrases such as "Microsh**."

Keep reading for more sites so old their HTML was written in Sanskrit. (Rimshot!)

The Hall
Created: 1995
We have absolutely no idea what this Aussie website is about. It might be an attempt at a primitive Internet game: You start in this rather grand hall, then you click on the numbers, and then you click on the squares, and then you click on the spots, and then you click on the ... Nah, that's as far as we got. You work it out.



The Robert De Niro Page
Created: 1999
We doubt the shouty actor had much to do with this rather lovely fan page, but frankly we'd be delighted if such an awesome, vintage site existed in our honor. What's more, most of the links still work, including the surprisingly harrowing "sound gallery" which contains mp3s of De Niro's finest lines (though obscured by terrifying static).



Mission Critical
Created: 1995
It would seem the Internet's minor obsession with Venn diagrams is as old as the web itself. Set up by San Jose University, Mission Critical is designed to teach people how to think critically. We're sure that's useful, but we can't help but get distracted by that awesome, ring-binder notebook effect.



Surfing the Internet
Created: 1995
Still not quite got the hang of this whole "Internet" thing? Neither do we. That's why we found Florida University astronomy professor John Oliver's web page so incredibly useful. He's even broken down his Web-surfing tutorial into two sections: "Internet Surfing" and "Advanced Internet Surfing." What a guy!



Dinosauria
Created: 1995
In 1995, this site was at the cutting edge of Web design. Not only does it have an awesome, textured, GIF-laden homepage, but it also has a primitive, blog-style journal of dinosaur paleontology and photo galleries -- photo galleries that contain pictures as awesome as this.



Schloss Reichenstein
Created: 1996
Ever wanted to visit the Reichenstein castle? Well, there's no need to even leave your bedroom to do so. All you have to do is consult Tim Vogel's excellent virtual tour guide. It's so thorough, it makes a Wikipedia page look like a Post-It. Originally designed in 1996, it was updated in 2003 with lovely standard fonts and sexy new JPGs.



Lutes, Old and New
Created: 1998
Do you live for luting? Are you forever luting it up wherever you are? Then there's only one place for you: Lutes, Old and New. This apparently-still-active site has everything you will ever need to know about lutes, including a fascinating "treatise on hand position." The mailing list still works, too.



Time Magazine
Created: 1999
This page, created in 1999, still exists on the Time site and shows some early iterations of modern Web-design principles. Look: two columns! That's pretty sweet.



The Klingon Language Institute
Created: 1996
Setting the tone early on in the Internet's development as a place where geeks can be free to be themselves, The Klingon Language Institute's opening statement is "Those bumpy headed aliens of Star Trek really have their own language, one which has far outgrown mere television and film. That's what we're about." And, OK, maybe you need to refresh about a dozen times before it renders properly, but remember -- there are kids younger than this website taking their SATs.