There is a bunch of Geocities websites that were last updated in the second half of 1998. It is very likely that they were created the same day they were abandoned. The websites are empty, look very similar, appear one after another on the One Terabyte of Kilobyte Age Tumblr, don’t evoke any memories … a real nightmare.
Apart from the rulers, a missing Java applet, Tesla coils and a dripping faucet …
… they all contain a link to a page on Intel.com that does not exist anymore. The paths to elements used in the java applet’s parameters lead to the source on archive.org:
Most images are broken, but the context is clear now: in 1998 Intel was trying out a web page builder, or a Web Page Wizard.
There’s nothing to download to start using the Intel.com Web Page Wizard, so get started now, and create a your own home on the Web!
The Intel.com Web Page Wizard was last updated in 1999, the year Geocities was already bought by Yahoo!, which introduced its own builder; the year time of page wizards was over outside of free hosting services anyway.
Sadly, Intel’s effort is not contained in the Geocities torrent, so there are no HTML files, no read_me. But there are also good news: the images of intel/wizard/images/ are still online, so one can still hotlink to them :)
The bars and the faucet leaking Pentium Juice made quite a career online, not as part of the template, but on their own. They appear in free collections. They appear on pages outside of geocities.
Outside of free hosting services:
http://www.ten-k.com/ (an exceptional example: the layout is as it was designed by the Wizard and the applet still works)
The Skdeitch site is an interesting example: the only animated appearance of the Tesla coils until now. (Though, every time I see them, I’m surprised that they were not originally animated. Btw, another lame thing: all 4 gifs have an opaque black background. If the background would be transparent, I’m sure we would know them from more pages.)
Other unique animations on this site suggest that Seth K. Deitch is the author of the animated versions.
Intel’s “Nightmare” is interesting on at least two layers:
- as a clear source of four graphics that made their way into free collections
- as a template of the pre-template era. More of a sample page than a template, scaffold code that users had to edit.
And it is scary as death.