Pages from the original Geocities version of Sonic HQ have been featured on the One Terabyte of Kilobyte Age Photo Op blog!
This automated Tumblr blog, a project of the Contemporary Home Computing site, chronologically posts screenshots of Geocities homepages. Every 20 minutes a new screenshot gets posted (inside a Netscape browser no less), complete with the original URL and the date the site was last modified.
Now, as you may know, Geocities was closed down by Yahoo back in 2009, deleting tons of internet history in the process. Thankfully, one terabyte of data was managed to be rescued by the Archive Team before the closure, and these websites are still available today in some form.
First up is the games page.
So how did this get featured? Well, at the time, Geocities had a strict 11MB limit for websites. To skirt around this, SHQ was split into multiple Geocities sites (and Angelfire sites... and Tripod sites...). So while this would be considered a sub-page of SHQ, it's technically its own website. Thus it's viable to be picked up by the Tumblr blog.
Significantly, the games page is also the first page from 1999 to be posted on the blog. This means it had the earliest "last modified" date of any Geocities page from 1999. Meaning it's the first Geocities page to be completely abandoned in 1999, without the webmaster deleting it themselves sometime later! ...Hooray!
The screenshot also has 81 likes and reblogs at the time of this writing. Yay~
The homepage was overhauled to redirect visitors to the site's new address, where it was hosted on Emulation Zone and finally all under one umbrella. As for that custom Geocities URL (geocities.com/zifei), that was the name of the site's founder, Zifei.
(And yes, you are looking at a Netscape screenshot inside a Netscape screenshot.)
So there you have it! Quite a nice little trip down memory lane. I personally wasn't around to see this era of the site -- I didn't find it until 2001 a couple years later. But it's nice to reflect.
It's pretty amazing Sonic HQ is still kicking after all these years, huh? Well... I guess it's more of a limp right now. It's seen some better days I'll give it that. But it's still around and that's what counts, right?
Hey, and be sure to check out the One Terabyte of Kilobyte Age blog post bringing in the new year, Happy 1999!, where Sonic HQ is also featured. People will indeed be bewildered by this ancient Geocities site... and maybe even more bewildered to find out it's still around!