Most Popular Websites From The 1980s
Just because few knew of the Internet in the 1980’s and even fewer had computers that could use it doesn’t mean there weren’t tons of sites that enthralled four or five people. Here are a but a few of the more popular online destinations of that decade.
Trapper Keeper App Store
The iPad of the 1980’s, the Trapper Keeper had everything the tech-savvy, forward-looking student of the late 20th century could need. But for those who dreamed of even more than folders for schoolwork and a Velcro closure, this site let them “download” (a then confusing term for “mail order”) such cutting-edge applications as enforcers for preventing loose leaf paper from ripping out of the book, a ruler that you could also put in one of the folders and several new skins for the wraparound cover, including “unicorn,” “fast car” and the less popular “unicorn gets hit by fast car.”
Sony Walkman Streaming Music
Much like an early Pandora, the Sony Walkman Streaming Music site would ask you to type in what kind of bands or music you listened to. Then six-to-eight weeks later you would get a cassingle in the mail with a song the site thought you might also like. Unfortunately, a lot of these cassingles were taped over by previous subscribers who used it to record another song, their own birthday party or the audio from their favorite TV show. But if you played your cards right over the course of a year you might be introduced to well over six new bands.
Acid Wash Connection
One of the earliest online dating sites, the Acid Wash Connection would match users by what kind of denim they were into (dark or light blue) and which article of clothing they preferred acid washed (jacket, jeans or the provocative “both” option). And long before eHarmony’s comprehensive compatibility quiz, Acid Wash let members further refine their search by how much neon colors they liked in their clothes, whether or not they wore scrunchies and what their views were on popped pink polo shirt collars.
Wrong Solutions for the Rubik’s Cube
There are approximately five hundred and nineteen quintillion possible arrangement for the Rubik’s Cube, almost all of them wrong. This site tried to help people by listing every single one them in the hopes of narrowing down to an actual solution. Why the site didn't simply post the answers instead is probably more due to some programmer’s OCD than common sense. Add to the fact that that the power needed to feature the video for every one of those wrong answers led to repeated power outages and the routine explosion of Commodore 64s and this site became the first ever to be closed by the government for being a danger to humanity.
Heavy Metal Ballad Lyric Generator
Every macho heavy metal band worth its weight in eyeliner and asexual clothing recorded a ballad that sounded like nothing else on their albums but would be the one song for which they would be remembered. This site let such bands create their own number one hit by having them first choose from three categories—“Wanting Her,” “Missing Her” and “Already Have Her.” Then it would spew out a series of random words, including “she,” “us,” “me” and “rose.” Finally, the site would automatically add on an acoustic guitar opener, a surging middle and then a soft ending that somehow incorporated a fog machine in the music sheet.
Cabbage Patch Facebook
”The Social Network” builds a lot of drama out of the Winklevoss Twins’ claim that Mark Zuckerberg stole their idea for Facebook. But what the movie fails to mention is that Zuckerberg might have been inspired by this early 80’s site, in which Cabbage Patch Dolls went online to find their real parents and make friends with other dolls who looked exactly like them except for a different name and hair color. Cabbage Patch Facebook also allowed the dolls to try and groupsource an answer to how the hell they wound up sealed inside cardboard boxes sitting on toy shelves in the first place.
What other website do you think there might have been in the 1980’s?