April 4th Celebrates Netscape

Today on Day’s to remember, we celebrate how on April 4th 1994, Netscape Communications was founded.

Netscape Communications (formerly known as Netscape Communications Corporation and commonly known as Netscape) is an American computer services company, best known for Netscape Navigator, its web browser.

When it was an independent company, its headquarters were in Mountain View, California.

Netscape was the first company to attempt to capitalize on the nascent World Wide Web.

It was originally founded under the name Mosaic Communications Corporation on April 4, 1994, the brainchild of Jim Clark who had recruited Marc Andreessen as co-founder and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers as investors.

Jim Clark was born in Plainview, Texas and endured a difficult childhood. He dropped out of high school after being suspended and spent four years in the Navy where he was introduced to electronics.

Clark began taking night courses at Tulane University’s University College where, despite his lack of a high school diploma, he was able to earn enough credits to be admitted to the University of New Orleans.

There, Clark earned his Bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics, followed by a PhD in computer science from the University of Utah in 1974.
There were other famous celebrities who also dropped out of high school, to name just a few on top of my head, Johnny Depp, Nicolas Cage, Cameron Diaz, and Arnold Schwarzenegger were all drops out before starting their careers.

In January 1998, Netscape made an announcement that their browser would thereafter be free and also that the development of the browser would move to an open-source process.

This came as wonderful news to many on the Internet. But the time between this announcement, and the actual delivery of Mozilla 1.0 would be a long road (over 4 years.)

The process ended up taking much longer than originally anticipated, what with the Netscape/AOL merger and the late-hour decision to integrate an entirely new next-generation HTML rendering engine.

Netscape Navigator, by contrast, was aimed squarely at ordinary users with PCs and a dial-up Internet connection. It was Netscape Navigator, then, that turned the Internet from a research tool into a mass medium.

How can forget how slow dial modem were like, but when did the first dial modem come out?

In 1962, the first commercial modem was manufactured by Bell 103 and by AT&T. The Bell 103 was also the first modem with full-duplex transmission, frequency-shift keying or FSK, and had a speed of 300 bits per second.

Sounds exciting, doesn’t it but boy was it slow….

The 56K modem was invented by Dr. Brent Townshend in 1996, which everyone bought around that time when Netscape merged with AOL.

I remember having Netscape when it first came out with AOL, and slow service started calling AOL, America Off Line.

Todays YouTube presentation by user name (davesshindig) gives you an idea what the internet browser looked like in the 1980s, before Netscape came out. As we celebrate Netscape’s birthday today on April 4th.

A lot people never realized that ‘Netscape is the first Internet tool that lets the average user with a 14.4 kb modem work with the Internet interactively,’ said Todd Haedrich, principal of Point of Presence Company in Seattle. ‘It’s fast, simple and elegant. The resources that Mosaic Communications provides for its novice users in Netscape, such as the Internet directories, rival any other site on the net for their quality and depth.

Netscape Navigator, the browser that launched the commercial Internet in October 1994, will die on February 1, 2008. AOL, which acquired Netscape in November 1998 for $4.2 billion, will announce today that they will discontinue development of the browser, currently on version 9.

However Netscape is going strong after all these years as we celebrate Netscape’s birthday today on April 4th.

Written & Designed by JD Mitchell


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