Thanks for the nostalgia, Opera Unite

Back in the golden age of the Internet and web 0.9, those people who were lucky enough to have a routable IP address on their desktop workstation used NSCA’s or Netscape’s web server and built their own web pages. skoda.com started out as a single index.html, written in vi, served off a DEC Alpha workstation named mina running OSF/1.

The down side of doing this desktop web server was that I had to run my own DNS, my own Web server, write my own content, and do my own UNIX system admin. Not really a down side for me, since I’m a UNIX admin, who enjoys managing Internet services, while writing html pages. For most normal people, that’s an awful lot of work that they may not want to go through to post a few pages on-line.

I’m often surprised at the cyclical nature of the computer industry. Terminals connected to mainframes give way to PCs connected to each other, gives way to web browsers connected to web servers. Now it looks like Opera is hoping to move back toward the desktop webserver circa 1996.

It’s an interesting idea and I like the de-centralized concept. I remember those days of running services on my workstation as a fun time of wild experimentation. I don’ know if today’s Internet will be as fun and safe as 1996. I hope Opera has put in some hefty security measures for Unite, we’ll need them.

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