Computer Archaeology

One of my favorite movie lines comes from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. It’s the very end of an action sequence in which Indy rescues his father from the Nazis. The two of them take a moment to catch their breath and Doctor Jones, Sr turns to his son and asks, “You call this archaeology?”
It’s been a day or two since I last had any prolonged fisticuffs with the forces of evil, but every so often I also make a surprising discovery.
This evening, while trying to figure out where I’d stashed my copy of the data access drivers for Microsoft Access, I discovered a file sitting in a dusty corner of my hard drive.
The file is named msie302m95.exe, it’s 10.8 MB in size, and dated July 31, 1998.
I’m nearly certain it’s a standalone installer for the Windows 95 edition of Internet Explorer, v3.02.
IE 6.0 is the current bane of existence for web developers. It has a number of quirks, lackluster support for web standards, and it’s been around since 2001. And because it was bundled with Windows XP and most people won’t upgrade their web browser (not even for free!), it’s still the most common web browser on the web in general.
IE 3.x dates back to the days before Microsoft won the first browser war. This was the first browser from Microsoft to support JavaScript and among the last to still support the <marquee> and <blink> tags. (These days, both of those effects are largely unlamented, but if you feel desperately eager to create something similar to the average Geocities page, you can reproduce them with a very small amount of JavaScript.)
I don’t miss IE3. But one thing’s very clear from this discovery:
I really need to clear out my hard drive a bit more often.

One thought on “Computer Archaeology”

  1. 🙁 One of the topics that has been posted on repeatedly on our internal work forum is the fact we are still on IE 6 and neither 7, 8 or Firefox/Chrome are approved for use on work computers.
    But just think, if you keep that file one more year, it’ll hit puberty!!!

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