Every year around this time, I reminisce about the journey that has been this website. I shared some of that history on multiple occasions over these past years (August 2010, August 2015, and August 2018).
The neat thing about this time of the year and the birth of this website in its original form, is that it is also the anniversary of the release of Windows 95 – August 24th, 1995. In fact, this website was born out of the release of Windows 95 and its first iteration was called Another Windows 95 Links and Resources Page and it was hosted at GeoCities.com/SiliconValley/Heights/1094 and was there for many years including its first official domain name – AntotherWin95.com – which redirected to the original GeoCities address above.
I called it Another Windows 95 Links and Resources Page because in the late summer and early fall of 1995 – Windows 95 was all the talk and everyone was building websites about it. I had just learned about this thing called the web and websites and so it seemed like a good starting point. I coded all of that initial HTML by hand in Notepad. That first iteration was a single page with a long list of links and resources centered down the middle of the page as you scrolled the list.
It has come a long way since those days!
Windows 95 was a significant shift from Windows 3.11 and introduced the now familiar Start Menu to all of us. It was still based on MS-DOS at that time but it was a fresh graphical interface to all those black and white command line commands.
Although I was stationed in Naples, Italy at that time about 12 years into my Navy career, I happened to be back in the United States for training. On the evening of August 23rd, 1995 I found myself in line outside of a retail electronics store waiting for the midnight sale of Windows 95 to the public on August 24th. That was a lot of fun, a lot of geeks, and resulted in me walking away with a CD-ROM with the Windows 95 upgrade on it.
I still have that disk to this day and it is part of the hero image at the top of this blog post.
My return trip to Italy and the ability to upgrade my then Windows 3.11 computer was still a week away but that Windows 95 Manual that came with the upgrade disk, which was extremely robust compared to anything we get these days, was one of the most read documents on the planet for me that week!
The rest, as they say, is history. Over the years GeoCities eventually shutdown and I moved AnotherWin95.com to a web host and have been through several over the years since. The name of the site also changed one more time – to WindowsObserver.com. I stuck with AnotherWin95.com all the way up through 2006 – around the end of Windows XP and the beginning of Windows Vista. WindowsObserver seemed like an appropriate moniker considering how entrenched I was in the Windows/Microosft ecosystem.
It has been a tremendous pleasure to build this site over the years. It has birthed both the now retired Observed Tech PODCAST (317 episodes) and the current Faith, Tech, and Space PODCAST. The site has a robust collection of wallpapers and themes for Windows and other devices plus several popular downloads for some Windows tablets.
All in all – I would not change a thing about this 25 year journey. I am looking forward to the continued exploration of technology through these pages over the next 25 years and beyond!
Thanks for riding along on this spectacular journey!