Cool!Music History

Retro web fun: An Ongoing History of New Music web page from 1996

I remember working at 102.1 the Edge when the internet suddenly started to become a big thing with the public. While there was so much coverage about the “information superhighway,” we at the stations were just a punch of radio DJs with almost zero computer experience. Most of our show prep was done on shared IBM Selectric typewriter. The only computers in the building were 286 DOS machines running an office program called Q&A on its yellow text monitor. The music department had their own machine, too, that struggled with a primitive and finicky music scheduling program.

But there were a couple of us who got all hopped up on this internet thing. Electronic mail? The ability to look up sports scores and weather reports instantly? What was a BBS? Who else could we connect to through our machines?

With no one on staff to guide is through anything, we outsourced our internet needs to a start-up called Because we weren’t very well versed in upper-level domain management, we let Passport to that for us. Our original URL was

Passport built is an html site. The Ongoing History of New Music got its own page. And this morning ready McNulty found it. Wow. (These are screenshots. If you want to play with an active version of the website, go here.)

That’s Sponge, the English Bull Terrier. Oh, they were simpler time, no?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38319 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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