Many of the earliest website designs to populate the web are nothing more than distant and irretrievable memories. While sites like the The Internet Archive Wayback Machine provide a great way to take a stroll back through Internet time, their index only goes back so far.
So it goes with the Apple.com homepage. Archived versions of Apple’s homepage on the Wayback Machine only go back to October 1996, a shame given that Apple had a website up and running for many years prior.
Thankfully, Kevin Fox, who previously did design and software work at both Google and Apple, realized that he just might have a screenshot of Apple’s old and seemingly forgotten homepage lying around on a very, very old hard drive backup.
The proper level in this case was an archive of a backup that had been burned to CD-R in 1995, found on a spindle in a cardboard box in 2006 and copied into the life-backup a couple hard drives ago. Still fruitless in my search, I wondered if I might have stored it in the Scrapbook for safe-keeping.
I copied that backup’s Scrapbook file to my computer and used Photoshop to try and extract the PICT resources containing the individual images… Paging hopefully through the default images, suddenly there it was. It was so tiny! And oh god, so pixellated. But this was absolutely it.
Fox further relayed that the image he found, based on some reader feedback, was likely from 1993 or 1994.
And for good measure, Fox went to the extra step of quickly putting together a mockup of what the Apple website likely looked like back in the early 90s on a System 7 Mac. Nostalgia at its finest.
All in all, a great trip back through memory lane, that is, if you happened to be browsing around the web during the pre-AOL days. In any event, make sure to check out Kevin Fox’s full recap regarding how he unearthed this gem.