WEB1999: the web of 1999 in math class

Over on Cemetech in the final months of 2023, we held a programming contest: write a screensaver, any kind of screensaver. I’m not often one to do any kind of competitive programming, but a screensaver is a nice project because there’s a lot of room in which to play and many of the hard aspects of programming (interacting with humans) can be completely ignored! As a results, I wrote a program I called WEB1999 to enter in the contest, and ended up winning second place.

Inspired heavily by the Realistic Internet Simulator (“Kill the Pop-ups”), WEB1999 invokes the spirit of pop-up advertising and Internet culture around the turn of the millennium in the form of a program that runs on Texas Instruments’ TI-84+ CE color-screen graphing calculators.

Title: WEB1999 - Relive the 90s Internet on your Calculator!

Description: Miss the chaotic, popup-filled internet of the late 90s? WEB1999 brings the classic web experience to your TI-83 Premium CE or TI-84 Plus CE calculator!

This program recreates those annoying (yet strangely nostalgic) popups, like “HOT SINGLES in your area!” and “YOU’VE WON!”. Hum “Ride of the Valkyries” as you watch WEB1999 do its thing - it plays itself!


Faithful recreations of iconic 90s web popups

Web-safe 216-color palette for that authentic look

Relive web design trends of the era

Want to try it?

Visit the links below to download. If you’re using an emulator, experience it as it was truly intended!

Download on Cemetech: https://www.cemetech.net/downloads/files/2402

Source Code on Gitlab: https://gitlab.com/taricorp/web1999/-/releases

Get Nostalgic

If you loved (or hated) the early internet, WEB1999 is a must-try. Share it with friends and reminisce about the days before endless scrolling and targeted ads.

Hashtags: #web1999 #retro #calculators #programming #nostalgia #90s #webdesign

What critics (the contest judgest) are saying about WEB1999:

An excellent instance of a screensaver modeled after both the golden age of screensavers and the golden age of the internet. Callbacks to both classic internet culture and the calculator community of yore, with a few easter eggs to boot. No key input required, other than to exit the screensaver. Extremely thorough readme, including a history/background on each of the “windows” that can appear.

It looks great. The posterization and dithering really gives the feel of the 90s, and the use of an even more limited palette is a clever way to work within the bounds. Capturing the nostalgia of having just way too many popups.

An HTML readme that looks like it’s from ‘99? Nice!