Earlier today I stumbled upon a crazy hidden gem that I didn't think still existed - Internet Explorer for the Mac. Well, technically it doesn't since the last version was 5.2 and was released in 2001, discontinued in 2003 and support for it was killed in 2005. And yet, I was able to find it via the internet. As most of you likely have also decided, modern browsers are just too darn streamlined and optimized for todays youth, and you need something that harkens to a simpler day, but don't want to give up your $2500 Macbook Pro with Retina screen. Well true believers, read on and learn of my tale.
Lets set the record straight, I never in a million years would have thought to use Internet Explorer on my Mac, but as luck would have it, it literally was dropped in my lap today at work. So, I thought I would take it for a spin. Also, so you know, I am using a 2011 Macbook Pro with an Intel I5 processor running OSX 10.6.8 (aka Snow Leopard). It ends up that this IE beauty will not work on OSX 10.7 or newer (sorry cult of the new).
Well to get things started, we need to launch this bad boy
Oh, looks like we may have already run into a snag with the default home page when it loads (by the way, it did ask if I wanted to make Internet Explorer my home page. I politely clicked no)
Ok, we can work through this. MSN isn't really fresh or relevant in a world of bing. Lets try out Microsoft.com:
Well, a little better. Definitely is not optimized for a legacy browser though. Not really certain why its defaulting to the Office homepage though. Why don't we start to visit some regular hot spots on the internet. Lets start with Facebook:
So...two things. First, for whatever reason, IE is thinking that I want to go to the mobile version of Facebook. Second, I want you to note that the popup says that it is a secure page. Everything I do here should be safe and I don't need to worry about a Nigerian Prince stealing my goats or anything. So it should be safe to log in right?
Oooh man, I don't know what just happened but I think I am starting a shit storm by trying to log in. IE now tells me that Facebook is not secure AFTER I enter my login info and try to check my status. Not good. Well, I don't really use Facebook that much, what about Twitter?
I...don't know if I've ever seen the Twitter bird caged before. IE is getting scary. Hold me.
Ok, enough of this - lets try to make twitter work. How about the mobile version?
GOLD! We're in...sorta
While this is clearly my feed and people I follow, I have no idea if I can even tweet from here. Well, maybe if I choose a certain page I can tweet to them directly...how about ThinkGeek?
It appears that the only thing I can do is actually Direct Message them, so I do:
I think I have sent them a message. I guess we will find out in a bit. Why don't we try visiting Mashable.com, a great site thats full of news on our favorite tech and social media happenings....uh oh:
It appears that IE 5.2 for Mac does not recognize Mashable as a file type and wants to know what I want to open it in. I don't have the heart to tell IE that its a website, so I move on. Lets try to think like its 2001. What was popular in 2001, as we should certainly be able to check it out there, right? What about Myspace?
Well, I "guess" its better than what MSN was doing, but why is there a single hipster judging me in the darkness that is Myspace? What about AOL?
While it doesn't look like much, AOL I was still able to find out some of the current headlines in the news, albeit mostly pop gossip as opposed to world affairs. Oh snap, what about friendster? Friendster was friggin huge in 2001 I'm certain of it....
Strangely, I don't remember Friendster being like this 11 years ago. What you may not be able to see in the void is that it recommends that I use a current version of either Chrome, IE, or Firefox to take full advantage of all it has to offer. It also offers you a challenge of "Proceed anyways".
Please take in the URL on this screenshot above. I love how it adds "Stubborn" to the end of the string. Classic Friendster. Moving right along, what about Apple? Apple.com certainly has to work right?
I sat here for about 8 minutes before I gave up and moved on.
Good Guy Google doesn't seem to mind that you're using a legacy browser to find information, though its search buttons seem to have gone missing. While I'm here, lets check my gmail:
So what this screencap doesn't show is that after I entered my username and password and hit sign in, it just circled right back to the log in screen as if nothing happened. Kinda like that episode of the Simpsons where someone gives Burns a dollar to hold on to and then they ask for it back and he says "What dollar?"
So Gmail is straight out, lets see if my hotmail account from 1998 is still active:
Looks like it won't even load. Nice one Microsoft. On to Yahoo:
So, Yahoo actually loads the best, only to tell you that they don't support your browser (Wump wump for me) but still gives you a link for mail, so lets try it anyways:
I don't even know what that means. Ok, this is getting ridiculous. Maybe if I start thinking about email as if its 2001, I can check at least one of these. Enter Excite:
Holy shit, I think this is actually optimized for this browser. Insanity! time to log in
What these screen caps don't show is that "Join Now" is actually animated. Grabbed my attention, lets sign up today!
I am actually very surprised that Excite requires your home address in order to give you an email address, as well as all of the following info:
psst...I may have made a bit of it up
And yeah...right after I hit "Click here!" IE crashed hard. I was pretty surprised as to how much actually did not work in IE as the browser is 10 years old. That may sound stupid when said like that, but understand that my local school district has over 700 computers still in regular daily use that are also over 10 years old. Think about that one for a minute.
Feel free to try and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, as I may be able to access that once I work up the courage to revisit IE 5.2