The First Web Server
July 9th, 2008 By: Rich Miller
A piece of Internet history from Wikimedia Commons (via Boing Boing): “This NeXT workstation (a NeXTcube) was used by Tim Berners-Lee as the first Web server on the World Wide Web. Today, it is kept in Microcosm, the public museum at the Meyrin site of CERN, in the Canton of Geneva, Switzerland.” Click the photo for a larger image and additional background.
Note the warning label on the tower: “This machine is a server. DO NOT POWER IT DOWN!!” At the time you could take the entire Web offline by pressing a single button. And you thought your data center EPO button was dangerous.
NeXT boxes were so cool. I still own two (“slabs” not “cubes” though), one of which I ran as my personal web & mail server for years and years, finally retiring it in 2001 or so. I still use a NeXT ADB mouse on my home computer with a USB/ADB adapter. NeXT machines still look sexier than just about any computer available, even those from Apple. Put it on a table with an array of Dells, HPs, IBM, Apple, etc and have people pick the best looking: it will always be the NeXT.