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The Amazing Fishcam Is Back!

I posted earlier about the legendary "Amazing Fish Cam" operated by Netscape.

Back in 1994, Lou Montulli started this second live camera on the web in the offices of that then-unknown small startup company, and subsequently, an "Easter Egg" was planted in the crazy new "web browser" product they developed, so that it would show live images from their fishtank when you pressed Ctrl+Alt+F in that software (Netscape Navigator). All they did was to make the browser go to the fishcam website, but at that time, something like that was truly amazing (today, people probably would call it the "Awesomecam" or so).

The fishtank and the cam watching it, as well as the "Easter Egg" all were kept alive for a long time, the latter being present in the Netscape Communicator suite and its open-sourced followup, the Mozilla suite, the former operated by AOL even after the acquisition of Netscape and the layoff of the Netscape team.

Even SeaMonkey inherited the fishcam "Easter Egg", but AOL finally turned it off some time in 2008, so we have been looking for a replacement for some time, not wanting to let a legend die.

Lou Montulli was apparently thinking along the same lines when it came to the cam itself and acquired a domain name for setting it up again, and informed us about it with a comment on my blog post about its death. I exchanged a few mails with him since that time and last week he had some info and pictures up on the site, so we switched the shortcut on the trunk nightly builds to point there. Last night, Lou informed me that he has a new camera up now so the image quality is much better.

So, where is it? How does it look? What fish are there?

Check it out yourself:

Rebirth of the Amazing FishCam @ fishcam.com

As it's Lou's work, I think it really can claim to be "the oldest camera site still in existence".
Of course, readers of this post will have a lot of ideas what can be improved or whatever - keep in mind though that changing what's up on the site is not up to SeaMonkey people, we merely have a one-liner in our code that points there, Lou is the one operating the site and the fishcam itself. And remember that he just did set it up again and it's a just a fun project.

Thanks to Lou for keeping the legend alive, we're proud to be able to link to it from SeaMonkey - after all, the fishcam fits quite well with that brand name we have now! ;-)

Entry written by KaiRo and posted on February 21st, 2009 15:31 | Tags: fishcam, Mozilla, Netscape, SeaMonkey | 6 comments | TrackBack




from Michigan

The most important question
The real question is, when will ctrl-alt-f take us there in Firefox?
2009-02-21 16:44


from San Diego

I was expecting <video>!
2009-02-21 16:46

Bill Gianopoulos

from Ashland, MA USA

Fishcam for Firefox
For those of you who must have this keyboard shortcut in Firefox, I have provided and extension available for download from my extension site.

2009-02-21 18:18

Anonymous C.

from a very cowardish place

Actually, your mentioning the "Awesomecam" reminded me of the planned Ubiquity integration in the Smart Location Bar and brought me to a similar idea: you could enter the string "ctrlaltf" in the location bar and you would get the fishcam image as the first result in the suggestions (selecting it would lead you to the actual page).
2009-02-21 22:40

Wired Earp

from Copenhagen

This made my day. I have stubbornly refused to unsubscribe from the FishCam bug, marked wontfix in the Firefox bug hierarchy. I've had it with these guys, I'm switching to SeaMonkey!
2009-02-22 14:30


Reply to Crowder
Quote of crowder:
I was expecting <video>!
Hi Crowder,

It's just lots of JPGs as it's coming directly from the webcam. A video would be a prerecorded video.
2013-10-08 04:33

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