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Make Firefox look like (the old) Netscape

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Many of you probably remember the earlier days of the web when the browser dominance wars took place between Netscape (which enjoyed a majority share) and Internet Explorer.

One of the many things I remember is how I used to prefer Netscape which was a more elegant browser and hands down the better overall program on its early versions. It wasn’t until years later that IE took over while Netscape remained stagnant and slowly faded away.

It was all about 28.8k modems and the eternal wait that took for opening graphic-intensive sites. You actually had enough time to go get some something from the fridge, or just stare at the beautiful “loading” buttons…

netscape static throbber netscape animated throbber 2

So… if you are anything like me, you may want to skin your fully-stable and secure Firefox browser to look like the old Netscape.

Because Firefox is completely skinnable and there’s a huge community behind it, you won’t even have to mess around with any files, I picked the three best Netscape themes from the official add-on site for you to try out:

  • Foxscape: This is by far my favourite, resembles the looks of the old Netscape 4.8 that uses the throbber (loading) buttons you see above.
  • Modern Aluminum: This is a port of Netscape 7.x, all silver buttons with a more subtle look.
  • Netstripe: This is a new official skin developed by the guys behind the new Netscape 9 beta browser. It’s a very nice green-ish theme, and a good excuse not to try the actual Netscape 9 browser that also uses the Mozilla (Firefox) code as a base.

While we are on the topic, I wanted to share another tip on customizing Firefox. You can also change (only) the throbber (that is the name given to the “loading” circle displayed by default on Firefox). You can create your own JPEG/GIF files and tell Firefox to use those instead. Here is a good guide on how to do that and yet another link for an already coded add-on that adds a spinning Firefox logo.

Written by Julio Franco

October 13th, 2007 at 7:40 am