The race for domain names has been over for some time; as the adage goes: the good ones are all gone. So, back when the internet wasn’t really a thing and you could pick any name for your website, what did people choose? Let’s wind the clock back to 1985 and find out.
Frederic Cambus took it upon himself to parse DNS records from August 1995, which includes historical data going all the way back to January 1, 1985. Sure, you could hit up Wikipedia, but the list isn’t as comprehensive as it could be, particularly for non-.com domains.
A lot of the domains are dead, which is to be expected. But the main ones still work.
Unsurprisingly, the ranks of the oldest .com domains is filled with the big tech companies: HP, IBM, Intel, Sun and Xerox all registered in 1986. Going down the list, it seems “stargate.com” was also registered in ’86.
Sadly, it has nothing to do with giant rings that serves as interstellar portals. Not today anyway — it redirects to an internet infrastructure company called Zayo. Boo.
When you get to .net and .org, there are a lot of short, seemingly random combinations of letters. We can safely guess these to be acronyms for companies that may or may not exist anymore. But there are familiar names too: siggraph.org, hawaii.net and aol.net.
You remember AOL, right? Yeah… I’ve been trying to forgot too.