2012 – Remember the early 1990s, when we found out about QuickTime and were all so excited about viewing five-second low-resolution clips on our Macs? We could finally play video on our computers! I remember it like it was yesterday. A new project for Mac OS 8-9 brought back those sweet memories: Cornica.org.
What Is Cornica?
Over the past few years, I’ve found out that whenever talking to someone who was actively using the Internet during the 1990s, almost everyone seemed to miss that time. Sure, there is a lot of nostalgic flattery – hardly anyone misses the connection speed of 14.4 dial-up modems and those shocking phone bills. (I do miss the sound of my modem dialing in, the ultimate signal that I was about to step into the new “virtual world”.)
The Web was much different back then, and I dare say that a lot of things were better: People had better manners, web design was about presenting information and not eye-candy or sale, and our beloved Macs allowed us to view movies that someone two continents away put up on his server. Wow!
While it can’t help with the first two issues, Cornica aims to bring back the latter. It is a YouTube-ish online video portal for Mac OS users, currently in early beta stage. All videos are in either QuickTime or RealMedia (remember those?) and optimized for streaming on Mac OS 8 and 9 machines.*
There are already a few videos online for testing purposes, and they work very fine on my 800 MHz Titanium PowerBook G4.
According to the author of Cornica, Nicolas Bahamondes, it only takes a 300 MHz processor, 4 MB of video memory, 256 MB of RAM, and QuickTime 5* (or higher) to use Cornica. Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if it would work on even older systems, but I don’t have the hardware to check that. (By the way, next time you’re on 56k modems thanks to a thunderstorm and itching for some entertainment, remember that Cornica is optimized for 56k modem users, unlike the rest of the Web.)
So far no movies can be uploaded by users; videos have to be emailed to the author. I assume that it is only a matter of time, though. Cornica also categorizes the videos in directories, a feature that totally reminds me of the late 90s. I remember spending hours browsing through the Yahoo web catalogue searching for interesting websites.
What About the Future?
Surely the biggest issue will be longevity. Can a structure be established that guarantees users that Cornica won’t be gone by next Tuesday? Can the maker provide sort of a back-up or emergency plan? What if he loses interest? Will Cornica’s fate be sealed, or could someone else take it over?
The author needs to come up with a suitable solution.
Other than that, Cornica looks incredibly promising and could provide something the Mac OS community has been looking for for so long. I’ve put my money where my mouth is and just sent Nicolas Bahamondes a small donation to encourage him to continue his work. Will you?
Update: Cornica was down shortly after writing this (prophetic?) article, but was rebooted in 2019 and serves more than a 1000+ Quicktime movies since then.
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