For my 12th birthday, my mom got me my own computer - one of those iMac's with the transparent colored back. With Y2K right around the corner, the implications of unrestricted internet access blew my fragile, pre-pubescent mind. I began to spend less and less time catching Pokemon on my Game Boy Color and started to shift my focus toward exploring the depths of the Internet, an endeavour I haven't since given up on. As I soaked up as much information a 56k connection could provide, my views of the world quickly transmogrified before my very eyes. Of all the content and data I would parse for hours on end, none had such a profound impact on me as Rotten.com. Although this archive of disturbing illustration depicted a wide range of perverse imagery that would be considered rather vanilla by today's standards, it helped lay the foundation for my edgy teen years, which were defined by bizarre experiments in technology.
Rotten.com was last updated in 2012 and had remained dormant until it was inevitably shut down in 2017, an event of which I wasn't even aware until a few days ago. While aimlessly browsing the web, I thought I'd visit the website again to see if I could buy a Rotten.com t-shirt. To my shock and horror, I found that it was no longer active and had been removed entirely - an utter travesty. To think that mine was the last generation to experience one of the crowning jewels of Web 1.0 truly breaks my heart. In effort to maintain this legacy, I built a crawler to download the last archived version of Rotten.com in all its glory so that, maybe, one day, some random kid who comes across these simple files can similarly pollute their mind like I did so many years ago. I didn't get a Bar Mitzvah because my family had already given up on me by then, so reading the pages of Rotten.com, rather than the Torah, marked my transition into manhood.
Maybe I'll host a mirror on a server somewhere, someday, but if you want to do it first, I wish you good luck and godspeed, you beautiful soul.
Also, if you have a Rotten.com t-shirt, please let me know.