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500 genuine 1990s desktop wallpapers

1990s wallpapers - Bridge

If you love mind-blowing images like this then you're in for a treat

The 1990s were a wonderful time to be alive. We had things like trip hop, Nintendo 64s, Global Hypercolor, Kai's Power Tools and candy-coloured iMacs.

It was a white-hot crucible of a decade that saw the rise of amazing creative software such as Photoshop that made it easier for anyone to create amazing imagery on their desktop.

1990s wallpapers - Wonder

Says it all, really; a true 1990s wonder

And now you can recapture the feeling of existing in the 1990s thanks to this mind-blowing collection of genuine desktop wallpapers. Published back in 1994 by Wayzata, an early CD-ROM publisher that went bust in 1997, this is a truly incredible collection of images showcasing the cutting edge of mid-1990s graphics technology, gathered together in a handy Flickr album by the Internet Archive's Jason Scott.

1990s wallpapers - Yoyo

Where did these guys get their crazy ideas?

It's a wonderful relic from a time when no-one really had internet connections or digital cameras, and so if you wanted anything other than the default OS wallpaper on your PC or Mac then you'd either have make it yourself or get it on a disc.

1990s wallpapers - Wooden Gods

Wooden Gods, this one's called. Makes you think, doesn't it?

This collection features over 500 images, and it ticks all of the 1990s boxes: whether you like garish repeat patterns, fractals, POV-Ray renders or ordinary photographs lent mystique by somehow being on a computer screen, this set has you covered.

1990s wallpapers - Calcium Mandelbrot

You want fractals? We have fractals. So many fractals

And if you're a connoisseur of the Kai's Power Tools school of imagery then you're really in for some treats, with plenty of KPT Convolver abuse on show.

1990s wallpapers - Mac render

"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings. Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair"

Best of all, these fantastic historical images are reproduced at their original image resolution of 640x480; guaranteed to look absolutely brilliant on any 14-inch CRT monitor.

1990s wallpapers - KPT cat

Don't want to bring you down or anything, but this cat's probably dead now

You can find this entire set of gorgeous retro imagery over on Flickr, and if you're interested in other delights from the Wayzata CD-ROM collection, Jason Scott has added plenty of them to the Internet Archive, where you can download the original discs in ISO format.

1990s wallpapers - Fractal sunset

Goa Chill-Out Sessions Vol. 23 is available now - don't miss it!

1990s wallpapers - Eyes


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Jim McCauley

Jim McCauley is a writer, cat-wrangler and occasional street performer who's written for a multitude of publications over the past quarter of a century, including Creative Bloq, T3, PC Gamer and a whole load of long-dead print magazines.