The crude big-pixel displays of the ’90s and early ’00s were what made designing for the web feel so janky, at least for anyone coming from the world of print. Our low-resolution comps were, on the web, the real shipping product, and our only font choices were those designed for low-resolution screen use. Good web design, at the time, embraced the pixelated nature of browser rendering.
And today, finally, we can use real typefaces on the web, because they look beautiful on Retina displays. We’ve come a long way. Go read the whole thing, it’s some of Gruber’s best.