Into the. . .

Another cool internet toy.

It is called The wayback machine.

It comes to you courtesy of the internet archive, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a digital reference of the web. They are establishing a sort of date-locked "The way we were" for the history of the internet. It is a neat project.

The wayback machine itself is what provides access to these mysterious archives. For example, let us take the Coca Cola Space Science Center, where I interned in high school. ( When I interned there, I reported to two wonderful educators and professional women whose names I have forgotten. Neither of them work at the center now, so a visit to the center's web page reveals no information.

But if I hop into the wayback machine, I can find the archived home page for the center, circa winter, 1998. And there they are, listed on the staff information page. Dr. Ruth Withrow and Jacqueline Scott. Isn't technology neat?

There are dozens of uses for this sort of archive, most of them good. The archive doesn't have everything, and it mostly just stores independent domains (so the first web page I ever created at is lost in the sands of time. Thankfully). but it is startingly comprehensive and the records do stretch back quite a ways.

So go ahead. Try it out for yourself. It can be a lot of fun, if your internet history stretches back even half as far as mine. Plus when you do, you get to say. . . "into the wayback machine!"

Thursday, September 08, 2005


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