Wayback machine offers living history

Adobe Spark

It is not the Tardis however it can still take you back in digital time and space.

Nostalgic for the Web of yesteryear – those golden oldie sites that have been severed or erased from their servers?  Then take a wander down memory lane a project aimed at preserving the rapidly changing web.

Information that you found yesterday (or last week) could be a dead webpage today.

The Wayback Machine is a website that lets you view almost any website that exists today as it appeared as far back as 1996.  That’s the year when the idea for Wayback Machine began and when the Internet Archive began to collect and preserve every known website that it was able to locate.

As of December 2014, The Wayback Machine contained almost nine petabytes of data and was growing at a rate of about 20 terabytes each week.  It has quietly been storing billions of pages of internet content, in order to provide a permanent record of the web as it used to be.

According to Internet Archive, this is the largest known database in the world and contains multiple copies of the entire publicly available web, surpassing all the data contained in the world’s largest libraries including the Library of Congress.

I find using The Wayback Machine gives one a reminder of how far web design has come.

Scrolling JavaScript news tickers, “high readability” hit-counters, and chunky tableborders have graced the homepages of many high-profile sites in the past. These arethe shag carpets, sparkly popcorn ceilings, and faux wood paneling of the web design world.

Principle of Beautiful Web Design.

Using it to view my own website  I was able to evoke forgotten memories but also recover blog posts from an old blog.

Using the Wayback Machine is pretty straight forward.  When typing in a current website, the Wayback Machine presents a chronically ordered time line of available past dates to be seen on that website.  Click on the date you want and you are instantly presented with a live screen of how the website appeared on that date.

Sources

Wayback Machine – Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayback_Machine (accessed September 14, 2017).

 

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