Great scott! {who’s up for some time travel?}

posted in: technical things | 0

Have you ever heard of the Wayback Machine? Someone told me about it in school, but I never actually bothered to check it out. I played with it the other day and it’s very cool, like a little time capsule of the web. Here’s an explanation, in their own words:

The Wayback Machine is an historical archive of preserved web pages.  Type in a URL and start surfing through time!

Most societies agree that it is important to preserve artifacts of their culture and heritage. Without such artifacts, civilization has no memory and no mechanism to learn from its successes and failures. Our culture now produces more and more artifacts in digital form. Internet Archive’s mission is to help preserve those artifacts and create an Internet library for researchers, historians, and scholars. The Archive collaborates with institutions including the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian.

The archive of pages goes back to 1996.  The original Wayback Machine interface was released in 2001 with about 10 billion pages.

The gist of this, is that you can type in the url for a website, and see what it looked like years ago. I thought it might be fun to show you my first version of this site that I built in school. According to the site, my page has only been archived once, in January of 2011, but the version it shows was built in May 2010. If you take a look at the screenshot, you’ll see a bar at the top with a timeline. If your site was archived more than once, you can go back and click along different points of the bar to see what all of the old versions looked like.

I forgot how much I liked the original design of the site. The main reason I abandoned it was that it was built in Flash, and I’ve heard horrible things about how Flash isn’t searchable by search engines, or viewable on mobile devices. In class as we were learning Flash, our teacher was telling us how it was a horrible buggy program, and that Steve Jobs said it would never be viewable on iphones of ipads. Why were they having us build a portfolio site in Flash then? For the “experience.” Huh. Yeah, the “experience” of only sleeping four hours in the span of two days.

Maybe someday when my web building skills are up for the challenge I’ll try to incorporate some of this look back into my current site. I especially like the setup of the homepage. Anyways, I thought it would be fun to share.