Take me back

This is sort of a meaningless entry but it relates to things that provide me with hours of amusement – the internet and Law & Order the TV series. I was watching, as I usually do, the newest episode of Law & Order CI when one of their computer forensic guys managed to find a deleted page on the web by using the Wayback machine. How amusing, I thought, a clever reference to Rocky and Bullwinkle ( one of my favourite childhood cartoons and still a guilty pleasure today). But since Tinkerbell, my trusty powerbook was in front me and my WiFi 15 meg signal was beckoning me I Googled it.

 

Turns out there actually is a site that offers a Wayback Machine that takes snapshots of the internet to record a legacy that is highly ephemeral in nature. When I think about it the concept is pure genius. We are all hooked on the net to some extent but pages come and go with no hard record. That is a first for humanity since we always tend to be able to look back at our communication media. Magazines and newspapers exist from their genesis and even TV and radio programmes are archived..but not the internet…the most powerful tool we have invented in generations. Billions of pages of information have vanished as they are updated. I think this is an excellent project and I am fully in support of it. 

Typically for me I have spent hours turning back the clock and surfing to sites as they were over a decade ago. I have noticed a few things. Early sites apparently existed without much input from graphic designers as they were almost universally more garish than they are today. Sites were also much simpler as they existed before high speed access and before Flash. I was also traumatized to see that horror of the early internet age – frames.  

As with all things human we tend to improve as we go along but it sure is interesting to look back in time and remember the early days when we were still feeling around in a new medium looking for a way to harness it.

 

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