Open the Refrigerator Door and Take a Trip Back in Time with Me

Author

Michael McAnally - I've been privileged to live in the bay for 27 years now and I've seen and done a few things!








What a ridiculous title. Every child born today learns about the Internet at an early age. It’s like an information appliance, like opening the refrigerator door for food or drink, but in this case, it is information. Information that feeds your mind. Today whole libraries are now available on the Internet.

Like food in a refrigerator, it gets old, stale after a time and needs to be replaced. Imagine if you had a refrigerator with a time dial on the outside. Just before opening the refrigerator door you could set the year and day to say ten years ago, or twenty. You could then open the refrigerator and see what was inside! Let’s say the food wouldn’t be stale, but as fresh as it was that day back on January 1, 2001. Well that’s about as far as I want to take this analogy. What I’m really talking about is the Internet Archive.

Not many people know that the Internet has been archived all the way back to 1996. For the younger among us that may actually be before we were born. Using the Way Back Machine, I was able to reconstruct some my Web Designs and Programming from 20 years ago, the trick is remembering the URLs (Yes, I'm older than the Internet).

For fun let’s imagine you wanted to see what Intel looked like in 1996 versus today, or Amazon in 1999 or Microsoft or even Apple. What fun this is to see these old websites still available today! Of course, you can laugh at them because technology has moved on and so has web design, but take a trip back in time with me and type your favorite URL into the Way Back Machine.

Finally imagine how today’s websites will all look to historians 20 years from now! How will they be viewed and on what sort of devices?