Today while fumbling aimlessly about the Internet, I came across the Internet Archive. They crawl the web on a regular basis taking snapshots of what given pages are like and storing them in a nice robust database.
Within just a few minutes, I was reading blogs that a friend of mine deleted off his page 5 years ago and I don’t think I’m going to tell him just yet that I know they still exist. I was reading IGN from 1999 and seeing reviews for brand new Dreamcast games and how they compare to their N64 counterparts.
One of the more interesting adventures I took was to look at Yahoo starting in 1996 and take a glace at it for each subsequent year leading up to the present. It was an amazing view of the evolution of web site design. You can watch as margins get wider with home PC users owning wider monitors, and you can see the increase in image size and clarity as the same users gradually move from dial-up to broadband. Its like Darwinian awe for geeks!
My next quest was to hunt down all of the previous incarnations of my current employer’s website. It was incredible getting to watch it regress back to its inception. I did a similar search on one of my previous employer’s sites and it blew me away to see the number of site changes beginning the year that I and another developer started there.
Anyone who has been using or developing the World Wide Web should check this site out as it is sure to offer much in the way of nostalgia and appreciation for where we are in our continual paving of the “Information Superhighway.”