Sometimes we forget just how much has changed in 25 years; just how much we have evolved and devolved; and who thought to build the cogs before the wheels started to fall off…
Here’s celebrating those with the foresight to answer the questions which have yet to be asked, and provide solutions to problems that don’t yet exist.
25 years ago, in October 1996, the entire World Wide Web was only 2.5 terabytes in size. Most connections were dial-up, and important records were stored on tape. Broken links (404 errors) were a growing problem, and most Web pages were short-lived.
Kahle and Gilliat invented a system for archiving Web pages before they vanished. The tools for this project were not terribly sophisticated; they were essentially PC applications built to capture entire websites by following the links from the main page.
Today, the Internet Archive is one of the world’s largest digital libraries and home to more than 70 petabytes of data; 588 billion web pages; 28 million books and texts; 14 million audio items; and 580,000 software titles.
In 2021, Internet Archive founder, Brewster Kahle, reflects back on the most surprising advancement of his early innovation, the Wayback Machine. Filmed by Marc Weber for the Web History Project, this video showcases the Internet Archive’s very first web crawl in 1996.
…and to think, the Internet could have been hiding in that black box