Take a Ride in the ‘Wayback Machine’

Art enthusiasts have the Lourve, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and thousands of additional sites in cities around the world in which to indulge in the aesthetic pleasures of painting, sculpture and a variety of other mediums. For devotees of the physical sciences, there are the impressive collections at the Field Museum in Chicago and the Smithsonian complex in Washington, D.C. Enthusiasts of IT have a museum of sorts as well, but they don’t have to leave their houses to get there. It’s called the Wayback Machine, and it’s not to be confused with the apparatus that the bespectacled dog Peabody and his pet boy Sherman used to travel through time on the old “Peabody’s Improbable History” cartoon shorts.

With the Wayback Machine, which can be accessed online, users can look at how many Web sites appeared between 1996 and the present day. A comparison between this virtual archive and the aforementioned museums shows that in many respects, the former is far superior. Unlike several of those institutions, the Wayback Machine is free. Additionally, with its approximately 10 billion Web pages, it holds about 100 terabytes of content, equivalent to all of the print materials held by the Library of Congress multiplied by 10. Needless to say, you can occupy quite a bit of time raking around on this thing.

Just for fun, I checked out the old CertMag Web site circa 1999. While there, I came across a feature there written by our…



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