Internet Need Met by Internet

I recently saw a rough cut of the first 15-20 minutes of Resurrect Dead: the mystery of the Toynbee tiles. The movie is real and it’s in production. I loved it, but I’m biased.

But believe it or not, the tiles aren’t the purpose of this post. I was asked to watch the movie, think about what I saw and offer my suggestions. One tiny detail bothered me. While I’m guessing that only 1 out of 10 people would notice it and maybe 1 out of 50 would be bothered by it, I’m also guessing that with a weird, slightly obsessive tile-fan audience those numbers might increase dramatically.

What was this troublesome detail? Imagine this sequence:

It’s 1996 and a young tile fan goes to the library. He’s never used the internet, but has heard rumors that everything is on it. The first thing he does is open up google and type in: “Toynbee idea in Kubrick’s 2001…”

Catch that? Google? No one was using google in 1996. Altavista, lycos, yahoo even, but no google. Believe it or not, the popular search engine wasn’t even around until late 1998.

But that’s not the end of the problem. Lycos looks nothing like it did 12 years ago. Neither does altavista or any of the other search engines. These days they’re all tricked out with crazy graphics and fancy interactivity. By comparison, look at this screen shot of 1998 google. What did they use Photoshop 5 to add a drop shadow to their logo. Were there graphic designers in 1998?

But anyway, where in do you get a 12-year-old page from altavista.com? Answer, the same place I got that 1998 google, or:

The internet archive wayback machine.

The site holds more than 85 billion archived pages. What was on the front page of philly.com on October 5, 1999? No new trial for Mumia and wawa is on strike.

Great resource.

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