The Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, launched in 2001, was named after Mr. Peabody’s WABAC machine from the 1960s cartoon Rocky and Bullwinkle. This Friday we are going to celebrate our own time travel machine by going to see a movie about the original.
“Using his most ingenious invention, the WABAC machine, Mr. Peabody and his adopted boy Sherman hurtle back in time to experience world-changing events first-hand and interact with some of the greatest characters of all time.” (see imdb page)
While tracking down your old Geocities page may not have world-changing consequences, we still think it’s pretty cool.
Please join us for dinner and a movie!
March 7, 2014
Dinner at 5pm
300 Funston Ave
San Francisco, CA 94121
Depart for movie around 6:15 for a 7pm show time at AMC Van Ness.
We took a leisurely stroll through half a million books today, and we noticed that lots of the books were congregating around some popular categories. This isn’t an exhaustive list, we just thought it would nice to share a little of the landscape with you. Click through to download or borrow these books through our Open Library site.
- english language
- united states
- african americans
- juvenile nonfiction
- christian life
- juvenile fiction
- world war 2
- juvenile literature
- science fiction
- man-woman relationships
- mystery and detective stories or detective and mystery stories
- popular music
- indians of north america
- computer programs
- cartoons and comics
The Internet Archive continues its goal of bringing the same experience of older software that we have with movies, books and audio. This newest collection, just in time for Valentine’s Day (?), is called The Business Case, and is a continually-growing exhibit of business-related software.
Unlike the previous announced collection of entertainment software (the Console Living Room), these programs are all aimed at the early days of home computer ownership, when the reason for spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on these systems wasn’t always very clear cut. Why drop a significant amount of money for something that beeped and made pretty pictures (or not even pretty pictures)? Well, one reason might be to write, calculate and track financial and business information, as well as utilize word processors for faster correspondence.
Some important facts about browsing and using this collection.
Unlike the Console Living Room, a lot of these programs are not self-evident. They had complicated instructions, and often utilized massive manuals and accompanying documentation, which is not available for many of the items. Others required the use of a modem or printer, which the emulator at archive.org does not currently provide – they will fail out or give errors if you try and use them.
Additionally, some of these programs are “cracks”, cases where the original floppy disks of the programs have been modified to allow for easier booting, or copying. We included them to bring into sharp focus a real problem: software preservation for the computer programs not lucky enough to be games or famous is spotty at best and non-existent at worst. While the world has thousands of pages dedicated to the history of Pac-Man and Doom (many of them archived in the Wayback Machine), in some cases, the only evidence online that a program ever existed is the modified-for-copying version of a spreadsheet application. In an ideal world, the academic researcher or curious onlooker could experience and understand the context of every program released, or at least get an analogue of the experience. In many cases, this just isn’t possible.
Where we can, we will expand and grow this collection, as well as improve and update the entries already in the collection to reflect the part they played in history. If you are familiar with a given program, or can provide more information, contact Jason Scott at the archive.
The Internet Archive is headquartered in a building that used to be a Christian Science church. The great room includes a gorgeous stained glass dome, a pipe organ, and graceful wooden pews. We seat 400+ people in this space to show movies and to host conferences on a regular basis.
The room is beautiful, but those pews are hard on the posterior if you plan to sit there for more than 15 minutes at a time.
So we came up with a plan – let’s make some cushions! That sounds simple enough, but we are thrifty people.
We are taking old T-shirts and recycling them into cushion covers. We are looking for T-shirts from non-profits or from tech companies in particular, but we’ll take whatever you’ve got. Any size, any color, just as long as there aren’t holes in the fabric or big stains that may discourage people from sitting on that cushion.
This is where you come in! Which one of us doesn’t have a bunch of old corporate swag T-shirts sitting in the back of our closet taking up space? If you’re willing to part with those useless shirts, we’re willing to put them to use.
Drop off your shirts in person, or send your shirts to:
300 Funston Ave
San Francisco, CA 94118
Have questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteers needed: We have a fabulous TV collection, and the US is going into an election period. We would like to pull out the TV Commercials, including the political ads, and match them with the other occurrences, and then put names on them. Then we and others can datamine and surface this information.
We hope we could find all ads so we can know when and were they ran. We would like to not just limit this to political ads because sometimes the ads are the best parts of shows, and many ads are stealthy-political.
To help in this process, we have closed caption transcripts of what is said in US TV as well as full resolution TV recordings. We also often have a rebroadcast of the same program which would likely then have different commercials. We do have to be careful with this data so, we would like to run this locally in our virtual machine “virtual reading room“.
We tried the open source commercial detector included in MythTV, but it seemed to leave all the commercials in a commercial break in a block. Also it was not that reliable. It needs more work.
This is not an easy project, and do not have a budget (yet) to pay for it, unfortunately, so maybe fame and helping the open world. If you can help in this project, we would appreciate it.
Please leave a comment on this post or send a note to Roger Macdonald, the leader of the TV News project.
Last year a group of inspired digital residents created fantastic tumblr’s using the things they found interesting in the Internet Archive. We’re proud to unveil these projects, one per week, throughout the year. They’ll each be posted at the Internet Archive tumblr and then be accessible at their own URL once posted. Follow the IA tumblr to see them as the project rolls onward!
So far, we’ve seen two projects posted.
This week’s project, A History of Linux Websites, by Steven Ovadia, traces the history of Linux through the screenshots of the web sites of Linux distributions and projects. Looking at the screenshots gives viewers insights not just into the various histories of the various distributions, but also provides insight into the web design aesthetics that guide these distributions. In many cases, the design aesthetic of the web site does not match up against the philosophy of the distribution, making for an interesting tension.
The first, Most Frequent Word Search by Jeff Thompson, is an algorithmic-curatorial project which uses the 250 most-frequent unique words in the oldest text with a date listed in Project Gutenberg – “Old Mortality, Volume 2″ by Sir Walter Scott. Each word is used as a seed for a new search into the Archive. The most common word in the resulting text is used as a new search term. The process is repeated until the search returns no results. The project features a unique original theme with click and drag functionality, allowing users to aesthetically arrange the computationally generated and randomly displayed results, if they wish to attempt to seek their own patterns.
We hope you’re as excited as we are to see each project completed and unveiled after months of hard work by our digital residents. We’ll see you at internetarchive.tumblr.com!
Thank you to Ian Aleksander Adams for making this happen.