The New Look Internet Archive

  By VennerRoad, 29th Jan 2015

An overview of the new Internet Archive Wayback Machine.

The old Internet Archive HomePage.

The Internet Archive has had an overhaul; if you don’t know what this massive website is, you should. Founded in 1996, its grandiouse ambition is to archive the entire Internet at regular intervals. This is done through its Wayback Machine; if you have a website, this is something of which you should make use.

The Wayback Machine does not capture every single url of every single website; some are excluded in accord with the robots.txt protocol, and there are other exceptions, but this feature is very useful if you want to see how a website looked in days of yore. It can also be used as a backup, particularly for new pages.

In addition to the Wayback Machine, the Internet Archive uploads, and subject to copyright, etc, permits members of the public to upload, all manner of files: books, concerts, films...Yeah, I know, copyright is dead, but...

The old Internet Archive interface used to look like this - see related picture. To see what it looks like now, click here. I have to say that I am not entirely impressed with the new layout, but the Wayback Machine is easier to use. I have also contributed to its capacity; recently I tried to archive a large video, my documentary about Rolf Harris, which is well over 250Mb. For some reason, this, and another large video file, would not archive properly, only the first 200Mb was captured, which meant the archived file was useless. I informed them of this, and on Monday received a message to the effect that:

“We’ve made some modifications that should allow archiving of larger files. Feel free to try again.”

I did, and this file has now archived properly. When retrieving big files, you may prefer to save them to disk rather than play in your browser. If you haven’t yet checked out the Internet Archive, pencil it in for your next surfing session. It is a truly wondrous resource. And again, don’t forget to archive your webpages, and any other pages that might disappear in the future. You can also use archived webpages - like this one - to avoid link rot.

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