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The Internet Archive is a fascinating collection of site archives, snapshots and other data recording the internet's growth and history.
The Internet Archive is one of those sites that you could spend hours just browsing around. They've really gone the extra mile and are providing video and audio archives as well. It's an amazing site.
The Internet Archive's "Wayback Machine" is extra cool, and a great resource if the website or page you were looking for has dropped off of the internet. It might still be in the Wayback Machine! Quoting the site: "The Internet Archive Wayback Machine puts the history of the World Wide Web at your fingertips. The Archive contains over 100 terabytes and 10 billion web pages archived from 1996 to the present."
Here's a great example: Microsoft's home page in 1996. Lots of broken links to pictures, but the text is still there and quite telling. It's 1996, and Visual Basic 5 is featured, and "See What's New in Microsoft Publisher 97!!" is a prominent headline. (And you can "Win a 97 Ford Explorer"!)
Another example is when the popular reference site Black Viper inexplicably dropped off the internet. The Internet Archive came to the rescue, providing a backup archive of the pages that so many people found useful. (Searching for that site on The Internet Archive today also shows what kind of control site owners have over allowing their content to be archived.)
It's a powerful tool, and just a fun and interesting resource.
I recommend it.
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