Our disappearing web

Garret McMahon is right. He looked at the just-put-up “old Google” from 2001 (lots of fun to do searches and see what Google looked like back then, that index was done just a few days after I started blogging) and he noticed that lots of things that were on the Web back then are gone.

My blog, for instance, is gone for the first year and a half.

Funny, just the other night I met Internet Archive’s Brewster Kahle who was flying home on the plane I was on. We talked about this issue and he said it is troubling but that they are trying to catch a lot more now. He invited me over to meet the team, which we’ll do soon. I also visited the Library of Congress a couple of weeks ago and talked with some of their top archivists. They told me story after story of human knowledge and historical documents from our lifetimes that were destroyed. Heck, the Library of Congress itself has been destroyed by fire twice. I visited Thomas Jefferson’s library which was sold to the Library to get it started again after a fire wiped out its collections. Then, later, another fire wiped out a good chunk of his collection again.

I seriously doubt these words will survive 100 years. What about you?

Seeing the first Ethernet cable (and reusable paper) at Xerox PARC

I got a tour of Xerox PARC and got a look at a few research projects as part of a press day today. That all is pretty cool, you can see my videos over on my Qik page, there’s a few.

But the last one was pretty fun. The President of PARC, Mark Bernstein, gave me a tour around the famous lab where so much of our world was invented. We started at the first Ethernet cable in the world.

If you don’t know why Xerox PARC is so important, please read up on it on Wikipedia.

At the end of the interview I asked Mark if he met Steve Jobs the day that he visited back in the early 1980s (which was a famous meeting in of itself). I love his answer about that day, but I’ll let you listen to the video.

I have a feeling the wall in the video where the Ethernet cable is will eventually be cut out and put into the Smithsonian. It’s a hugely important piece of cable to our history. It was an honor to see it in place.

Here’s a video of the reusable paper that the researchers are working on.