Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Way Back Machine

As part of its 10th anniversary - Google has brought back the web... to 2001. They have put live the oldest copy of the index they have - a snapshot of the web in 2001.

A lot has changed since then - but one thing hasn't - this blog.

That's right - if you go to the Google 2001 site - and search for Bob Cusick - you'll see that the second entry is from a Bob's World back in 1997. Unfortunately, the link doesn't exist - so I went back through this morning and tried to find an old archive.

(Bob doing his best Dr. Evil Impression): Then I realized that back then my "column" (the term "blog" didn't exist) was actually in a database being served up live with "dynamic" pages. A big concept back then.

It was actually in a FileMaker database using a new "CGI" (Common Gateway Interface) called "Lasso." The site was called ClickWorld and it catered to the FileMaker Pro community. The site was a collaboration between myself (database and CGI programming), Jason Fried (graphic designer extraordinaire and founder of 37 Signals [you know - BaseCamp, CampFire, Ruby on Rails])... and... and... and I'm sorry, but I don't remember the 3rd guy's name - but he was a co-founder of one of the first "ISPs" (Internet Service Providers).

We had a fully dynamic site that users could register for (23,000+) and they could customize their view of the data; we had "loyalty points" that could be redeemed for consulting services, software and other goodies; we had guest blogs and articles; a basic search engine for our knowledge base - basically it was a more crude version of Facebook meets Engadget meets iGoogle.

Good times... good times.

So I went back to my oldest archives to see if I had actually kept anything from back then (first I had to find my oldest archives!). That was many, many machines ago - so I knew the chances of actually finding stuff would be bleak, at best.

Well, I managed to find a really old text file - an export of SOME of the old Bob's World Articles - circa 1997-2001 (it seems that 2001-2006 are missing). I fired up Servoy and did a quick import to see what was there. In looking back through that stuff... AAAAHHH! It's like reading an old high school yearbook.

Here's the actual picture I used back then on the site:

It was interesting - because some things never change - and other things have. I was totally cringing at some of those posts - let's just say I was wwaaaaayyyyy into Apple and FileMaker Pro at the time. I did have to clean up some of the HTML (I was writing raw HTML in BBEdit on my Mac at the time) - but other than that I've left them 100% unedited.

So, to celebrate my 10 years of blog... er... "columns" - I've published them in their original form - dated on their original dates. Look on the side bar for the year.

WARNING: Best viewed with bell bottoms and a lava lamp...

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