ZD Tech: time travel with the Internet Archive

Hello everyone and welcome to ZD Tech, ‘s daily editorial podcast. My name is Marine louste and today I do you Discover the memory of the global Internet. I called Internet Archive. Let’s go!

If you are more Tardis or Delorean, I am sure you dream of traveling back in time. Well, the Internet Archive has the solution with its great tool, the “backtracking machine”. Enough to relive the best (and worst) moments of the global internet since … 1996.

Internet archive, what is it?

Internet Archive is a non-profit organization. Its objective? As the name suggests, archive the internet over time. This titanic project has been going on for 25 years. Its founder, Brewster Kahle, defines himself as a computer scientist, librarian and intellectual property activist. Just compare this project to the Library of Alexandria. But in the web version, of course.

Then there is everything that makes the Internet. Judge for yourself: the site has 475 billion web pages, 28 million texts, and 14 million audio recordings.

And yes, it weighs. 30 petabytes of data, minimum, to be precise. The modern library of Alexandria, in fact.

Question of law

But, in Alexandria, we certainly ask ourselves less than today the question of copyright.

And yes, last year, at the height of the pandemic and closures, the Internet Archive made copyrighted works available to the public.

Result: Four major US publishers filed a complaint. The trial is ongoing.

What about time travel in all of this?

Well, the “backward machine”, or “backward machine” in French, allows you to return at a given time T to a certain place. This tool has been available since 2001.

So how does it work? I assure you, there is no need to wait for a stormy night or search for a police booth. Just go to A site with ergonomics, I admit, a little vintage. So, you’re in the mood!

Okay, I tried it for you. With , of course. Well, you know, just over 20 years ago, in September 2001, we were eagerly awaiting Windows XP … and yes, the last good Windows was coming out. We are far from Windows 11!

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