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Timeless Archive

One of the unfortunate things about the internet is its ever shifting nature. Allows for always expanding amounts of information, but old information gets lost, possibly forever.

I was thinking over the evolution of the story for one of my oldest AnacondaSoftware projects, Spiral Island, while doing some experimenting with isometric tiles (I'll discuss that more on the DevBlog). It's storyline hasn't really changed much since a major storyline change in 2001, when I first conceived it, and I had to rewrite a good portion of it and almost completely change the cast. I have almost nothing of that original storyline, or much else from that time. The only thing I have is a unused resource file in the old 2D project's file folder with variables for the original characters and their names. Odd names, names I would really think twice about using nowadays, and for that matter I don't know how much to them were my contributions and how much was from default names from RPG Maker 95, which was where the whole idea began. These are those cut names: Ijange the Dragon, Fess Fesichi, Khar Kloem, Luts Orukeba, Slobodon. Several alliterate names which bug me to no end, and some really weird spelling.

I've kept a folder on my computers, called simply "Website", with the coding and design for each of the AnacondaSoftware layouts, as they're described in the Site History on the site. I don't however, have any archives of the news entries from there, so I can't track when the Spiral Island project started, or when it shifted to the current storyline. AnacondaSoftware was originally hosted on a free host called Virtual Avenue, which was bought, sold, abandoned, closed, and now again back up from the looks of it. I had to jump to a new host, NetFirms, which I used until I moved to my current location, JaguarPC, where I've been since 2003. In those moves, though, I lost my archival copies of the site, and don't have the news files that were there originally. So I don't have a very good documented history to refer to.

That's the purpose behind the Internet Archive project. They are a library, a database of the past, showing what the internet looked like in its younger days, as well as old video clips, sounds, and music. If you wanted to see what a site looked like at some time, you could look at it, going back to 1996. It shows Yahoo in its oldest recorded form (without images, though, as those aren't as often cached). It shows the Microsoft site in 1996 looking vastly different than it does nowadays, which has, though the styles have changed a little bit, more or less looked and felt the same as long as I've been working tech support. And Google, all the way back to Nov 11, 1998, with the simple text "Welcome to Google" and two links, "Google Search Engine Prototype" which was at the time still hosted on Stanford's servers, and another one titled "Might-work-some-of-the-time-prototype that is much more up to date." which links to an Alpha (not even Google's regular habit of Beta projects), and was still Stanford pages until five months later. And they have fragments of archives of the AnacondaSoftware site, but mostly broken due to the crawler not stepping past the splash page (it seems). While I can't see everything, I can at least see some pieces of the puzzle, touch some fragments of the past. Nothing yet for this site, though.

Concerning the title of this entry, it has a double meaning. The first one is plain, describing the Internet Archive's showing of the internet's past regardless of its current state. The second is the location I mentioned in Skewed by that name. the last remaining part of the island often referred to as Atlantis in that world, which was keeping a history of everything that happened. I'll go into it further later in that story, but at the crash of the internet as the plague spread and was killing most everyone, the entire Internet Archive database was transferred to that location by the assistance of a hacker group wishing to preserve the knowledge of the world.

Date posted: 19 December, 2007
Tags: anacondasoftware internet names new_alexandria skewed spiral_island website_design
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