BY BILL FERRIS
Remember the good old days of the web, back when all the GIFs were animated and Comic-Sans text would spread out across your entire 14-inch, 50-pound monitor? The Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine can take you there. Just tell this virtual time machine which site you’d like to look at, and it will generate a time line through which you can view every incarnation of that site from its inception until the present day. Check out the 1996-era LEARN NC site (pictured) compared with today’s version.
The Wayback Machine has been around for a while, but its revamped interface features faster loading times, and a handy toolbar that makes it easier to visit the different eras of a given site.
You can use the Wayback Machine to show how design has evolved, or for a general discussion on how changes in the web reflect our changing world. It’s also a great nostalgia inducer if you want to relive the 1990s, before Amazon, Facebook, and Google owned the internet. Of course, if you really want to take a trip back to 1995, simply use the Geocities-izer.