My younger son likes tractors; big machines and anything that can lift large objects up and throw them great distances. You know the sort of thing, The Hulk, Superman, Terminator III, my wife and sometimes my boss. Therefore, it should come as no surprise to you that I spend time sitting behind this computer trawling archive.org, an excellent repository of historical content for the correct media to present.
Archive.org is brilliant and worth every penny you spend on it. Ok, spend is a big word, donate is a better one. Anyway, there are 56 classic cartoons that got my younger son smiling. He even practiced the slapstick on the back of my head and made some rather interesting noises as Superman did his super things. However, thinking about it, perhaps he learnt those noises from yours truly, as I carry my shopping bags home. Could it be that I really am superman? I spend days training the cat to believe so. Ok, I'm getting way from the point and am now escaping back into my padded cell and placing my tin foil helmet on.
Me, myself and I prefer the way back machine. Type in a URL and then you are presented with results from different periods in time. I found it sobering -- and yes sometimes I need to be sobered -- to realize how far the organization I work for in my real life has gone qua technology in the last eight years. Behind the screens, we have moved from one machine to many, distributed loading etc, etc. From relatively ugly non-interactive public face to a content rich community orientated service. Looking back gives me a perspective on where we are going in the future. If you don't learn from history, you repeat it. Therefore, a big thank you to the way back machine for getting my creative development cogs slowly creakingly moving and grinding towards meaningful conceptualization.
My elder son likes computer games and spends most of the time allotted downloading demos and double checking for viruses. He likes archive.org for game videos. The videos are mostly out of date, a kind of archeological expedition into parts of my mental childhood, e.g. five years ago. But, this is still great fun to watch especially if you are too lazy to RSI yourself into perpetual oblivion. Sure, a LAN party is fun and fragging soon to be X friends is better. However, there is something slightly sophisticated about drinking tea with your streetwise children watching others do the dirty and from a time period before Dinosaurs and the PSP.
Archive.org has great public service potential and has achieved much already, storing all kinds of handy material, educational and non-educational. I look forward to seeing an expansion of its collections and higher capacity streaming servers. I find the concept of delivering large volumes of educational content intriguing and socially responsible, especially in the era of $100 laptops transferred to the third world or the forth world if you count children’s bedrooms. I look forward to going way back in ten years time and being surprised by the lack of social community building in most of our current Web 1.5 internet infrastructure. Keep up the good work Archive.org and I promise to visit often.
What should I do now? My blogging time is up and for the first time in ages I have a whole house to myself. The kids have escaped to a better place (well for me!). It is rather quiet and a bit scary. Perhaps I should go to one of the numerously famous museums in Amsterdam or the Concert hall and pretend not to be a barbarian. After all art defines a culture, we are what we view. Nah, that means getting on a tram and traveling for fifteen minutes. Yep, time to watch the Night of the Living Dead.
House keeping note: a long, long time ago in Internet seconds (last week), I wrote a blog on Space agencies. Being of evil intent and too busy planning the mind control of the people of the Galaxy Zog, I forgot in my despotic old age to mention a rather excellent and thankfully free CD ROM about the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory SOHO. This satellite has passed many years in steadfast observation of solar activity, restfully sitting at the L1 Langrage point where the gravity of the Sun is exactly counteracted by the gravity of the Earth. The content of the CD ROM reflects the Suns angry nature with beautiful time captured videos of solar flares and hot curry ridden turbulence. Thank you NASA.