Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Wayback Machine

The easiest way to get Miss TigerBlog to roll her eyes is for her father to ask to take a picture of her.

It's one of the great joys of parenthood, up there with "you can drive me and my friends to the movies but you can't seriously think that I'd let you watch the movie with us" and of course "I need fill-in-the-blank for a project that's due tomorrow and I've known about this for weeks."

Ah, but the pictures. That's a special source of glee for TigerBlog.

TigerBlog loves to chronicle life's moments in pictures. It's the best part of the invention of the smart phone, the ability to create instant memories.

Of course, he needs a little buy-in, especially from his daughter. She can't just walk away every time he wants to take her picture. 

A few weeks ago, MTB high school lacrosse banquet was held on a beautiful night at a golf club. MTB was dressed nicely, and TigerBlog suggested that the two of them get their picture taken together. That led to a nice eye roll, and no picture.

The other night, MTB and Wiki, her best bud from basically Day 1, sat across the table from TigerBlog. Could TB take their picture and add it to the ones he'd taken through the years?

Again, eye roll. Thankfully, Wiki wanted to do it, so MTB agreed.

This is the first picture of the two of them that TB has:

And this is the two of them the other night:
The elapsed time between the two pictures is probably 12 or 13 years.

TigerBlog said last week that he wished he'd taken pictures 12 or 13 years (or 17 years) ago, through the years of The website can do a lot of things, but it cannot roll its eyes.

As it turns out, TigerBlog didn't have to take pictures. He could go back and do it.

He never knew there was a website sort of called the "Wayback Machine." You can find it HERE.

Anyway, the website says that it has "491 billion web pages saved over time." TigerBlog only needed one.

And he was able to find it. And so here are the previous iterations of the website:

And here is the new site:
The new site went live on July 1, at midnight. There was a switch necessary from the servers of Princeton's old provider, NeuLion, to the new provider, Sidearm Sports.

TigerBlog is pretty sure he did it wrong. Fortunately, Princeton Athletics IT dude Bryan Fitzwater fixed it. This happened, of course, before TB messed it up again, forcing Fitz to fix it again. After that, TB left it alone.

TB learned a lot about how websites work in the hour or so after midnight, as Fitz stayed up very late - while on his vacation in Florida, TB believes.

TigerBlog expected the old site to vanish and the new site to magically appear in a span of seconds. Of course, it didn't quite work like that.

TB stayed up later and later, waiting for something to happen. Finally it did - on his computer, not on his phone or iPad.

It wasn't until the sun came up, actually, that it began to change over in earnest across most platforms.

The reaction to the new site has been overwhelmingly positive, though there are those who are dissenters. In fact, two of them commented on this very blog that they aren't fans.

TigerBlog welcomes dissenting opinions. In fact, he'd love to know what it is that the commenters don't like about the new site.

As for TB, he likes it. He likes the big pictures. He likes the easy navigation. He likes the bright background.

He's really going to like it when the new academic year rolls around and there are actual events, which will showcase the real capabilities of the new site.

On the other hand, it was a pretty good coincidence that the new site launched at the start of 4th of July weekend, which might be the slowest time of the entire year for Copying over an old site to a new one is not the smoothest process in the world. Even now, a few days later, there are still bugs being worked out.

They'll get fixed. TigerBlog isn't concerned.

In the meantime, he's pretty psyched that a few people - notably Greg Paczkowski - introduced him to the Wayback Machine.

It was good to catch up on the old websites through the years. TB didn't remember at all what they looked like, but it all came rushing back - building them, designing a new one, being happy with each new step.

In some ways, it's along the same lines as the pictures of MTB and Wiki. Along the lines, but not nearly as personal.

It's TigerBlog's hope that he'll be able to take a picture of the two of them in another 12 or 13 years. And the 12 or 13 years after that.

Maybe by then, MTB won't roll her eyes anymore. Knowing her, though, the odds of that aren't great.

Still, having those pictures to look back on means a lot to TB. He thinks of himself as a combination of many things, including historian and storyteller.

And those pictures trace a history and tell a story.

One day, MTB will be glad her father made her smile for them. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello Mr. Blog- While there is nothing wrong with the new website, it seems like its lets re-invent the wheel. if this was a necessity, then oh well... otherwise I didn't see the need for a re-design.