Links Worth Clicking: The Internet Archive, the History of Ada Lovelace, & a Radio Time Machine

It’s almost time for the weekend, which means another installment of the NTC favorite links of the week. Some of the selections for this week were published a while back, but they’re so good, we’re including them anyway. If you see any great links in your weekend of leisure, share them with us in the forums or tweet at us.

The Internet Archive

Nice van, better suit! Image via Internet Archive Blog

Nice van, better suit! Jason Scott with the Internet Archive Van via Archive Blog

Imagine a group of people whose job it is to back-up the entire internet. You’ve just conjured the day job of an Internet Archive employee.

From digital data to physical manuals, the Internet Achive staff scans, catelogues, and perserves relics of the internet for future generations. It’s a fantastic non-profit that is saving troves of information from being lost forever.

There’s everything from classic MS-DOS games to NASA technical documents all in one site. I particularly love browsing the old Byte magazine covers, but it’s really difficult to select just one section. To date the archive staff has backed up 478 billion pages on the internet, so there’s a good chance they’ve got a backup of your first attempt at a website (I sure don’t want to find mine).

It’s fair to say that the Internet Archive is loved by many. So on April 20th, when they reported their official Internet Archive Van had been stolen, it was not real surprise that twitter exploded with tips and van sightings. Fortunately the van has been recovered. Curious why they’ve got a van to help archive the internet? Well, the van is used for hauling all those old CDs and printed manuals from storage sites to digitization offices. Read more about the van adventure in Truck and Back Again: the Internet Archive Van Takes a Detour.

Untangling the Tale of Ada Lovelace

Portrait of Ada Lovelace at age 20 via The New York Public Library

Portrait of Ada Byron at age 20 via The New York Public Library

Stephen Wolfram wrote an extremely long article on Ada Lovelace, the woman who many consider the first computer programmer, which is well worth your time to read. There have been a lot of conflicting accounts of Lovelace’s history, and Wolfram tries to reconcile them.

At times the post meanders a bit into the lives of Lovelace’s contemporaries, but always finds its way back to her. Read this one in your leisure, just make sure you read it!


Radiooooo tuner interface

Radiooooo tuner interface

And for the last link, check out Radiooooo, it’s a music discovery site that’s also kind of like a worldly time machine. To listen to songs, you select an area of the world, then a decade between 1900 and today, and finally what mood you’re in (options include slow, fast, and weird — love it!). Once you’ve selected everything, sit back and relax while Radiooooo cues up the jams.

Radiooooo is quirky, it’s free, and you’re sure to hear a lot of music that you’ve never listened to before. Hat tip to Normalblog for the recommendation.

Enjoy your weekend, and make sure to share with us your favorite links in the forum.

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