With all the well-deserved hype surrounding pop culture phenomenon YouTube, I wonder how many geeks are quietly enjoying selections on archive.org, a project which has been around much longer providing audio, video, old movies, and even a massive selection of old Web sites.

I know that most users have never heard about it, but archive.org has been one of my favorite resources for years. Mostly I use it for research, but also on occasion for recreation.

What’s so special about archive.org?

Well, in addition to letting your publish your own text, music, videos, etc., just for example, have you ever accidentally deleted something you really need on one of your web sites? Or wondered what TechRepublic.com looked like back in 1999?

Well, that’s what archive.org is for.

You can find earlier TechRepublic web pages here.

And the same is probably true for your old web pages.

But there is much more to archive.org than just a repository for 55 billion old web pages, including:

  • Classic government training videos
  • 1,034 radio programs
  • 926 audio books and poetry readings (including 5000+ hours recorded at Naropa U. in Colorado.) a talk with Alan Ginsberg, or an audio book of children’s stories or even The Peloponnesian War

Appropriate for this time of year, how about the original recording of War of the Worlds in MP3, as presented by Orson Wells, Oct. 30, 1938?

Find Reefer Madness here.

Sex Madness here.

And, if the boss is looking over your shoulder, just point out that archive.org lets you check out competitor’s old web sites or brush up on what beginning hackers are learning.

Hacker 101 for example.

By the time something such as YouTube is regularly showing up on morning TV shows I feel it is beneath a true geek and, having written my first program in 1963 in binary, I may be the oldest living true geek still surfing on a daily basis.

So I wanted to remind younger geeks that archive.org is a vast and largely ignored resource. If you don’t already know about it, give yourself a true geek present and get to know archive.org.