WOW, The Internet Archive

One of the most impressive presentations giving at the Instructional Technology conference was not attended by nearly enough people.  Stewart Cheifet explained in detail  the mission of the Internet Archive,
the resources available and the technology used.  The
infrastructure blew my mind.  For an engineer it was like every
Christmas from childhood crammed into one giant data center.  The
resources they have available are astounding.  Here is the the
other cool part.  It’s free.  All of it is free.  For
education these means that terabytes of information are right there
waiting to be utilized.  There are children’s books you can print
for free
.  There are full length moviesThere are full
video lectures from MIT professors.
  They record 20 TV channels
24/7 and now have nearly 1 million hours of video.  (This is
sitting in their “dark archive” until such a day as they are allowed to
present it to the public).  They are getting ready to digitize
millions of images thousands of hours of video from NASA.  They will host your audio or video for free.  If
learning objects exist this is where they go to spend eternity. 
They archive the entire Internet every two months which means they deal
in terms of Petabytes.  I found old copies of my website – The Plan Collection
going as far back as Dec 2001.  They have special archives for
libraries around the world including the library of congress.  A
new tool they are developing will allow you to create your own subset
of the Internet and allow you to search only those websites.  They
have all of Usenet
in an archive.  They are amazing.  I spent the entire
presentation taking deep breaths.  Everytime Stewart said
something amazing I thought, “wow there can’t be anymore than
this.”  Then he just kept on amazing us.  This work
represents something more than just another repository.  This is
the Library of Alexandria.  This is the Library of Congress.  This is important and I am still taking deep breaths.  Wow.

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