Simon Willison’s Weblog


Google, circa 1998

2nd May 2004

Thanks to the ever impressive Internet Archive (did you know they host old public information films as well?) here’s Google’s homepage from 1998. Their searchable index was slightly less than 25 million pages, their hardware was less than a dozen machines apparently held together with lego and their crawler was called BackRub. Following the links will take you to Sergey and Larry’s homepages, where digging a little deeper will even uncover the now infamous Sergey-in-drag photo.

My favourite insight though comes from the Legos page (why do Americans insist on adding an ’s’?) on Larry’s site:

I attriubute a great deal of my understanding and ability with mechanical devices to Legos and similar construction toys.

I’ve often thought that the most important factor in leading me to geek-hood, apart from a C64, was a serious obsession with Lego Technic from an early age.

I’ve avoided posting about the Google IPO because know nothing of the world of finance, but you’ve gotta love that Google’s initial IPO valuation is e * 10 ^ 9.

This is Google, circa 1998 by Simon Willison, posted on 2nd May 2004.

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