Internet Archive not loading: Wayback machine malfunction

It is 10:30 pm by our Indian clock. Just 32 minutes ago, that is, at exactly 9:58 pm, Internet Archive tweeted on Twitter about it not being able to function as usual.

Tweet of Internet Archive malfunction

The tweet read, “ATTENTION: PG&E, our local power company, is implementing a planned power outage today near one of our datacenters. They now report that they will be done before 2 pm PT. Please expect some disruptions in service. Thank you for your patience.”

Internet Archive closed

What is the Internet Archive?

A lot of people have this question. For those who do not know, the Internet Archive is a non-profit, public digital library founded in 1996. Their stated mission is to provide “universal access to all knowledge.” In addition to its archiving function, the Archive is an activist organization, advocating for a free and open Internet.

What does this Archive provide?

This Archive provides the public all over the world free access to the following:

  • 410 billion web pages (accessible via the Wayback Machine)
  • 20 million books and texts
  • 4.5 million audio recordings (including 180,000 live concerts)
  • 4 million videos (including 1.6 million Television News programs)
  • 3 million images
  • 200,000 software programs (including historic computer applications, vintage console & arcade games, and more)

What is the Wayback Machine?

We are talking a lot about the Wayback Machine. The Wayback Machine (web.archive.org) is a digital archive of the World Wide Web. Since its launch in 2001, over 452 billion pages have been added to the archive. Users can enter a URL to view and interact with past versions of any website contained in the Archive, even if the site no longer exists on the “live” web.

Why is the Wayback replay not loading?

This problem has arisen a lot of times in the past. But this time it was sudden. No one was expecting the glitch. So why are the pages not loading? Maybe, Wayback has ran into some kind of a hitch while rewriting all of the URLs on that page into their archival forms.

Wayback “rewrites” countless links like this in order to enable browsing among the myriad pages in a web archive collection. Where it can run into more trouble is rewriting the new and different kinds of dynamic scripts that underpin many modern websites. Blank or incomplete replay often indicates that Wayback missed one of these elements in its process to automatically rewrite URLs in bulk.

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