I was listening to 6 Music yesterday and My Mate Chris played some old school hip hop. Normally I’d just ignore a song like this, hip hop ain’t my thing, but one lyric jumped out, “you won’t find me on AltaVista”. This, of course got me thinking about search engines of old.
Back in the Netscape Navigator 2 days I started off with the Yahoo directory. Then, when the net began to grow I made the move to AltaVista and stayed there for a couple of years. You could generally find what you were looking for in the first couple of pages and it didn’t take too many weeks, or months, to update their index. I flirted with Lycos and Excite too, Rae even has an excite.com.au t-shirt that she uses as a sleeping t-shirt to this day, just one of the reasons I married her.
Then about midway through ‘99 I heard about this new search engine Gogle, or oogle, or Google or something like that. It was simple, quick and provided what I needed straight up every time. I don’t think I’ve seriously used another search engine since.
I now use Google products for search, email, documents, monitoring web sites, maps, news, calendars, chatting, taking notes, translating, as a global clock, converting currencies, earning money, working with digital cameras, hosting video, keeping lists and hopefully next year they will be powering my phone. I wonder what it would take for some other company to wrestle all these things away?