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Archie – Throwback Tech Thursday

So, Google has become so popular now that it’s part of the Oxford English Dictionary. In fact, it’s now considered a verb. Before Google came along, people were searching through the likes of WebCrawler, Lycos, Excite, Yahoo, and others. But what was the first? Well, on September 10, 1990, we were first introduced to Archie – a tool for indexing FTP (File Transfer Program) archives.

So, there was life before Google, but isn’t amazing how it grew so much that it entered the dictionary? Here’s what the Oxford Dictionary says; “Search for information about (someone or something) on the Internet using the search engine Google. ‘on Sunday she googled an ex-boyfriend’ or ‘I googled for a cheap hotel/flight deal’”

Archie – the original internet search engine

Archie is considered the original internet search engine. It started out as a project for the McGill University School of Computer Science in Montreal during 1987. According to wiki, their aim was to connect the School of Computer Science to the Internet. The original code for this search engine was written by Alan Emtage and wiki tells us that it “simply contacted a list of FTP archives on a regular basis (contacting each roughly once a month, so as not to waste too many resources of the remote servers) and requested a listing. These listings were stored in local files to be searched using the Unix grep command.”

As time progressed, Archie received many updates and became more efficient. It grew from being a local tool to being a network-wide resource. We’re told that it was available from many sites on the internet. We’re told that at one stage it accounted for 50% of the internet traffic in Montreal. Unfortunately, work on the search engine stopped in the late 1990s.

Code has contributed to so many innovative things. If you want to see if you have an aptitude for code, why not try our free 5 Day Coding Challenge.