Two of my favorite websites on the internet are the Internet Archive and TheOldNet. They allow us to experience the internet of yesterday with a fairly authentic experience. Which is great!
Now, as awesome as those services are, searching is not their forte and the problem with archived websites is that, unless you know theirs address, it's actually pretty hard to find them. Especially when we're talking about personal web pages hosted in services like Geocities, AOL Hometown, Angelfire, Lycos, Tripod and so on.
Let's say you want to search for websites about cooking hosted in those services. Well, you're pretty much out of luck because there's no easy way to search for them.
Now, sure, you could use the search feature at OoCities which is Google based. The problem is that OoCities isn't the most user friendly website and you'd only be searching Geocities pages.
Because of those reasons and the fact that I thought it would be an interesting project to work on, I decided to build Old'aVista. This website allows you to search those old personal websites just like if you were using an old search engine.
I think this is a valuable service because, again, unless you know the urls of those sites, it's really hard to find them and I think that being able to dig those websites up is a way we can understand better the internet of the past.
Old'aVista is designed after Altavista from 1999 with some liberties and yeah, it does run on vintage browsers! Our index is formed by pages scraped from the Internet Archive. You can also search on the their archive directly from our search bar. The only advantage of doing that is if you want to search based on a partial domain and don't want the web archive to navigate to that url directly if it's valid.
With all of that, I hope you enjoy Old'aVista!