Member 185
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Patrick Tierney (M, 34)
Princeton, US
Immortal since Oct 7, 2007
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    The Uncharted Internet
    Doing research on a school I stumbled on an older part of their website that seemed to contradict their current school message (sorry for the lack of details, but I dont want to offend the particular school). Suffice it to say it got me thinking about another way scan the internet.

    The traditional way is to follow links. Start at a site, and crawl your way outwards. It's efficient and charts how most people explore the web. However, what if you moved from website to website like a password cracker, trying reasonable combinations of directory name or html file names. It would take a while and the bots may get banned from a few website, but it would give you a picture of the unlinked Internet. I would be really excited to see the results. What do people keep hidden? What seedy back alleys exist that no outsiders are meant to see?

    Thu, Jan 17, 2008  Permanent link
    Categories: internet, bots
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    bpwnes     Thu, Jan 17, 2008  Permanent link
    Pretty much it is anything people host on their servers.

    You should try some "Google Hacks."
         Thu, Jan 17, 2008  Permanent link
    There are fucktons of fun findings flying and lying around. There's basically anything you would ever want or need to find on the internet. Information and media that people regularly pay thousands of dollars for can be accessed with free and costless ease with only a bit of somewhat esoteric knowledge. You definitely need to look at this site:

    Enjoy, happy exploring :)
    meganmay     Sat, Jan 19, 2008  Permanent link
    I had a similar thought the other day when i realized how limited Google's search algorithm really is and how much I don't know I'm missing. I'm sure there's something similar out there, but I thought it'd be really interesting to have a least popular google search * It just occured to me that we should have a shrine for the first 100 personal web pages on the internet or something *. anyone know anyone who put a website up in the early 90s?

    also, I checked out searchlores a little bit and found this little gem 
         Sat, Jan 19, 2008  Permanent link
    Well, it's not that Google's search algorithms are limited... It can't really search the markup for the date since the markup doesn't really have a timestamp with it. What the thing is with a shrine to the first 100 web pages is that there's probably not an archive, and the servers that held them are probably being picked apart for usable bits in that wacky computer garbage city that China badly tries to keep secret at this moment.

    This is the first website ever:

    speaking of poking around subdirectories, this seems to have a fair bit from ~1991 onwards:

    I know  has been around since 1992, and I think that site eventually spawned Erowid.

    What goes back all the way to the 1980's that has a really extensive and easy to peruse web archive is usenet. Take a look at  and search by date or whatever, there's tons and tons of interesting information there.

    Gopher was a little bit similar to the web but is basically phased out now. Think of the web if it was more ftp-based.

    Wikipedia also has a bit of a list. Take a look:

    There's also BBS, bulletin board systems. There's archives everywhere and it's not hard to google around for old textfiles written for distribution among them dating back all the way from the early 80s or whatever. Dunno about the states but here's a list of Canadian ones still up and running:

    I'm going way too far with this but we also have packet switching networks still being used a lot. Datapac in Canada is one of them. There's an article about it in here: 
    Yu Jie     Sun, Jan 20, 2008  Permanent link
    Absolutely interesting, looking at such examples of old websites, it really brings up questions of what could be in the next few decades, seeing that so much progress has been made in such a short time in the past.

    Poking around in directories is fun, it reveals some small things like gold coins on an expedition and is actually quite rewarding. I like "reverse-engineering" in a sense, grabbing a long URL and just going into all the sub-directories

    Interesting post, Hacker
    And thanks for the links, dmitridb
    HackerLastPip     Sun, Jan 20, 2008  Permanent link
    Something I tend to forget is that internet is so much more than the World Wide Web.

    My current thinking is that the "back allies" of the internet are still IRC and Tor hidden service chat rooms (which can exchange data as well). Unfortunately these aren't searchable. Usenet Groups incredibly unexplored in terms of information useful data. I'm sure this conversation has already happened somewhere on Usenet.

    My guess is that there's a lot of data that exists on people's directories and is only passed over IRC and chat. I have no idea if google or any search engine can trace up from to But I presume all these places have indexed homepages, so they are in the system so to speak.

    I'll post any interesting places of the Uncharted Internet I find.
    sjef     Sun, Jan 20, 2008  Permanent link
    HackerLastPip     Wed, Feb 20, 2008  Permanent link
    good site, many have left their directories open
    ie home.* is the directory of road runner (Time warner) personal websites, each subdomain specifying where in the US you are (souther california, central florida )