Friday, April 23, 2010

Hail, ReoCities!

Savior of Geocities websites...
14:00 PM, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 - GeoCities Dying
A while ago I posted a link on Hacker News that GeoCities was going to close. It didn't really click with me that that might be a disaster. I figured, good riddance, they're nothing but a hosting provider for spammers. Then, on the 20th of October 2009, about a week before GeoCities was really going to close, someone else posted a link, pointing to some interesting pages. These were on an old GeoCities account, about to be erased. It wasn't what I would call a masterpiece, and I didn't agree with all of it, but it seemed like it was worth keeping.
So I logged in to one of my trusty servers and backed up that user's home directory. Then, I started to wonder how much more good stuff was about to be lost forever. Only one way to find out.
A bit of googling for my favorite subjects with inurl:geocities.com turned up a surprising number of really interesting pages. That's when I decided to back up as much of the 'Silicon Valley' area in GeoCities as I could. One thing led to another, and sooner or later it was clear that just backing up a bit of GeoCities wasn't going to be good enough.
There was plenty of interesting (and not so interesting) stuff in other areas of the site. So I decided to go all the way and get all of GeoCities. But making a backup of something as large as geocities.com, and making it live again was not as simple as it seemed.