Use the Wayback Machine to find copies of missing resources

broken-link

#1

The Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine is quite useful for getting around broken links. You can think of it like a search engine for missing stuff – the Archive preserves copies of webpages and other resources as they appeared at different points in the past, allowing you to read/print/save resources that would otherwise be unavailable.

The basic interface looks like this:

image

The easiest way is to search by entering the URL for the missing resource. For example, to search for https://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/1-Outline-of-US-History-Chapter-7-1.pdf, simply copy and paste the full URL into the Wayback Machine search box. That will bring up a calendar view, focused on the latest capture for that link.

The URL above was last captured on July 5, 2016. Click the linked date above the calendar or click on the blue-colored day itself in the calendar to bring up the resource.

You can also save yourself a couple steps by adding this text before the broken URL in your browser’s address bar:

https://web.archive.org/web/*/

For example, using the same URL as before:

https://web.archive.org/web/*/www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/1-Outline-of-US-History-Chapter-7-1.pdf

Visiting that URL in your browser will bring up a calendar view similar to the one pictured above.

The Wayback Machine isn’t perfect. Resources that are dependent on old Javascript, Flash, etc. might not work properly. Some less common sites or pages might not have saved versions available.

Nevertheless, when a resource goes missing, the Wayback Machine often comes to the rescue.

The best way to learn about the Wayback Machine is to use it, and you don’t have to wait until you have a broken link to look up. Try our homepage or your favorite website, then explore the calendar to see how that site looked in the past.


#2

Hi @sean ,

Congrats on that great article you just wrote about the Internet Archive’s “Wayback Machine:slight_smile:

Speaking of “Broken Links”: are you aware that every link in the Saylor homepage - https://www.saylor.org/ - to pages with URLs that start with “www.saylor.org” is returning a “Not Found” (404) error, today (21 Nov 2018)?

Examples:

Cc: @jazinheira


#3

Hi again,

I’ve done some more tests, and I’ve found that, sometimes, a Saylor web page - e.g.: https://www.saylor.org/2018/11/blog-saylor-academy-partners-with-gethiredmiami-inc-to-offer-skill-development-and-resume-building-to-miamis-underserved/ - would show up correctly … while other times it would show the “Not Found” error!

I found that strange, and I ran that URL in “Host Tracker”. The results web page from “Host Tracker” - https://www.host-tracker.com/InstantCheck/3/88c21b7e-9eee-e811-9f29-0003ff73517a/ - seem to give a hint about what is happening:

  • For those geographic locations where “www.saylor.org” resolves to the IP address 35.173.162.244 : the HTTP response status code that is returned is “200(OK)” (and, in those cases, the corresponding web page displays correctly) …
  • BUT for those locations where “www.saylor.org” resolves to the IP address 100.26.6.125 : the web server returns a “404(NotFound)” error message (and, in those cases, the page only displays a "Not Found" related content).
     

@ Saylor Team (@sean, @jazinheira, @Jeff_Davidson …) : could you look into this, please?


#4

I’m here to back up what @ricmarques says. The whole site is basically inaccessible to me right now, just a ton of 404’s.


#5

Sean,
Thank you for that helpful information! Until I read your post, I didn’t understand what the Wayback Machine is or how it works. Now I will be able to utilize it in the future.
Best,

  • Kaley

#6

Following up to myself, I’m glad to inform that this issue seems to have been solved :slight_smile:

So, to recap:

1 - On the tests that I ran on 22 November 2018, in “Host Tracker”, for the web page https://www.saylor.org/2018/11/blog-saylor-academy-partners-with-gethiredmiami-inc-to-offer-skill-development-and-resume-building-to-miamis-underserved/ - the results web page from “Host Tracker” - https://www.host-tracker.com/InstantCheck/3/88c21b7e-9eee-e811-9f29-0003ff73517a/ - showed that:

  • For those geographic locations where “www.saylor.org” resolves to the IP address 35.173.162.244 : the HTTP response status code that is returned is “200(OK)” (and, in those cases, the corresponding web page displays correctly), corresponding to 33 Geographic Locations tested (“33 Fail”)
  • … BUT for those locations where “www.saylor.org” resolves to the IP address 100.26.6.125 : the web server returns a “404(NotFound)” error message (and, in those cases, the page only displays a “Not Found” related content), corresponding to 35 Geographic Locations tested (" 35 Ok")
     

2 - On the tests that I ran yesterday (27 November 2018), also in “Host Tracker”, for the same web page https://www.saylor.org/2018/11/blog-saylor-academy-partners-with-gethiredmiami-inc-to-offer-skill-development-and-resume-building-to-miamis-underserved/ - the results web page from “Host Tracker” - https://www.host-tracker.com/InstantCheck/3/7692253f-72f2-e811-9f29-0003ff7328cc/ - were 100% successful. In other words, for all geographic locations - both the ones where “www.saylor.org" resolves to the IP address 35.173.162.244 and the ones where “www.saylor.org" resolves to the IP address 100.26.6.125 - the HTTP response status code that is returned is “200(OK)” (the corresponding web page displays correctly), corresponding to 65 Geographic Locations tested (“65 Ok”) …

Thanks to the Saylor team for having solved this problem :slight_smile:


#7

Wow sorry I did not receive a notification for this! I’m going to update my notification settings.

@ricmarques Thank you so much! This kind of community feedback is very useful to us. :grinning:

What happened was that our site got a huge surge in traffic after switching over to the new site. I tried to enable Cloudflare and bring up a second server. The Wordfence firewall “learned” to block all that traffic so I had to retrain it.

Please let us know when you come across other issues!


#8

Hi @jazinheira ,

You’re welcome! :grinning: Thank you very much for the kind words and for the explanation. I admit that I didn’t know / remember that the Saylor.org Academy Portal / web site - https://www.saylor.org/ :

 
I’ve searched a bit more and found (again) this very interesting post of yours, posted on 24 February, 2015, that I’ll leave here, because I think others might be interested in reading it:

What programming language is Saylor Academy written in? [ Reply by @jazinheira ]