Wayback Machine

Internet Archive celebrates 10 petabytes of data preserved

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The Internet Archive, whose “Wayback Machine” is a searchable portal to the history of the Web, is hosting a party Thursday night to celebrate 10 petabytes of data archived since its founding in 1996.

“Lets bring millions of books, music, movies, software and web pages online to over 2 million people every day and celebrate the 10,000,000,000,000,000th byte being added to the Archive,” the IA wrote in a blog post.

The latest materials added to the archive include 350,000 TV news broadcasts, a collection of Balinese literature, a digital archive of the 2011 Japanese tsunami and “hundreds of newly digitized Home movies and other ephemeral films.”

The Wayback Machine alone contains archived versions of 150 billion Web pages.

A petabyte, for those not in the computationally alphanumerical know, is one quadrillion bytes, or pieces of information consisting of eight bits each. So the Internet Archive contains... well, a great deal of information. By way of comparison, Google processes about 2.5 terabytes per day and only stores three terabytes—1 trillion bits each—on any given day.

The “Ten Petabyte Party” kicks off at 6:00pm PT Thursday at the Internet Archive’s San Francisco headquarters, with a cocktail reception at which legendary computer scientist Don Knuth will be rocking his organ.

The celebration will also be live-streamed, for those not able to attend in person.

Photo via Twechie/Flickr