Retrieve old blog posts using Wayback Machine

Planted: 2023-05-10
Last tended: 2023-05-10

I was browsing HackerNews and found a comment from Simon Willison linking to a post he wrote on his blog about recovering missing content from the internet archive.

If you want to try this, check out the open-source Ruby project called Wayback machine downloader. The instructions are in the GitHub repository.

It works like a charm. You may want to play around with the from and to date parameters when trying it.

I started reading the articles I posted on my old blog around 17 years back. No surprises, both the writing and the topics (meta blogging) were not anything to be proud of. Not that what I write these days is any good but we (or at least I) have the habit of being extremely critical of past work.

If I look at this post 5 or 10 years from now, I will probably regret why I wrote or hit publish. Heck, I might feel that way next week about this post.

But what matters is the action. I wouldn’t have gained anything if I didn’t write those posts all those years back. But I gained a lot by writing them. I got many new friends, got better at writing, learned so much more than I generally would have, learned to work with PHP code and themes, and eventually got into coding, which is now my career.

Will I publish those old posts to this blog? No. But will I save it so I can go back to it again (and again) years from now? Absolutely.

The old writing tells the journey. It also reminds me why I should write now on my platform, especially in a world where everything moves fast and happens on a platform owned by someone else.

If you are reading this, start writing on your blog.

As Simon put it:

The best time to start blogging was twenty years ago. The second best is today.

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