Sunday, March 30, 2008

Don't Forget the Internet Archive!

The other day one of our technicians asked me if I had any more documentation on programming the Norstar class of Key phone systems.

He had done a lot of searching in our phone closet rooms and the Internet and came up short.

We have several that we support, and while we have books and books and books of manuals on the Meridian class of phone systems, the little Norstar Key systems have almost no documentation at all.  So we do quite a few vendor calls for service and support.

I've had good luck in the past over in the Tek-Tips Forums for finding technical tips and guides so I turned there.

Eventually I found what looked to be a glowing recommendation for a whole collection of guides to support these systems.

Unfortunately, the link offered was now dead. Not too surprising as the post was back from July 05.

I did some Google work but couldn't find anything "live" with that information.

On a whim, I decided to see if maybe a version had been archived over in the Internet Archive.

With the link URL copied, I jumped over and entered the dead URL into the WayBackMachine.

Internet Archive Wayback Machine - (My URL Search)


I checked out the last archived copy of that page captured on Nov 13, 2006.

Some of the graphics were missing but it looked like I hit the jackpot.  Lots and lots of links for tutorials of really useful information on Norstar phone system programming.

Could these links be "hot" as well?

Nope.  All dead like the original page URL.

But maybe, just maybe, each of these were also captured in the Internet Archive?

I copied a URL and pasted it into the WayBackMachine.

Jackpot!  (Norstar - Add Lines To A Set)

It took a bit of work copying each URL and then pasting into a new archive search, but in just over an hour, I had the entire contents of all the tutorial pages copied into a Word document.  I was also able to download a full Word document tutorial that had also been linked there as well as a PDF or two.  


I reformatted them up into a single document and passed them out to our telephone support team.

So, the lesson here is that if you are doing research and find a dead-link, don't give up hope.

Take it over into the Internet Archive and do a search on the URL.

Maybe it won't be there....but maybe, just will strike gold!



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