Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Internet Yahoo!

Yahoo Puts AltaVista To Death 176

Posted by timothy
from the pour-your-electronic-version-of-a-40 dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Remember AltaVista from the late '90s? Yahoo is finally pulling life support and letting Altavista die a noble death after over 15 years of hard service." You can only take so many years of being a running gag.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Yahoo Puts AltaVista To Death

Comments Filter:
  • Obligatory (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 28, 2013 @10:41PM (#44139669)

    I won't believe it until Netcraft confirms it

    • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@ g m a i l.com> on Saturday June 29, 2013 @12:37AM (#44140207) Journal

      So let me get this straight, Yahoo owns Altavista and uses Bing for a back end, took down Altavista only to put it back up with a yahoo back end, that is really being back ended by Bing?

      Damn no wonder they pulled the plug, hell the ping times must have been awful!

    • by SeaFox (739806)

      Looks like they can already confirm the death of TFA's bandwidth allotment.
      Any "life support" from Yahoo so we can read it?

  • You'll never make me use Google!

  • by Molt (116343) on Friday June 28, 2013 @10:53PM (#44139757)
    If you can only take so many years of being a running gag then can we look forward to Yahoo! pulling the plug on itself?
  • Running gag (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TapeCutter (624760) on Friday June 28, 2013 @10:56PM (#44139767) Journal
    "Running gag" is a shame, they really were pioneers in the search engine business. For me the switch to Google was simply because it had (and still has) an uncluttered interface.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Hotbot, then Altavista. From then on, it's Googles all the way down.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Lycos, Excite, Inktomi...

        Don't forget those AOL signup CD-ROM's (often >1) that fell out of the bags you brought home from CompUSA.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Inktomi was the power behind Hotbot. I never found Lycos or Excite to be useful, except when Lycos had an FTP search.

          • by adolf (21054)

            ...which was another ftpsearch, at the time.

            I'm somewhat saddened when I look just now and find that all of my old ftpsearch sites are gone. But somewhat relieved when I realize that I really haven't needed them in a decade or so, which is why I didn't notice that they'd disappeared.

        • I miss free AOL cd's...now I have to buy roadside mailbox reflectors and party coasters.

  • Wow. Make me feel like an old timer! I used to love altavista - it was the absolute best there was.

    Now, wasn't it astavista that provided me with so much reasonably priced software?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 28, 2013 @11:12PM (#44139869)

      Now, wasn't it astavista that provided me with so much reasonably priced software?

      No, it was www.astalavista.box.sk

      • by rueger (210566) *
        That's it! Tempted to copy that into my browser but suspect it would be a VERY bad idea.

        Kids today have no idea how much you appreciate Photoshop when you've downloaded in one file using a dial-up modem.
      • by TClevenger (252206) on Saturday June 29, 2013 @12:44AM (#44140227)
        "Warez do you want to go today?"
    • Lycos anyone?

  • In its heyday, it was the best.
  • by PPH (736903)

    ... we all start using it and see if Yahoo changes their mind.

  • So long and thanks for all the fish, Altavista.
    I first learned search engine optimization by studying Alatavista, then moved on to Hotbot (Inktomi).
    That was the beginning of a great business, and my first good paying job.
  • Ah the memories (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Coppit (2441) on Friday June 28, 2013 @11:43PM (#44139981) Homepage

    I remember back in the day AltaVista was the only search engine which allowed you to use + and - to fine-tune the results. Before Google's pagerank that was the best you could hope for.

    • I remember back in the day AltaVista was the only search engine which allowed you to use + and - to fine-tune the results. Before Google's pagerank that was the best you could hope for.

      I remember back in the day when Google was a search engine that actually responded correctly to + and - to fine-tune results, and when Google even listened to the actual words you typed, rather than replacing them with what it thinks are synonyms or sometimes random words that have nothing to do with what I'm searching for.

      I gave up using Google over a year ago because it had become so hard to get it to actually search for the exact words I type, instead of having it try to guess what I mean.

      If I wanted

    • by tlambert (566799) on Saturday June 29, 2013 @12:51AM (#44140277)

      I remember back in the day AltaVista was the only search engine which allowed you to use + and - to fine-tune the results. Before Google's pagerank that was the best you could hope for.

      From the for what it's worth department... when Google dropped the ability to force inclusion of specific search terms, which was shortly before it introduced Google+, it was incredibly contentious inside Google itself, and a lot of Google employees at the time, myself included, complained bitterly about the ability to get accurate results any more.

      Most of use were natural lexicographers who could think hierarchically enough that we knew the search terms we wanted in order to get the results we wanted. surprising how we ended up working at a search engine, right? About 2/3rds of us really felt they were "dumbing down" search in order to use the same datastores for normal search as the first and second order relationships being used to generate targetted advertising results. Altavista was mentioned *a lot*.

      • Google never dropped the ability to force inclusion of specific search terms; they just changed the syntax without telling anyone. Before you had to prepend a + to any term you wanted to include in the results. Now you instead need to surround the term with quotation marks.
        • by tlambert (566799) on Saturday June 29, 2013 @08:11AM (#44141295)

          If I want to search for exact words in any order, "A" "B" "C" is NOT the same as +A +B +C was, since it doesn't force inclusion. Instead I get ""best" and "useful" results, rather than results based on my judgement.

          This is great for most people, who don't know how search engines work, don't care, or are just looking for sponsored results or porn, but it's not that useful to, for example, get results containing technical reports and papers in a particular field (for example). For CS, there's citeseer searching, but for biology and other fields, it's a real pain.

      • by MyHair (589485)

        Yeah, I'm still ticked off that I can't force term searches anymore. Google does really well most of the time, but sometimes I need a particular word or the exclusion of a particular word, and Google doesn't obey anymore.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 28, 2013 @11:54PM (#44140039)
    It was the only search engine that allowed very specific +/- combos. I remember it being better in that respect than Google is now (although Google was vastly better returning correct results when it came on the scene).
  • by akh (240886) <slashdot@alephOO ... inus threevowels> on Saturday June 29, 2013 @12:06AM (#44140089)

    Looks like it's back to using the alternative [cmu.edu].

  • Alta la vista Baby!

    Or something like that...

  • For years now, when checking for DNS resolution and basic Internet connectivity from whatever network I'm in, my first quick test has been "ping altavista.com". Year after year, I trusted that if the Internet connection was working, I'd get a response. Altavista never let me down :)
  • by linebackn (131821) on Saturday June 29, 2013 @12:44AM (#44140225)

    I remember when the original URL was http://altavista.digital.com/ [digital.com]

    In the early days it even recognized Pathworks Mosaic 1.0 by its user agent, and served up a really, really simple HTML page just for it.

    There was even a Personal version of the search engine that you could download and run on your own server to index your Intranets.

    Sad to see it go because the world really needs more diversity when it comes to search engines. If there is something the Big Engines don't want you to have, it might as well not exist.

  • Had best image/video search first, and their "free" dial-up was great.
  • by future assassin (639396) on Saturday June 29, 2013 @12:54AM (#44140285) Homepage

    baby.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      baby.

      That's a funny way to say .box.sk, Ahnold :)

  • Where it all began (Score:5, Informative)

    by Animats (122034) on Saturday June 29, 2013 @02:11AM (#44140487) Homepage

    AltaVista was a huge innovation. Nobody at the time thought that someone could provide a search service for the entire internet for free. DEC rented the old vacant telephone building behind the Walgreens in downtown Palo Alto. (That building now houses the Palo Alto Internet Exchange, which at one time was the major Silicon Valley switching node for the Internet.) They installed DEC Alpha rack-mounted machines. The whole thing was a demo of DEC Alpha technology, to show that a large number of DEC machines could do things no mainframe could.

    That was a huge change from previous data center construction. Until then, most data centers had raised floors and nice cabinets. Telephone central offices, though, had tall open racks firmly bolted to the building, with cable trays overhead. AltaVista was the first big data center built that way. Telcos were better at cable management than computer services in those days. Using telco-style cable management turned out to be a huge win.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Nobody at the time thought that someone could provide a search service for the entire internet for free.

      Except OpenText/Yahoo who did it a year earlier.

      They installed DEC Alpha rack-mounted machines.

      No they didn't. They had a single massive DEC Alpha Server with some untold number of GB of RAM, which at the time was unprecedented. Using racks of machines was an idea developed later by Eric Brewer from Excite.

      The whole thing was a demo of DEC Alpha technology, to show that a large number of DEC machines could do things no mainframe could.

      It was released as a demo of what a single AlphaServer machine could do. The project started by people who thought "wouldn't it be cool if..." and then the marketing droids released it as a demo. The single machine architecture bottlenecked their inde

  • it was the only search engine at the time that let you do +- stuff and return even less meaningful results

    next we are going to have a candlelight service for lycos?

    • by weav (158099)

      next we are going to have a candlelight service for lycos?

      Who even owns Lycos any more? Last I heard Telefonica sold them off to some Korean investors who shut the place down to minimal size.
      Whowhere (which they acquired to get MailCity, which became Lycos Mail) still exists but I can't imagine what people database it searches.

In 1869 the waffle iron was invented for people who had wrinkled waffles.

Working...