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Monday, July 7, 2003

Google Tanabata Logo

Google Japan is celebrating the Japanese Tanabata Festival with a special logo:

“The star festival (Tanabata) takes place on July 7. On this day two stars (Altair and Vega) that are usually separated from each other by the milky way, come together.

In the night of July 7, people put little bamboo trees in their garden. They also hang papers with wishes written on it on that tree in the hope they become true.”
Tanabata (

Google Founder Says Google Still Terrible

During late May 2003, Walt Mossberg interviewed Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page:

“Q. Is their a way you’re going to make Google better?
Page: ‘You [Mossberg] think Google is good, I still think it’s terrible. There is a huge number of questions that you can ask Google, you know, like before that before it might have been difficult to buy a steel building which are very very easy to do now and are almost trivial. It’s a wonderful thing. There’s still a huge number of things that we can’t answer. (...) Doing a good job doing search is basically artificial intelligence, we want it to be smart.”
ResourceShelf, July 07, 2003

Searching Before the Internet

For us taking Google et al for granted, an interesting interview about the innovative, but not-so golden past days of online search:

Cuadra: (...)
They carried around a teletype — teletype machines were so big then, they had to be shipped in two boxes! Fortunately, one of the staff members was large and strong. They took this around to different cities and demonstrated online searching at something between six and 10 characters a second. Clunk, clunk, clunk, clunk, clunk. (...)

Summit: (...)
Retrieval was very crude in those days; it was all done by batch processing, tape spinning. You’d have a bunch of retrieval queries on punched cards and your database on tape, and you’d start processing that tape one record at a time and matching against the queries that were on cards.”
Online Before the Internet: Early Pioneers Tell Their Stories (Searcher), July 7, 2003


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