Hate 404 errors?
If you do active online research (which is pretty much the whole point of SearchResearch), you fairly often run into web pages that are 404. When this happens, it means that the link you're trying to follow leads to a page that is missing. It might have been removed by the author, or just moved elsewhere. In any case, the link you've got doesn't work any more.
This actually happens more often than you'd like.
Normally, I'd just use Google's cache: operator like this:
and Google will serve up its cached version of the page.
But every so often, that cached version is missing as well. THEN what?
A friend told me about a Chrome extension called WayBack Machine that watches your browsing activity, and if you get a 404 error, it jumps in and offers to search for that URL on the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine (which is an incredibly useful archive web page, including ones that have disappeared).
In my case, I was looking at an old SearchResearch post which referred to the
Alas, the cache: operator doesn't retrieve anything for this page.
BUT the WayBack Machine operator jumped in and offered to find it for me. The extension pops up a mildly annoying interstitial that looks like this:
When you click on the "Click here to see archived version" it finds that web page when it was last archived by the Internet Archive.
In this case, it brought up the archived page beautifully. Now I can read what was once deleted.
Here, it's gone all the way back to July of 2010.
There is also a Firefox version and a Safari version. (I don't know what to do in Internet Explorer. If someone tells me, I'll update this post.)
If you do much online research, I recommend this extension. It'll save you a bunch of time.