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Show HN: Wayback HN, a cross between the Wayback Machine and Hacker News (waybackhn.com)
503 points by dubin on June 19, 2015 | hide | past | favorite | 76 comments

This is so cool. I clicked random month a few times and found the Dropbox launch:


A killer feature would be to change submitted links to wayback links for the submitted date. I'd love to see a bit of what the commenters are talking about.

Oh wow, the cynical comments are just too much. That certainly gave me some perspective!

I would love a website that just collected a bunch of past ideas, along with all the naysayer comments, that end up being huge successes later on.

That would be pretty uplifting, imho.

It'd probably have to include even one of my comments. :-( https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6824666 (I still can't believe it all worked out...)

The jury is still decidedly out on that whole Snapchat thing.

What cynical comments? I read most (or all) of them as positive and encouraging.

First paragraph on the top comment is very representative: "The only problem is that you have to install something. See, it's not the same as USB drive. Most corporate laptops are locked and you can't install anything on them. That's gonna be the problem. Also, another point where your USB comparison fails is that USB works in places where you don't have internet access. "

All I see is one person expressing their reservations, which I think is quite legitimate given the novelty that Drew's YC app was at the time. Either way how is that a bad thing? Feedback is crucial at such an early stage.

Maybe I read this wrong or are you the one being cynical here? :)

> The only problem is that you have to install something.

It was very relevant to point that. In my case, exactly this issue made impossible to me that I even try to use Dropbox. Is the install step actually still necessary?"

"It does not seem very "viral" or income-generating."

This took the gold for me.

"Cloud" is notably absent from the comments. Dropbox kind of invented "the cloud" as most of us know it today (the term is older, but wasn't mainstream)

Is more granularity possible? There was a moment on 10/05/2011 where the entire front page was Steve Jobs.


Here you go: http://www.waybackletter.com/jobs.html

For a couple years I use to run a Wayback like newsletter similar to this, but got too busy with my weekly Hacker Newsletter (http://hackernewsletter.com) that I haven't touched it in a while.

I have a screenshot of that which I could upload to Dropbox if anyone wants.

yes, share it.

I saved a PDF, though it doesn't have the right colors:


Links don't work on this.

Reminds me to waking up to the Snowden revelations and reading HN.

I'm sure there's another site that does this that was a show HN last year. It allowed hourly selection too...

Edit: found it, http://hnhistory.net

That one only goes back a little more than a year. It also doesn't show vote/comment counts, something I quite like about this one.

I agree. If the new one adds hourly it's the clear winner.

Author of hnhistory.net here. Thanks for mentioning it. I didn't get any feedback back then. This will give me some motivation to work on it again. Mine actually scrapes hn... This was done before the api came out.

Poking around on here reminded me that nickb used to be everywhere and then disappeared. It also reminded me that almost everyday we see well thought out predictions on here that are almost all going to be wrong.

He created an AGI slack group a year or two ago and was active on it. Then he just disappeared. No one has been able to contact him. We've always wondered what happened to him.

Amazing! It was cool to see the day my company was acquired: http://www.waybackhn.com/?date=2011-4-25

Just pinged Dan and Scott to find out the day HN started. I believe it would have been called Startup News then.

Just told me the first item submitted was Mon Oct 09 2006. http://www.waybackhn.com/?date=2006-10-09

Scott tells me that the launch date is Feb 19, 2007. Which is when its announced it on Reddit.


Here's what it looked like (maybe) then. http://www.waybackhn.com/?date=2007-02-19

You can tell that there was some initial launch on 2006-10-09[1] then declines until there are almost no submissions during the following months until it starts to be active again on 2007-02-18[2]



Filtered by Year, than First. How nostalgic seeing news like Google buying YouTube or blog posts about MySpace.

Kudos for the dead simple interface.


I love the Steve Jobs PDF (from flyingyeti).

Is there a place where we can find all the HN stuff? Does someone collect them?

I'm also curious about nickb. He is mentionned regularly.

I start collecting all these links (about tools and history of hn).

It's available here: https://github.com/vmorgulys/around-hn/blob/master/readme.md

I wonder if it's not possible to keep some of the best tools alive somewhere in a VM or just in a scraped HTML version...

From April 10, 2012. Story titled - Instagram is "worth" more than the New York Times

Comment - "Would you rather own one of the most established news institutions in the modern world or a 2 year old photo sharing startup? How is this even a question?!"

That's one of those questions where that looks a lot different at different times. :-)

Missed opportunity at the Wayhack Machine, but interesting still.

What would be very interesting would be to take snapshots by time so you can see the flow of a story throughout the day.

It seems there are now several sites that provide this highly desirable service. Good!

(Shameless plug: Here's the one I made a few years ago:) http://hhn.domador.net/

https://hn.algolia.com have the same functionality.

For a more real time experience, I made this bookmarklet:


It's worth nothing that according to the source code, this uses the Algolia HN API and not the official HN API, which is a smart move because the official API still doesn't have bulk requests.

As a slightly off-topic aside, I have a GitHub repo showing how to download all Hacker News stories and comments using the Algolia API: https://github.com/minimaxir/get-all-hacker-news-submissions...

This is like RewindHN.com (created by user https://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=kami8845) before it bit the dust.

It's open source: https://github.com/doda/rewindhn

It would be really useful if the links were replaced with archive.org links from the same year. A lot of links are now dead.

Why I love this: there have been a handful times where I vaguely remember a recent post from HN that I want to revisit but I don't remember enough of the exact title to find it by the Algolia search or Google, and can't find it by simply going through the pages (perhaps due to the sorting algorithm).

Pocket (https://getpocket.com/) is great for that. If I see a great article that I don't have time to read now I usually just pocket it.

This is very cool. I could lose a lot of time just casually browsing the random day link.

One problem I ran into, is the "More" link at the bottom of any past date, links you back to the present date and shows you the next page of results for today instead of the next page of results for the past date in question.

Thanks for checking it out! For the time being I've turned off the more button

I hit this one on a random click:

You're just the founder


It should be unlucky for the VC who is in SB's curse list :)

Nice! The Silk Road raid comments make fascinating reading, in retrospect - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6482992

Also, I found this gem on a comment page regarding Julian Assange seeking asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy:

I really don't think that the Metropolitan Police is going to put officers outside the Ecuador Assembly 24/7 just in case Julian Assange leaves. It just doesn't sound like a good use of the officers' time. - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4134362

That was 1095 days ago.

Amazing. I found the perfect article from 5 years ago thanking PG for making HN so great.


One important question: does it make a single snapshot at a certain moment during the day, or does it take multiple snapshots during a day, and combine the most highly rated articles into an ordered list?

The code simply asks the Algolia API "Give me the Top 30 Stories from 12AM to 11:59PM of the specified day."



Techmeme has this built-in (http://www.techmeme.com/110619/h1320), would be fun to run them side-by-side!

I made something like this a while ago, and it didn't get nearly as much attention... What made this a "success" on hn compared to mine? http://hnhistory.net Also on GitHub: https://github.com/SCastaneda/hnhistory

This is great. It seems that the comment counts are off though: go to [0] and look at the top story. It shows 18 comments but [1] only has 15.

[0]: http://www.waybackhn.com/?date=2006-10-9

[1]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1

I think part of the discrepancy is comments that are marked dead, which might be getting counted by the API.

I believe there is more to it:

http://www.waybackhn.com/?date=2009-9 shows 14 comments

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=818157 has 87.

Really loving this. I hit random and saw an Ask YC thread for Duck Duck Go, my search engine of choice. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=315142

I'd suggest changing the orange colour. Not because I care in the slightest about the YC trademark, but it's still nice to get a positive indication of which site I'm looking at.

For example, most of the Yotsuba archivers seem to follow this convention.

Not quite a featureset like Wayback Machine...in that going to a certain day will show you top stories ranked by cumulative votes since submission...rather than the algorithmic position, and number of votes received from that day...but that's presumably not available via the API.

But even as just a list-by-day, it's a lot of fun to browse, especially going back many years [1]. What did you use to build it?

[1] HN's first day, http://www.waybackhn.com/?date=2006-10-9

1. Y Combinator (ycombinator.com) 61 points by pg 3175 days ago | 18 comments

2. A Student's Guide to Startups (paulgraham.com) 16 points by phyllis 3175 days ago | 1 comment

3. Feld: Question Regarding NDAs (feld.com) 11 points by pg 3175 days ago | 1 comment

4. LikeBetter featured by BBC (bbc.co.uk) 10 points by frobnicate 3175 days ago | 0 comments

5. MySpace: Not a purely viral start (startup-review.com) 9 points by starklysnarky 3175 days ago | 1 comment

6. Salaries at VC-backed companies (blogs.com) 8 points by pg 3175 days ago | 3 comments

7. Google, YouTube acquisition announcement could come tonight (techcrunch.com) 7 points by perler 3175 days ago | 1 comment

8. Woz Interview: the early days of Apple (foundersatwork.com) 7 points by phyllis 3175 days ago | 1 comment

9. Best IRR ever? YouTube 1.65B... (techcrunch.com) 6 points by sama 3175 days ago | 3 comments

10. NYC Developer Dilemma (blogs.com) 5 points by onebeerdave 3175 days ago | 1 comment

11. A Story About Not Going IPO During The Bubble (usatoday.com) 5 points by starklysnarky 3175 days ago | 1 comment

12. The Hardest Lessons for Startups to Learn (paulgraham.com) 5 points by phyllis 3175 days ago | 1 comment

13. Wired: The Desktop is Dead (wired.com) 5 points by farmer 3175 days ago | 1 comment

14. Participation Inequality: Encouraging More Users to Contribute (useit.com) 5 points by frobnicate 3175 days ago | 1 comment

15. Sevin Rosen Unfunds - why? (gigaom.com) 5 points by phyllis 3175 days ago | 0 comments

16. Business Intelligence the Inkling Way: cool prediction markets software (360techblog.com) 4 points by perler 3175 days ago | 1 comment

17. Small is Beautiful: Building a Successful Company with Less Capital (zdnet.com) 4 points by pg 3175 days ago | 1 comment

18. weekendr: social network for the weekend (weekendr.com) 4 points by askjigga 3175 days ago | 0 comments

19. Voddler Raises $2.2M For Virtual Cable TV (thealarmclock.com) 3 points by farmer 3175 days ago | 1 comment

20. PhotoShow: Broadcast Photos to Cable TV (techcrunch.com) 3 points by frobnicate 3175 days ago | 1 comment

21. Will Silicon Light Illuminate the Future? (technologyreview.com) 2 points by pg 3175 days ago | 1 comment

Thanks! Built with Flask, check out the source here: https://github.com/jondubin/HN-Wayback

Check out http://hnrankings.info/ for the moment-by-moment play-by-play for today's stories.

Looks like the trolling started right from day 1.


"Mobile is a dud" https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4855

Read the first comment.

Boy have times changed.

Very nice, could you avoid resetting the date when the user changes the step size (year/month/day)? Also a datepicker would be nice.

Both are planned features!

It'd be more user friendly if 'prev' and 'next' button are next to each other. I had fun using this!

Wow, very cool. I love seeing the leading stories from each year. It kind of reminds me how the industry has evolved.

No stories from 2016

Now make the Wayforward version!

I am now confused about what year it is, what has recently launched and who has just died. Good job!

This is awesome.

Very funny first comment

So, just to see how hard it is to make the longest span between article and comment :)

It would be interesting to see if someone else made something like this for Reddit and Slashdot.

My god, I was just thinking about creating the exact same thing for HN, and here I found this.

Well this is just awesome! Gonna try and use it often.

Great hack, Thanks


Hey Guyz, from where I can download the HN software/theme?

Protip: Refrain from pluralizing things with the letter Z if you would like to be taken seriously.

right click -> view page source

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