The litigation over Internet Archive‘s decision during the pandemic to allow its users to “check out” digital copies of copyrighted books in its collections triggered my curiosity to look into what Internet Archive, through its Wayback Machine, had captured from the web domains that I used to control.

This is the June 17, 2006 capture of http://bentong.topcities.com/comp/index.htm which was the index file of the “Computer Studies Section” of “Bentong’s Web”, my website at that time.

Seventeen years later, I do not anymore know how to link C programs to assembly modules, how to use __emit__() in C programs, or how to capture the mouse API in C.

Right now, I cannot even recall without Googling how a TSR (Terminate and Stay Resident, the old way anti-virus programs worked) stays in the background as a process, how to hook to the timer interrupt, the DISPBIN procedure, or the XLAT instruction. And what are TBAV flags?
I started learning programming around March 2002, when I was finishing my first year in college (BS Ed Physics and Mathematics, University of San Carlos) and I was able to buy a second-hand personal computer from my savings from the scholarship allowance and a few money-making ventures here and there.

I reached the zenith of my programming skills in 2011, when I was part of a team which produced the first “Shepardizing” program for Philippine jurisprudence. (Shephardizing is the process of getting what latter cases referred to the case you are looking at. Years later, we sold the database, scripts, documentation, and notes to a buyer. It is my distinct impression that one of the online providers now use a descendant of the system we produced.)