16 Comments

  1. Anyone else remember Alta-Vista?

    Also, are there just far more search engines than I’m aware of, or is it a standard movie/TV thing to make up a fictive one, and even design their front pages, when showing a character googling searching something?

  2. @Mitch: There are some obscure engines out there, but it’s mostly your latter suggestion. Browsers are usually mockups of some sort, too. Otherwise you get into licensing and whatnot.

  3. I remember the TV ads for the ‘Lykos’ search engine featuring a black Labrador retriever.

  4. I started with Alta-Vista. I originally switched to Google because at the time it would search with what you put in and didn’t need to mark words as required. Ah, the good old days.

  5. Speaking of “…making up a fictive one…”, I thought the Apple logo on Grimmy’s laptop was both clumsy and gratuitous. It should have been a banana or a pear.

  6. Yes, I remember Gopher! It was promising to go big even before HTML / WWW took over. The Gopher software I thought of as not so much like a search tool but a download and transfer tool, which could use different protocols, including FTP and HTTP. A server or site would present their offerings in a fairly organized tabular form, a step up from plain file listings under simple ftp but not what even simple html could soon do.

    A nice thing about it was playing between “gofer” and the gopher as mascot for U Minn, where the software came from .

  7. On the lawyer show “The Good Fight” their star client for a couple seasons was a search engine company called ChumHum. I don’t think they ever explained that name, or the design, but they did base several plot strands on controversies about how search works and on relations with forces like China. If I’m not confusing him with another, I think it was John Cameron Mitchell who gave a spiky performance as the ChumHum CEO.

  8. I seem to remember a variant of gopher that was designed specifically to go searching for weather reports, for instance for a city you were planning to visit. It was called “groundhog” naturally.

  9. ChumHum was pretty clearly poking fun at Google and its arrogance. John Benjamin Hickey played its CEO, Neil Gross.

  10. Ed, I got that the main target of the ChumHum stories would be Google. But that didn’t explain the odd and specific name ChumHum, or the appearance of their search page. Would Chum be like pal/buddy, or the fishing idea of tossing in some feed to attract the catch? (I’m not a fishing person, but do know this term, plus trolling as fishing with line out the back of a slow moving boat, the true origin of trolling as a term for certain online behaviors, not anything to do with evil gnomes!)

    But also thank you for the correction, I seem to have confused John-Cameron and John-Benjamin.

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