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Searching the computer Emtage, Alan (born 1964)

Alan Emtage was born in Barbados in 1964. He studied computer science at McGill University in Montréal, Canada from 1983. Whilst a student he also worked as a systems administrator overseeing department infrastructure.

During his work at the university Emtage created an early internet search tool, which he named ‘Archie’. He began by building a searchable software database by hand, moving from FTP site to FTP site. This was followed by a set of scripts which could trawl the internet automatically and populate the database by itself.

By the end of the 1990s, assisted by fellow colleagues, Bill Heelan and Peter J Deutsch, the search engine was opened to the public.

fun and games

Can you beat our games? Explode equipment to see what's inside, hear the changing sounds of telecommunications, see how telecommunications designs have changed over time or send an e-postacard.

what's on

The UK's first permanent gallery dedicated to the history of information and communication technologies opens in the new Information Age gallery at London’s Science Museum.

audio history

Take a trip down memory lane with extracts of the interviews which have been recorded as part of the Connected Earth oral history programme.

featured story

100 years of automatic switching!
In 1912 the GPO installed Britain's first automatic telephone exchange in Epsom.

Discover the early days of the telephone...