“I saw it on the web, it must be true!”

In college, I wrote an article for an April Fools edition of our ACM newsletter about how the Illiac was to become the newest mail server for students. The best part of the article (in my humble opinion) was the image that was “enhanced using Adobe Photoshop software“: I pasted in a picture of my friend (then the sysadmin for the students' servers) on top of a commonly used photo of the Illiac.

A couple of years later, a computer museum in Italy put together a web page about the history of computers, and they looked around for a picture of the historic Illiac to include in that web page (probably using http://images.google.com)... and you can probably tell where this is going:

Say hi to my friend Joe: http://www.computermuseum.it/history/generazione-2.htm
See the original: http://ems.music.uiuc.edu/history/illiac.html

I love the web.

(Update 2/5: Another thing about the web, those referrer headers are pretty useful... Max, the owner of www.computermuseum.it, saw the hits from this blog and fixed the picture! I'm bummed, but at least he archived the faked one too 🙂 You can see the faked one here:

(Update 5/10: Here's the archive link to the original page: http://web.archive.org/web/20020209111053/http://www.computermuseum.it/history/generazione-2.htm)

Comments (12)

  1. Anonymous says:

    I blogged a few years ago about how I did an April Fool’s edition of my college’s ACM’s newsletter. What…

  2. Matt Hawley says:

    Thats hilarious. Maybe you should contact them and see how smart they actually are.

  3. Mathew Nolton says:

    Too funny.

    -Mathew Nolton

  4. Charlie on the PA Turnpike says:

    My only question: how in the world did you find they used your photo?

  5. KC Lemson says:

    Charlie: Another friend of mine was using images.google.com to look for pictures of the illiac, and he recognized Joe in the picture on computermuseum.it.

  6. Louis Parks says:

    Wow! What a post to brighten up my day. 🙂

  7. Amanda.Murphy says:

    That was soooo funny. Thanks.

  8. Fabrice says:

    KC, you forgot the ® when refering to Adobe® Photoshop® software!

    Be careful, you could be sued for that 😉

  9. Max from Italy says:

    From Max, owner of personal web site ComputerMuseum.it:

    I love the web too! Thanks to referrer list I saw many visitors from this page coming to ComputerMuseum.it. Me and my friends have laughed a lot when we saw the faked picture on my site! I have never noticed it before… It’s like the movie Forrest Gump. Now I have put online the right one!

    Many greetings from Rome, Italy


  10. Sam Meldrum says:

    So where do we see the faked one now?

  11. Fabrice says:

    IMO, you should have kept the fake one, Max 🙂

    There is the big History and the smaller one.

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