17 years ago today a college student at UC Berkeley named Anirvan Chatterjee pushed the first iterations of what became BookFinder.com live to the internet. The site was originally called MX BookFinder, it ran on a 486 computer built by his best friend Charlie Hsu, and it was created as a requirement for network agent systems class that he was taking at the time.
Anirvan could have built any kind of network agent system, but luckily for all of us he was an avid reader with a penchant for out of print Doonsbury titles. The end result was an ‘A’ in his class, a completed Doonesbury collection, and one of the earliest multi-database book search engines available online.
Seventeen years may not be a long time for just any company but this is ancient history for an internet company. Just to give you an idea in 1997: Google didn’t exist, Netscape was a really advanced web browser, Babel Fish was mind blowing technology, and Hotmail had only been launched months earlier. Even physical world events from 1997 can seem like a long time ago: Hong Kong was handed back to China, Bill Clinton began his second term, and a single mother from Edinburgh published a book about a boy attending a school for Wizards – some of you may have heard of that.
BookFinder.com may not be world changing like Google, but we did manage to outlast Netscape and Hotmail so we must be doing at least something right. We know there is still lots of ways we can be better, and hopefully we can keep improving BookFinder.com so we can help you find and buy the books you want for years to come.
Thank you all for your support for the past 17 years.
Remembering the internet in 1997