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Bleeding Edge

Technology and science related posts are included in this category.

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505 Unbelievably Stupid Web Pages

505 Unbelievably Stupid Web Pages
2nd Ed.
Crowley
2007

Submitter: 2007 doesn’t seem like that long ago to me, but it is internet light years! I find it hilarious that books were published ABOUT websites, forcing you to look through the book, then type in the (often long) address if you wanted to see the site.

I think this book is generally terrible*** and is a terrible book for a college library! I pulled this book off the shelf yesterday.

*** Some of the sites are stupid, but others are just being mocked because the author doesn’t seem to understand their usefulness or that others might be interested. In the commentary about the camel website, the author can’t seem to comprehend different cultures/locations–the shocked tone about camel racing, as if it is so different from horse racing! The women in packaging site is given a stupidity level of 8, but it was a resource for women trying to enter a (presumably male-dominated) field. Why is that stupid?

Holly: These books have such a limited shelf life. This is an odd choice for a college library, for sure! And what does the Peep® bunny on the cover have to do with anything?? Peeps® are awesome, not stupid!

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Computers Simplified

Computers Simplified
6th Edition
2005

Submitter: My local library district is two little hole-in-the-wall libraries a couple blocks apart. Even so, their smaller branch had room for four copies of this book: Two of this edition and two of the only slightly more recent 2007 edition.

It mentions PDAs, but not smartphones, floppy and Zip disks, but not Blu-Ray, and has an entire section on socializing online that doesn’t say anything about social media. It’s full of specific numerical advice (like how much memory a computer needs) that is out of date and URLs that are subject to link rot. Libraries must be extra cautious with technology books for beginners, because not only do they quickly become obsolete, but the target audience won’t be able to sort the good information from the bad.

The clincher? The pages are falling out.

Holly:I love this series, but I agree with Submitter. Computer newbies don’t know what’s accurate and what’s not. It’s one thing to have a couple of books on the previous version of software or operating systems, since people might still have it on their machines, but these very-beginner books really need to be the latest and greatest. If someone is learning about computer basics on an old computer, at least they won’t *think* they’ve got something up-to-date. (They’ll realize what a piece of crap their kid gave them and think “thanks a lot, brat!”)

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Wordstar

Wordstar on the IBM PC
Curtis
1985

Submitter: I found this in our academic library, shelved next to 15 or so other manuals on outdated word processing programs. It had not been checked out since 1989. According to Wikipedia, WordStar began its decline in 1985, when this book was published. You’d think our students would find drawings of IMB PC keyboards, instructions like “in order to change anything in a file, you’ll have to move the cursor to the character, word, or line you want to change,” and descriptions of how to insert floppy disks more helpful. OCLC claims that 77 other libraries are still holding onto this gem.

(Since we are an academic library, there is no real cover, just library binding.)

Holly: Does your library remove the cover of all books in favor of library binding?? Good catch, though – this has GOT to go!!

 

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