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Bleeding Edge

Technology and science related posts are included in this category.

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Pac Man Will Ruin You!

mind at play cover

Mind at Play
The Psychology of Video Games
Loftus and Loftus
1983

I get the feeling that every time a new technology appears, there will be some speculation on how the end of civilized behavior is now upon us. Television, rock and roll, cell phones, texting, video games have all been identified as something that will ruin the minds of the young. I don’t remember if Pong suffered from all the criticism, but Pac Man definitely had the everyone wondering if this addiction would ruin our children. Since they are now adults, I wonder if anyone will confess to Pac Man ruining their childhoods.

If you are old enough, you will see this pattern repeat itself whenever there is a new breakthrough in technology or art that is different enough to be scary to parents and the rest of the establishment. Rock and Roll, cell phones, violent movies, D and D, and television were all part of ruination of society. This is a common theme here at ALB. Remember the conspiracy of evil in cartoons? Or how television will ruin our kids?  Yeah, we are all doomed!

Mary

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Computers for Everybody

computers for everybody cover

Computers for Everybody
Willis and Miller
1981

Computers aren’t just for geeks, they are for everybody. The cover art cracks me up as the giant computer (or maybe tiny people) sits outside as a big jungle gym. This cover art looks way older than 1981 as well. (I am also annoyed by the poor processing. Just how many labels did this library need?)

I was in grad school in the late 80s and a personal computer was just starting to be commonplace in offices. Typewriters and keypunch were still the mainstream Anyone still remember how to use a keypunch?

Back in the day, I was a whiz with DOS and I had some mad skills with Lotus123. Ah, the good old days, when I was just so cutting edge…

Mary

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The Good Old Days with Microsoft Office

spreadshhets introduction coverusing word97 on your computer cover

An Introduction to Spreadsheets
Excel 97 edition
Patchett
2001

Easy Design on Your Computer
Word 97 edition
Claybourne
2001

Technology titles are often held on to way longer than necessary. I think many librarians use the excuse that we should keep back titles because Grandma and Grandpa always get the castoffs when their offspring upgrade. That might have been true 10-2o years ago, but seniors are quickly catching up and want new and shiny.

Although geared toward upper elementary, these books would have been quite good for adults. Regardless, Microsoft quit supporting Office 97 around 2005, and considering the newer editions that quickly followed, this purchase was probably doomed for a short shelf life. I am kind of cracking up that the intended audience for this series of books wasn’t even born yet.

Personally, I am glad that Office 97 died, especially because of that annoying paperclip assistant (Clippy). I would put Clippy in the category of worst ideas in software.

Feeling old yet again,

Mary

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