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Technology and science related posts are included in this category.

Complete Idiot’s Guide to Online Genealogy

Complete Idiot’s Guide to Online Genealogy
McClure
2000

Submitter: We’re in the midst of a big shifting project, and as I was making my way through the 920s, I came across this gem – Complete Idiot’s Guide to Online Genealogy – year 2000! At some point fairly recently it had been REBOUND, so I don’t have a nice cover to show you. As the librarian in charge of the computer books in the 004s, I was appalled and immediately withdrew it, but we still have a copy in our Genealogy Reference section. Sure, there are some still relevant tips for online genealogy sources, but the information is so out-of-date, this can’t be very useful. Check out the pages that talk about how dial-up works and the handy search engines Alta Vista and Hotbot. Since our Genealogy section will also have to be downsized, I’m hoping to talk them into getting rid of their copy, too.

Holly: Hotbot! I remember that one. Just because a book has *some* useful information in it does not make it a keeper. You have to consider the book as a whole, and this one is too old to be useful. Some patrons would follow a book like this step-by-step, and then call the reference desk, frustrated, saying “the book said to go to Hotbot, but my computer doesn’t have The Hotbot! Should I install it? Can I get it on The Facebook?” I like the Complete Idiot’s Guides, but they’re not helpful to newbies on any subject if they’re this outdated.

 

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The Romance of Nickel

The Romance of Nickel coverThe Romance of Nickel
International Nickel Company of Canada
1957

Submitter: My submission is a short paean to nickel, called The Romance of Nickel. The cover does little to convince me, however, as it shows the desolate wasteland created by nickel mining. This slim volume (a mere 80 pages) was created by The International Nickel Company (motto: “Inco Nickel… Your Unseen Friend”) to sell its product, and the spin is a little much. Judging by the cover illustration, the environmental damage of nickel mining is extreme; no romance there!

Holly: That cover! It’s all bent up with peeled-off stickers, and I agree with Submitter that the image is less than romantic. It would work for the cover of a dystopian romance novel. This is too old to be useful to anyone. It was found in a community college in Colorado. Mining is of interest in Colorado, for sure, but I’m not sure a community college is the place for this little booklet from 1957.

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Powerful Reading

man and power textbook cover

Man and Power
The Story of Power from the Pyramids to the Atomic Age
de Camp
1961

What a “powerful” book. (See what I did there?) I guess for 1961, this probably wasn’t a bad choice. I think it is a bit dense and maybe too much. I had trouble following along with some of the diagrams and text, so I wasn’t sure what this book was trying to do: reference? Textbook for a science course? Pleasure reading? Maybe no one else could figure it out either. For a book more than 50 years old, it has held up well.

Mary

 

 

 

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