Hoarding is not collection development

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Getting Connected

Getting Connected: What to do with your PC when you get it home
User’s Choice
1994

Submitter: Attached are the front and back of a VHS that was weeded from our collection last week. I work at a mid-sized public library system in Michigan and at my branch I am in charge of deletions. This gem from 1994 was probably overdue to be tossed. It promises that regardless of the brand of PC I have, “from a 386 to a Pentium” I will benefit from this video. I don’t know what a 386 is.  Also, I love the picture on the front.

Holly: What a cool job – to be in charge of deletions!  This VHS is, well, VHS for starters.  It’s also 16 years old, which in computer land is absolutely ancient.  It’s an easy weeder for your library!

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0 Responses to Getting Connected

  • Wouldn’t have this been outdated by the time Windows 95 came out?

  • It’s even funnier if you know what a 386 is (proving myself to be a nerd!). It’s not a “brand of PC” at all but an early model of Intel processor. Saying “brand of PC, like 386” is a bit like saying “make of car, like V4” (though maybe in this analogy “brand of horseless carriage, like steam-driven” would be better).

  • I know what a 386 is! I had one in college, and when my now-husband saw it, he laughed at me. (My dad’s theory was that if I had a really junky computer, no one would steal it.) That was in…1994 or so, I guess.

  • Ah, memories of the days of DOS commands and 386 computers. My first one was a 286 with monochrome monitor that ran on DOS, supported by a great dot matrix printer. This video does sound like it would have been helpful, back in the day. Love the “free trial membership” to PRODIGY, Compuserve and America OnLine.

  • DOS. ‘Nuff said.

  • ooo, it shows you how to “play games” and “fool around” on your new pc!

  • Use a Word Processor OR a text editor!!

  • Ah yes, DOS command strings. I remember them well.

    I love “Connect to the information highway.” I had PINE email! Anybody remember that?

  • I totally remember PINE! Made me crazy then. I had a 286, and thought I had died gone to heaven with my upgrade to the 386!

  • I had a 386 when it was the absolutely most smokin’ computer out there. A Leading Edge 386 with a HYOOGE 40 MB hard drive, and a screamin’ fast external 2400 baud modem. And I was totally hooked up to Prodigy, too.

    /Loom FTW!

  • I still have a 386. I have games that won’t run in a Windows XP environment, so I have a 386 set to dual boot to Window 95/DOS and a pre-GUI version of personal UNIX. The computer is so old that the CMOS battery is dead and not replaceable, so the number of sectors and platters in the hard drive is written on the case in indelible marker, so I can enter that information at start up.

  • 386? Is that with VGA or EVGA? Most of time when I messed around with DOS I kept getting “bad command or file name”, of which I understood nothing! Hey cool! The HELP screen is in that lovely blue colour that forebodes DOOM.

  • Now I feel really old because I not only know what a 386 is, I can remember what we used before that.

  • I’m sorry but if you don’t know what a 386 is, you probably shouldn’t be allowed weeding computer books, even if it is “old”. Do you people normally weed books out of ignorance? I fear for the future of libraries if books are tossed out because librarians don’t know the subject matter. Like the Amos Wilson book on child development – until I pointed out the author was African-American, all the preceding comments condemned the guy for being racist. Do some research people before you toss those titles out.

  • Back in the days when I worked in the Gas industry, we did amazing statistical modelling with 286 and 386 computers, and I even knew how to programme in DOS. In fact you had to be a bit smarter and understand what it was you wanted to do in order not to crash Lotus or the various stats packages available at the time. Ahh the days of elegant programming!! What worries me rather more about the video is what is Blake Carrington doing on the front cover? Surely the master of Dynasty had “people” to connect up his office computer?

  • I had a 486 SX as my first computer. One of my friends had a DX and I was so jealous.

  • Poor Blake Carrington looks so confused…

  • My concern is this: if the user is as frazzled and confused as the cover model appears to be, what’s the likelihood he’ll be able to operate the VCR to watch this?

  • No one is saying that there aren’t places or collections where some of these books belong…research libraries, special collections…but there are some of them that just aren’t well suited to public library collections anymore. I don’t think they’re saying to just toss them in the trash, though.

  • I love how all these old computer books made using a computer seem like the most terrifying and stressful thing in the world. The people always looked anxious as hell, and they all had forbidding titles like “You bought a WHAT?” Oh noes not a dreaded computer omg how will u ever learn to use that horrible THING omg omg!!1!

  • “I had PINE email! Anybody remember that?”

    Yikes. I do. My college still had PINE in its computers up until a little less than ten years ago. I know it was still around in 2002 or 2003.

    For all those saying the cover guy resembles John Forsythe, I actually thought he looks more like Ted Knight from Mary Tyler Moore/Too Close for Comfort fame. My first thought was “What’s Henry Rush doing with an early 90s computer?”

    Also, i don’t quite understand Reader’s beef. This isn’t even a book, it’s a VHS. I DEFINATELY agree this is a weeder based on that alone. I had a patron come up to the Ref Desk at my libtrary and asked for me to look up a film for her. Turns out we had it and it was on VHS. Her remark to me upon learning this was something along the lines of “Gosh, I don’t even think I have a VCR.”

  • @didi this website is called Awful Library Books not Awful Library VHS.

  • From a historical standpoint, though, the year 1994 does not seem that long ago.

  • From a purely historical standpoint, 1994 doesn’t seem that long ago, but from a technology standpoint it was ages ago. A general rule of thumb with technology material in a library is to have items that are no older than ten years (five years, if possible). Though it would be wonderful if libraries could keep everything for nostalgia purposes, space wise, it’s just not possible. With topics like technology and medicine, they have to devote their space to current material that is going to be of most use to their patrons and find a new home for items like this video.