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Bytes vs Bites

computer diet cover

The Computer Diet
Antonetti
1973

Now it is time for some high tech dieting! Our author has compiled a bunch of data, along with some fancy “programming” to help you in your quest for weight loss. The book is essentially pages and pages of weight loss tables calculating the days needed at a certain calorie level for desired number of pound to lose. Bottom line: this diet is calorie counting.

Why this diet book is different? It uses math and words like “thermodynamics” and is written by an engineer. I guess a computer diet sounds better than counting calories.

Mary

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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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