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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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TV & Video of the Future!

tv and video cover

TV & Video
Electronic Revolution
Irvine
1983

Direct from the 1980s: cutting edge video and television. To give everyone some historical context, video cameras were just starting to become mainstream when this was published. When I got married in 1982, a cousin brought in a giant video camera to record our day. It was quite the discussion topic. Never saw the video result, but somewhere out there is a video tape of my wedding.

Evidently, this book is part of a set on technology. (See the back cover for other titles) This is still on the shelf of a few public libraries. I doubt that the parents of today’s youth remember this stuff.

Now everyone get off my lawn,

Mary

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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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