Hello Mr Chips cover

Why Did the Computer Cross the Road?

Hello, Mr. Chips! Computer Jokes and Riddles
By Ann Bishop
Published 1982

Submitter: Turns out computer joke books age about as well as any other kind of computer book. The content starts before the title page, with a picture of a computer carved from a literal apple, though I’d be hard pressed to identify it as a carving of a computer if it wasn’t captioned. There’s a nice Red Scare Era joke on page one, and later on a joke about computers driving cars that reads a little differently now that computers are driving cars. Also a joke about humans turning computers on—is that supposed to be literal, or did we put innuendo jokes in books for children 40 years ago? Shockingly, this book circulated as recently as 2016, which is also about when I became responsible for this collection. Honestly, I’m a little embarrassed it took that long for this book to come to my attention.

Computers in Society cover

The Computer Revolution

Computers in Society
7th Ed.
Schellenberg
1998

Submitter: Just when you think you have cleared out every out-of-date tech book in your collection, one shows up to flaunt its uselessness. Computer book from the last century? Off to the recycle bin.

Holly: I hate it when that happens! I’m sure half the URLs listed in the second image below don’t exist anymore (although I didn’t test them). I also like how the introduction talks about the “computer or information revolution” when we’re a few revolutions beyond that.

dangers on the internet

Internet tips for kids

Dangers on the Internet
Staying safe on-line
Rothman
2000

This is part of one of those series that tackle issues for teens. This book was just fine for the early 2000s. It was before Facebook and other social media, which presents its own kind of “danger.” This book really doesn’t address dangers, but more is about standards of behavior. It also assumes that the kids are low tech, which isn’t necessarily wrong for the time. This book is really not helpful anymore.

Christian Cyberspace Companioan

Christians in Cyberspace

Christian Cyberspace Companion: A Guide to the Internet and Christian Online Resources
Baker
1997

Submitter: I recently found this book in my local library collection. Even better my library has both editions.

Holly: I thought maybe this was one of those directories of Christian websites, but it is actually just a book for computer beginners. According to Google Books, “Beginners learn how to choose equipment and software, while experienced net surfers are provided with a glossary of cyberspace terms, the news of coming advances, and much more.” I’m not sure what advice there is for Christian computer beginners vs. any other beginner…anyone seen the insides of this book? Is it based on Bible lessons or something?? I don’t get it. It is wayyyyy to old to be useful to anyone of any faith.

Internet for Christians

Internet for Christians

Internet for Christians: Everything You Need to Start Cruising the Net Today
Schultze
1998

Evidently this book is the secret to a more sanitized Internet.

In actuality, it really is a guidebook for Christian oriented sites. Regardless, since this is about the Internet circa late 1990s, I think we can safely let this go.

These subject/group specific books were all the rage as people were starting to navigate the web. Now it seems ridiculous that one would use a book to guide them to certain sites. They would be out of date before they even went to a publisher.

Remember Actor’s Guide to the Internet? How about Internet after Hours? or as a companion book, Catholics on the Internet. I’d be curious to know how many sites have lasted over 20 years.

Go surf with God,

Mary

a new true book Internet

Proto Internet for Kids

Internet
Koehler
1995

When I plucked this out of a library collection, I started to laugh because the average little kid would have no idea what this book was about. This book was written for their parents.

The Internet was still a novelty to most people at the time of publication. Services like AOL, Prodigy, and Compuserve were the players in making the Internet accessible to the general public.

This is a nice snapshot of the early days of the Internet, but today’s kids aren’t really interested in digging into the Gopher servers.

I wonder whatever happened to my Compuserve address?

Mary