Monday, September 18, 2006


I was recently chatting with my nephew about this and that via email and he mentioned that his professor had suggested they do their research the "old fashioned way" by which, apparently he meant without using the internet but by going to the library and looking things up in the card catalogue. (Do libraries still have card catalogues? Mine uses a Google search of an website that contains XML file entries for each book in the collection.)

Ah, I am glad to hear that he is enjoying his grad classes. I have often thought I might enjoy going to grad school but have never had the time to do so. I still want to do so some day but not if it means going back to the card catalog. My nephew confided that he hadn't used a card catalogue since he was in grade school and how it made him feel old.

GRADE SCHOOL! He last used them in Grade School?!?!? Now who feels old? I remember when my college installed its first computerized card catalogue. I preferred the card catalogue for the longest time because it was quicker than using the database that the library had! Hey, I even had to learn two filing systems that way (Dewey Decimal and Library of Congress!)

But to show what an old-timer I am, I remember the very day that I became jaded to technology. When I started with my company, we had a policy that if you didn't get your broadcast log for the next day and there was no way for you to produce it, we'd produce one for you in Memphis and ship it to you either by same-day air freight or by putting one of our staff on a plane to hand it to you at the airport.

One of the coolest things ever was the invention of the FAX machine! No more flying logs. Much later, we started sending them via email attached as PDF Files. A few years back, I was assisting a client who was down and had no log. I produced a PDF for them and asked what email address they wanted it sent to. They asked me to FAX it to them. I said that I was not sure that we had anything so antiquated as a FAX machine. It is amazing how quickly we become jaded! What will it be next? The microwave does not cook easily and quickly enough?

I hope that wherever you are today, you are having a great day and that you are not too jaded to enjoy it!

Don Bergquist - 18 September 2006 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK

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