I is for Information

Hubby and I love to watch the kids roll their eyes whenever we start a sentence with “When I was a kid….” so I think I will dedicate this post to them, just for the fun of it.

Gathering information sure has changed. When I was a kid we couldn’t just turn on the computer or our iPhone and search Google. No sir. We had to work a lot harder.

I wonder if anyone under the age of 25 can tell me what these are:

These were the Google And Wikipedia  of my childhood. If you had to do a report for school about the rain forest or you needed to know the population of San Juan then you whipped out one of these babies. They are called encyclopedias. Say it with me…encyclopedias. If you were lucky, mom and dad had invested in your education by purchasing a set of these information pods. If not, you hauled yourself to the library and found a set in the “reference” section. That meant you could look at  them while you were in the library but you couldn’t check them out. I remember scribbling down as much information as I could before the library closed. Occasionally I would have to ask the librarian to make a photo copy of a page for me to take home but that cost money.

Here’s another one:

The card catalog and the exciting Dewey Decimal System. Each drawer contained a little GPS to the information you required. There was always a little box of scrap paper on top of the cabinet so you could write down all the numbers you needed. These days you can find card catalog cabinets in antique stores. Some people use them for sewing or craft supplies.

Here is my favorite:

The microfilm viewer. These babies were used to view information that the library didn’t have room to store in paper form. I remember using them to look up old newspaper articles that had been photographed and put on a long spool of film. You had to load the film and then crank the handle past various articles till you found the one you wanted. They always had a funny smell, kind of like my dad’s old super 8 movie camera.

So the next time my kids whine about how slow the Internet is or how the copier/scanner is low on ink, I’m going to pull up this post and say “When I was a kid…”. 😄

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5 responses to “I is for Information

  1. Wow, hard to believe younger people just don’t have a clue about these things, isn’t it? I trained a young girl at work last year who struggled to use the computer mouse, she kept wanting to swipe the screen, I’m actually grateful that I’ve had to use all manner of computers on the evolutionary scale through my working life!

    • That’s very true. It’s helpful to have been around before computers and touch screens, although sometimes I think my kids were born knowing how to use technology!

  2. The microfilm viewer! I used to love to pull up old newspapers, from the early 1900s, and look at the ads. And I wish I could get an old card catalog, that would be great.

    But I can’t believe we both mentioned them today on our blogs! There must be something in the air 🙂

  3. My daughter is 25 and I’m sure she has seen my set of encyclopedias at my mother’s house but as to what they are used for is beyond her. She would be shocked to know how many hours I poured over them and other books at the library. Thanks for the post, I might direct her over here for a real education!

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