Thursday, September 11, 2014

Early PC days at Drake

Back in the early '90s we didn't have all the computers we have now, and we didn't have the Internet in the same way. Pictured here is our first PC "cluster." The PCs were very primitive by today's standards, and were not connected to the Internet. Instead they ran one or more CD ROM databases. This set up was housed next to the center stairs on the main floor by the reference book stacks.

 One database we had for example was called Academic Abstracts that had articles from a small number of journals, and didn't cover many years at all. It wasn't until early 1996 that we had a PC or two on the floor connected to the Internet, which had just become enhanced by the advent of the WWW. Before that we had two "dumb terminals" to search the Internet; they connected to the Prime mainframe and you could search "Archie" or "Veronica," which were "gopher" index tools. It was early days indeed!

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