Dennis G. Van Arsdale blogs here for the edification (and possibly amusement) of other librarians struggling to keep up with the latest technology despite the handicap of having been born in the twentieth century.


Dennis G. Van Arsdale,

Now retiring as Technical Services Librarian
Boreham Library, University of Arkansas – Fort Smith
at the end of May 2019.

The University and the Library are not responsible for the contents of this blog.

The header is done with Paint.Net and the Park avatar from SP-Studio.

Long, long ago the first PCs came out, then being called “microcomputers” to indicate that (a) they used a microprocessor chip for a CPU (brain), and (b) they were not “mainframes” or “big iron” like the big boxes that filled entire floors of banks and other computer-heavy companies.

And many companies built them, some starting in garages, for reasons we can only guess (“You drip any more hot solder on my clean carpet, you can just move out!”).

And many companies, who wanted to do things without an expensive purchase of a “mainframe” computer, waited for some great recognized company to come out with a microcomputer that could become a standard for business.

And finally IBM came out with the first PC businesses felt they might like.  Which didn’t even have a hard drive — just those removable floppy disks in paper envelopes.

And by the time IBM got hard drives and began making waves in the industry,  I had a multi-user system running on Radio Shack’s TRS-80s (big office ones, not the home version most people had) at a Regional library (with a hard drive), with stand-alone Model 4ps (using floppies) at many library branches.

And IBM and Radio Shack became too concerned with being proprietary, and Microsoft sold MS-DOS and later Windows all over the place, and “IBM-compatible” and TRS-80 computers became outdated, and “MS-DOS” (later evolving to “Windows”) computers became the standard for business.  So I moved to MS-DOS on a 80286 computer, and then to another library, and on to Windows 3.1, and on and on.

Geez, in computer terms, I’m really old…. but still going.

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