I previously posted about Hal Draper’s delightful mathematical science-fiction story – the only one he ever wrote – about the challenges of storing and indexing data in ever smaller spaces, requiring ever-larger retrieval indices. But back in 1966, librarians were taking stock of their growing inventories of information, and turning to computers to lend a helping hand… uh, transistor.
1966. “To the rescue. Many librarians believe computers are the only means to effectively cope with their bulging bookshelves.” New York World-Telegram and Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection, Library of Congress. Found at Shorpy.
This photo was taken three years before I took my first FORTRAN class, on a Univac 1108. The advances I have seen in technology in my lifetime rival what my grandparents experienced moving from horse-and-buggy days to the advent of commercial jets, from radio to television. My smartphone has more processing power than the IBM 370/138 I worked on as a graduate student; I always wonder with white-hot curiosity what my grandchildren will be experiencing.
The Old Wolf has spoken.