Retrospective: 25 Years Ago in Information Today by ProQuest


More Info
									 24       InformationToday
November 2008

      Retrospective: 25 Years Ago in Information Today
             canning the first few issues of In-        is otherwise full of value publishes             from Payne and yourself, which are                The new supplement contains
             formation Today has proved to be a         windbags like Horton and Roberts.                well-crafted. And, if you are not al-          information on 136 databases that
             true learning experience. It’s been        They somehow have reputations as                 ready planning to do so, please con-           became available in the past three
      an interesting lesson in how far technol-         being industry gurus, but I think                sider an annual index in the De-               months. This number, added to the
      ogy has come so quickly (relatively speak-        their greatest talent is to take a sub-          cember issue—I suspect there are               1878 databases covered in the fall
      ing, that is), how some companies have            ject which to IT’s readers is already            many readers like myself who use               1983 main issue of the Directory,
      endured the test of time and others have          trivial or obvious, and inflate it with          IT, not only as an ephemeral news              brings the total number of databases
      not, and even how a few familiar names            pointless gab and forced cleverness.             brief, but also as a permanent record          now online to 2,014.
      and faces have remained with us today.            I have endured Roberts through On-               of the online industry.                           “Numbers alone do not meas-
         For example, check out this letter to          line Today, Dowline, and now IT, and                                     Mick O’Leary           ure success,” noted Dr. Carlos A.
      the editor in the Letters section of the          if I see anything more about him and                                   Myersville, MD           Cuadra, president of Cuadra Asso-
      November/December 1984 issue:                     his recumbent bicycle, I may toss the                                                           ciates. “But, they are convincing
                                                        offending publication into the near-             Well said, Mick! Your candor and in-           indicators of the attractiveness of
         Trash the trivia                               est trashcan.                                 sights are just two of the reasons you be-        the online database business and
             Good Luck! I wish you that sin-                 Another piece which I felt was un-       came IT’s Database Review columnist.              of the entrepreneurial spirit that
         cerely because I would like to see IT          worthy of IT was Ferrarini’s article                                                            has been part of the online data-
         in business for a long time.As a data-         on software databases. The giddy,                                                               base industry since it began in the
         base searcher, consultant, writer, and         breathless style of a so-called “Cosmo
                                                                                                      We’ve Come a Long Way                             early 1970s.” …
         charter subscriber, I have come to             Girl” may be fine in that magazine,              And speaking of databases, what’s in              “The number of online databases
         depend on it, and have found useful            but I expect better from something I          a number? Well, check these numbers out           continues to grow at more than 35
         news and product announcements in              read.And I can’t credit her for a good        from the “Total Databases Top 2000” in the        percent a year,” Dr. Cuadra pointed
         nearly every issue. It is nice to be able      treatment of the topic; for compar-           April 1984 issue:                                 out. “Keeping up with the prolifer-
         to keep track of things without hav-           ison I have enclosed my piece which                                                             ation of databases is a challenge to
         ing to spend a couple of hundred dol-          appears in the current Datamation.                  The total number of databases               our research staff, but it is a very
         lars for an overrated database alert-               But perhaps these are only the              available from one or more of 300 on-          enjoyable challenge.”
         ing service.The company profiles are           growing pains of a new publication               line services worldwide has topped
         also informative and well done.                which is still building a body of con-           the 2,000 mark, according to the              Stay tuned for more excerpts in our
             Some of your regular contribu-             tributors (and I haven’t seen Roberts            recently-published winter 1984 sup-         next issue.
         tors, however, are another matter. It          in a recent issue). I expect I can look          plement to Cuadra Associates’ Di-
         is unfortunate that a magazine which           forward to more things like those                rectory of Online Databases.                                       —Barbara Brynko

                                                                                                      on the user’s part than other methods,         dia on that page to a true full-screen view

    Fall Firefox Fiesta                                                                               and by setting the icon to autoload the
                                                                                                      oldest item on the list, I find that I never
                                                                                                      leave something in the “to be read” file
To top