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24 InformationToday November 2008 www.infotoday.com Retrospective: 25 Years Ago in Information Today S 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
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