I was an early adopter of what were once called “online information retrieval” services, which (back in the 1980s) were powerful tools for accessing databases on distant servers. These are less in the public consciousness now, of course, with Google and other search engines giving the illusion of access to all information, but structured data…

Read More

Before taking off on the bicycle in 1983, I had a little business called the Information Institute (a bit grandiose). I was mostly doing freelance engineering and tech writing, but was also an information broker, leveraging my familiarity with the DIALOG system to do research for clients. At the time of this article, four years…

Read More

This piece was scanned and added to the archive in 2018, over 35 years after it was written. The contrast is breathtaking, with the article explaining how to use dollar-a-minute online searching tools (1982 dollars!) to hunt for bibliographic results, patents, and other limited text-only resources. Google was unimaginable back then… by Steven K. RobertsWords’WorthEDN —…

Read More