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Do you remember the time before the internet?

Do you remember the time before the internet?


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That's the reason Ohio invested in making it easy to borrow from other libraries within the state. It certainly isn't possible to find every book at even the largest city library, but if you add up all the local and university libraries in the state, the coverage is pretty broad.

I'm sure exceptions can be found, but it still adds up to a significant cost savings versus having to buy every book that you plan to read.
I defy you to find my fanzine collection on Kindle. Parts of it are available on fanfic sites or other fan sites, but some of it is actually forbidden to be posted online (Marion Zimmer Bradley's estate said so, but screw them; the fanfic sites don't police the Darkover stories that are in non-English languages and they haven't bothered with the English ones either, in recent years).


Sounds like an impressive collection! Mine is limited by moving too frequently to want to accumulate many more.
I've moved a lot in the past 15 years, and most of my books went with me every single time. Yes, they're heavy, and yes, it's a pain to pack them. But I need my library, both for reading and research, but also for my mental health. I don't feel comfortable in a place that doesn't have abundant reading material. Even my current bedtime reading consists of a choice between a Doctor Who fanzine and an anthology of alt-history stories. I also have a notebook and pens handy in case an idea for one of my own stories or filksongs occurs to me and I need to write it down in a hurry.

There are books in Lolcat? Klingon does not surprise me, but Lolcat does!
The Cheezburger site used to sell collections of captioned lolpic books and calendars. Not to mention that you could at one time buy the Lolcat Bible (the bible was translated into Lolcat). It's available free online, though I think you have to use the Internet Archive now to find it. If memory serves, someone started a Lolcat Shakespeare project, as well.

I can just imagine Hamlet's most famous soliloquy: "2 naps or nawt 2 naps... dats a reely gud kweschun..."

Someone translated the Star Trek episode "The Trouble With Tribbles" into Lolcat, complete with screenshots and even lolcat commercials. Imagine an episode of Star Trek with everyone speaking in Impact... :lol:


Another side benefit of the Internet and the switch towards e-books, I've found it's much more likely that I can renew a book than it used to be, and I can do it from home. Which in turn has increased my positive disposition towards libraries, as you are right, it was always annoying to be partway through a book and be at the really good part and then have to return it.

The e-books with a waitlist don't have that benefit.
The nice thing about owning the book is that you never have to worry about renewing it. There are some books that take me a day or so to read. Some take a couple of days to a week. The big ones might take a month. That Antony & Cleopatra one took several months.

I have a copy of Armageddon 2419, a Buck Rogers novel, that I started reading sometime around 1978 or so. I haven't finished it yet.
 
The internet without social media would have probably been nicer, but given who we are, unlikely.
I suspect that it was inevitable that they'd develop in the first place.
 
I LOVE Zany Golf. And I know that some folks here have told me that it's available for PC, and I've honestly tried it. But it's not playable, and I can't figure out why.
I use the WinUAE emulator for playing Amiga games on the PC. It is, I believe, free BUT it does require the Amiga kickstart ROMs which are not freely available. You can buy Amiga Forever which includes the emulator AND ROMs, but I don't know how much that costs these days (Edit: $19.95 apparently, in presumably US currency). Alternative sources for the ROMs may be available.
 
Thank you for offering. Money's tight these days, though, so it will have to wait.
 
I use the WinUAE emulator for playing Amiga games on the PC. It is, I believe, free BUT it does require the Amiga kickstart ROMs which are not freely available.
You mean you have to click "yes" when they ask you if you actually have an original Amiga at home ?
(and yes I do, still have my Amiga 1200 fully functional)

I've been using WinUAE for years and I don't remember having a problem getting the ROM. I'm not sure there even still is a holder for the copyright.
 
I was born in the late 1990s, so I have no memory of a pre-internet time. But I do remember having relatively little access to technology for the first decade of my life, and I think it was nice. I was obsessed with maps as a kid, so one of the few fun things I would do on the computer before 5th grade was look at Mapquest or Google Maps with my mom or dad looking over my shoulder. For school projects my parents would encourage me to get books from the library or use an encyclopedia, instead of looking stuff up online. By middle school, however, I started using the computer a lot more.
 
I was born in the late 1990s, so I have no memory of a pre-internet time. But I do remember having relatively little access to technology for the first decade of my life, and I think it was nice. I was obsessed with maps as a kid, so one of the few fun things I would do on the computer before 5th grade was look at Mapquest or Google Maps with my mom or dad looking over my shoulder. For school projects my parents would encourage me to get books from the library or use an encyclopedia, instead of looking stuff up online. By middle school, however, I started using the computer a lot more.

My mother's old school atlas was one of the books I was allowed to have in my crib (I had two teddy bears, a dog, a mouse, and a stack of books; I couldn't read yet, but the pictures in Bambi scared the hell out of me and I STILL haven't read it).
 
My mother's old school atlas was one of the books I was allowed to have in my crib (I had two teddy bears, a dog, a mouse, and a stack of books; I couldn't read yet, but the pictures in Bambi scared the hell out of me and I STILL haven't read it).

I would look at paper maps a lot too. When I was 8, I made a pretend map store in my mom's basement, where I would "offer my maps for sale" based on how valuable I thought they were. I also have a 2005 road atlas that is well marked. I remember learning about the interstate highway system, so I would draw lines over the interstates in the order I thought they should be built. My mom also had an older world atlas from the late 1980s that I liked to look at, but I didn't draw in it because it was originally hers.
 
I would look at paper maps a lot too. When I was 8, I made a pretend map store in my mom's basement, where I would "offer my maps for sale" based on how valuable I thought they were. I also have a 2005 road atlas that is well marked. I remember learning about the interstate highway system, so I would draw lines over the interstates in the order I thought they should be built. My mom also had an older world atlas from the late 1980s that I liked to look at, but I didn't draw in it because it was originally hers.

My mother's atlas dates from the 1950s, so there are a lot of countries and borders in it that no longer exist. I remember looking at a modern map a couple of days ago (computer game had a jigsaw puzzle component of a map of Africa) and not recognizing a few of the renamed countries.

Anyway, that whole map-as-bedtime-story stuff (I did eventually learn to read) got me interested in maps. There's a section of that atlas that explains the Sun, Moon, and Earth - axial tilt, seasons, etc.
 
I would look at paper maps a lot too. When I was 8, I made a pretend map store in my mom's basement, where I would "offer my maps for sale" based on how valuable I thought they were. I also have a 2005 road atlas that is well marked. I remember learning about the interstate highway system, so I would draw lines over the interstates in the order I thought they should be built. My mom also had an older world atlas from the late 1980s that I liked to look at, but I didn't draw in it because it was originally hers.

One of my clearest childhood memories is watching my dad and his driving partner study a big atlas, planning their route. I still keep an atlas in the car just in case, and study the map online so I have it in my head. That comes in handy: in Arizona I ran into an area without signal, but between my head and my trip book of printed segment maps, I knew how to proceed.
 
We get a lot of talk about smartphones and the dangers and what not, but do you remember what life was like before it?

I do. I can’t say it was any better or worse because I wouldn’t have foreseen the changes, so what was there was just there and I didn’t put a lot of thought into it.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of bulletin board systems, it was the age of playing outside for hours while your parents had no idea where you were, it was the epoch of not being reachable if you didn't want to be, it was the epoch of textmode interfaces & art, it was the season of the sysop breaking into a chat with you, it was the season of waiting four hours for one pornographic image to download pixel by pixel, it was the spring of "MOM PUT DOWN THE PHONE", it was the winter of BBS door games like legend of the red dragon and trade wars 2002.

To answer your questions a bit more specifically, yes, I remember. It's funny, because at the time it just felt normal. We were living in the modern world, with all the conveniences.. but only nerds played with digital social networks. This was back in the 1990s to be more specific, a decade+ or so before smartphones became a thing.. In my highschool some of us would meet in a so called "computer club". Out of those 2%, 25% of us called bulletin board systems on a regular basis, and maintained social relationships and social personas in a digital setting. The vast majority of people in civilized society did not do any of this. It was for weirdos and nerds.

Now the reverse is true. You are a weirdo if you don't carry around a little computer in your pocket and maintain a digital personality with social connections to those you consider your peers. Social requirements these days are not only completely backwards to what they were in the 90s, it's even more extreme. In the 90s anybody carrying around a computer on their body so that they can be connected 24/7 was considered a super extreme nerd.

Are things better now that everyone has become a huge nerd? In some ways yes. In other ways no. In most ways not much has really changed. We are all still somewhat intelligent apes easily distracted by ideals of sex, money, and power. It's just all expressed a bit differently.

I think it's also worth pointing out that today's social media and our general use of it and obsession over it does not fare well when analyzed by psychologists. I could be wrong but it seems that studies indicate that social media is generally bad for you.. Using it in moderation seems to be a good guideline to follow. Yet a lot of people seem addicted to it. It gives them a dopamine rush to see their posts liked and their egos stroked. What was once a promise of a healthy digital connection with the outside world seems to have isolated a lot of people instead, distracted from other realities of life by a never-ending newsfeed and the constant demand for more satisfaction.

In the 90s we had to deal with trolls and nobody ever got cancelled. You could post about an amazing cake you baked, and right away you would see sarcastic quips and jokes referencing your layering or fudge preparation. And sure enough there were a lot of amazing indepth conversations and debates as well, but it was a more sort of raw and "wild west" type experience. Nobody in your gym class was going to make fun of you because you were insulted in a forum on a warez BBS, your photos posted in an altered state. Nobody would know. I mean, occasionally there would be a jock/nerd hybrid around, somebody popular yet also drawn to the merits of the life of a nerd. This sort of person walked in two worlds, sort of like Liet Kynes from Dune. This sort of person was accepted by both jock and nerd. They existed but they were rare. Usually the goings-on on of your digital identity were completely insulated from what was happening in the real world though, that's the point.

Today it's all mixed and everybody is trying to be like Liet Kynes. Everybody is trying to be a popular nerd. Everything is the same but everything has changed.
 
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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of bulletin board systems, it was the age of playing outside for hours while your parents had no idea where you were, it was the epoch of not being reachable if you didn't want to be, it was the epoch of textmode interfaces & art, it was the season of the sysop breaking into a chat with you, it was the season of waiting four hours for one pornographic image to download pixel by pixel, it was the spring of "MOM PUT DOWN THE PHONE", it was the winter of BBS door games like legend of the red dragon and trade wars 2002.

To answer your questions a bit more specifically, yes, I remember. It's funny, because at the time it just felt normal. We were living in the modern world, with all the conveniences.. but only nerds played with digital social networks. This was back in the 1990s to be more specific, a decade+ or so before smartphones became a thing.. In my highschool some of us would meet in a so called "computer club". Out of those 2%, 25% of us called bulletin board systems on a regular basis, and maintained social relationships and social personas in a digital setting. The vast majority of people in civilized society did not do any of this. It was for weirdos and nerds.

Now the reverse is true. You are a weirdo if you don't carry around a little computer in your pocket and maintain a digital personality with social connections to those you consider your peers. Social requirements these days are not only completely backwards to what they were in the 90s, it's even more extreme. In the 90s anybody carrying around a computer on their body so that they can be connected 24/7 was considered a super extreme nerd.

Are things better now that everyone has become a huge nerd? In some ways yes. In other ways no. In most ways not much has really changed. We are all still somewhat intelligent apes easily distracted by ideals of sex, money, and power. It's just all expressed a bit differently.

I think it's also worth pointing out that today's social media and our general use of it and obsession over it does not fare well when analyzed by psychologists. I could be wrong but it seems that studies indicate that social media is generally bad for you.. Using it in moderation seems to be a good guideline to follow. Yet a lot of people seem addicted to it. It gives them a dopamine rush to see their posts liked and their egos stroked. What was once a promise of a healthy digital connection with the outside world seems to have isolated a lot of people instead, distracted from other realities of life by a never-ending newsfeed and the constant demand for more satisfaction.

In the 90s we had to deal with trolls and nobody ever got cancelled. You could post about an amazing cake you baked, and right away you would see sarcastic quips and jokes referencing your layering or fudge preparation. And sure enough there were a lot of amazing indepth conversations and debates as well, but it was a more sort of raw and "wild west" type experience. Nobody in your gym class was going to make fun of you because you were insulted in a forum on a warez BBS, your photos posted in an altered state. Nobody would know. I mean, occasionally there would be a jock/nerd hybrid around, somebody popular yet also drawn to the merits of the life of a nerd. This sort of person walked in two worlds, sort of like Liet Kynes from Dune. This sort of person was accepted by both jock and nerd. They existed but they were rare. Usually the goings-on on of your digital identity were completely insulated from what was happening in the real world though, that's the point.

Today it's all mixed and everybody is trying to be like Liet Kynes. Everybody is trying to be a popular nerd. Everything is the same but everything has changed.
2002 was still 2 years before I had internet at home. Prior to that, if I wanted to go online I had to do it either at the college library (spent time reading a really excellent prose adaptation of the Crow movie - that was the fandom I was into in the late '90s and early '00s) or at London Drugs, where they actually had a little sandwich counter and a few computers where you could rent time online. That's when I first made an account on a gaming forum (the one I will not name because I refuse to give them even that much public acknowledgment). That was when everything was brand new for me as far as an online life was concerned. That first gaming forum was almost like reliving how it was in the SCA when I created a new persona, with the exception of this one not needing to be historically accurate. I'm still in contact with a couple of people from back then - one of them got me into writing short stories and the other was my gateway into NaNoWriMo, and both of them encouraged me with both writing and Fuzzy Knights fandom.

The nice part of that first forum was that at last there were people I could talk to every day about science fiction, science, gaming, and creating stories, and not have to go to Calgary two weekends a year to do it. Being part of gaming and writing forums for me is like being at a science fiction convention every day, minus the authors - and if I want to chat with my favorite current Star Trek author, he posts frequently on TrekBBS (Greg Cox). I'm part of Robert Silverberg's email group, and he's an author I first met in the mid-'80s; in fact, one of his novels helped me figure out my SCA persona.

Of course before all that, before the internet, fandom was a fairly solitary thing most of the time. For over 10 years I had a routine where every Saturday, I'd head off on my rounds of the bookstores in town, hunting for specific authors and books in particular series, hoping that I'd either find something new or would find something old at the second hand stores that someone else didn't want anymore. Any new Star Trek novel was like treasure. I remember a time when I thought $3 was an exorbitant price for a new book, and grateful that my grandmother paid a small fortune for the hardcover edition of Cosmos for my Christmas present in 1980. That year I got Cosmos, my mother gave me a globe, and my mother's side of the family drew names. I got a plastic spaceship with 3 little robotic astronaut-type people that I've never been sure what they were, but one of them is still sitting on a shelf, next to one of my Fuzzy Knights bears. That year, when someone asked me what I got for Christmas, I told them, "The world, the universe, and a spaceship to fly around it in."


I must be one of the few SF fans who doesn't carry a computer/smart phone around with me. My phone is a landline and I keep it off the hook most of the time. I just don't want to be at the beck and call of an intrusive thing that most of the time is just someone wanting to sell me stuff I don't need, scam me, or want me to answer some survey that I don't care about. Email gives me the choice of when I want to deal with someone or something - sometimes it's right away, sometimes I want to think about it a little before answering, or find the answers to whatever someone's asking, or I might not want to deal with it at all.

There's a flip side, of course. Since "everyone" has a phone, the phone company removed the pay phones from the mall. So if I need a taxi or need to call the transit company, I need to get someone to do it for me. That's inconvenient.


Social media addiction... there was a really obnoxious woman in Medicine Hat who would scream at me on FB for replying to her comments when she was making supper. She never got it that I didn't care if she was making supper, eating supper, or doing something else. I told her that nothing I said was that important that she had to reply immediately or even ever, since it could wait for minutes, hours, days... she snarked that it wouldn't be "polite" to make people wait for her to reply, so I got the benefit of her "polite" all-caps screaming and ranting about HOW DARE I not respect my MLA, and anyway, since I don't have children I don't have any right to an opinion about education, etc. and so forth. I wonder if she's still screaming at people who don't love this MLA now that she's in charge of health, instead of education.

I will admit to being much more active on FB now than in previous years. I went over a dozen years doing nothing more than the occasional "happy birthday" exchange with a couple of friends... and then provincial politics happened, fake news and "alternative facts" happened, no longer getting the local newspaper happened, and groups happened. My social media now is divided among politics, writing groups, and a few months ago I was promoted to co-admin of a Fighting Fantasy group. Back in 1982 when I was the only person I knew who was into Fighting Fantasy, I never could have imagined not only being in contact with one or two other people who liked it, but many people on multiple continents.


One thing I have noticed about being online is that my attention span isn't as robust as it used to be. Even as recently as seven or eight years ago, I could happily spend an evening just reading a physical book. The TV would be off, the computer would be off, it was just me, a book, and a cat in my lap. Hours would pass, many chapters would be read, and I wouldn't have that irresistible urge to quickly cycle through the tabs that are always open (CFC, TrekBBS, FB, a couple of other forums, a bunch of fanfic stories I'm reading, several stories I'm writing... my attention span is awful now.


The thing about Liet-Kynes is that yes, he had a foot in two worlds. But he was also privileged to be able to do so. I know Dune is something that's on your mind a lot lately, but the fact is that no woman would have Liet-Kynes' advantages (I don't accept Villeneuve's interpretation of that character).
 
You mean you have to click "yes" when they ask you if you actually have an original Amiga at home ?
(and yes I do, still have my Amiga 1200 fully functional)

I've been using WinUAE for years and I don't remember having a problem getting the ROM. I'm not sure there even still is a holder for the copyright.
Well as far as I'm aware the emulator doesn't come with the ROMs.
 
I was speaking about finding ROM online, where the only check is just a pop-up question.
Well I can't comment on that. As far I'm aware there isn't one specific place where they are hosted so what checks you have to pass will probably vary. I'm pretty sure they're still copyrighted by someone though. Possibly Cloanto.
 
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