Technology Days of Yore

There was a time when connecting to the Internet involved a dial-up connection, the “handshake” noise when two modems would connect … and the telephone line would sound a busy signal to anyone dialing our number. All that almost seems like ancient computer and Internet history now.

Some other oldies from days gone by: FTP, IM chat, Gopher servers, Telnet, and USENET.

While they may not have entirely disappeared, new terms have surfaced, including:
webinar, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Web 2.0, Flickr, blogging, wi-fi, Broadband, DSL, social media, Chrome, Android, IOS, Web 2.0.  The list of  new terms is ever evolving.

And I use many of these “new” terms, gadgets, and applications in my genealogy research.  It’s not that the information I’m seeking has changed.  What is different is the process of the search.  In my opinion, that’s a good thing because new technology has aided the discovery process.

But the new comes with its own set of challenges.  Recently a gentleman asked our local genealogy society to help him recover his genealogy data files that had not been accessed since 1997!  With a lot of research (and a little bit of luck) we were able to extract the files and help him transfer it to an updated software program.  It appears his research is still intact.  The whole episode has been a reminder of the pace of change (and that print copies are only one form of a good backup).

In the not too distant future, the technology of today will be obsolete and new tools will be available.   Predicting what is to come would only be an exercise in futility.

But I still have a soft spot in my heart for that scratchy, high-pitched modem connecting sound that signaled my computer had connected to the Internet via the 2400 baud Hayes modem.   While that sound is available as a cell phone ringtone, my choice is to look to the future while still researching my ancestors.


About maryjlohr

Avid genealogist.
This entry was posted in Research, Technology. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Technology Days of Yore

  1. Mary Ann Black says:

    It’s all coming back to me now!!!!

  2. Karen Engesser says:

    How quickly we forget! It was ALL SO amazing back then, and now, already, we take the technological wonders for granted!

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