Libraries used to be the repository at which we kept our humanity, or thought we did. With the development of printing, information could grow, new things were deemed worth printing and keeping, and the rise of capitalism and the state created all kinds of new records for filing. After World War II, the crushing weight of this information met up with the latest military and mathematical technology developments and the computer was born. IBM ran with the concept and built machines good for more than repetitive mathematical calculations, developing massive systems for calculating, sorting, and storing information. The early systemsweren't much good for large datasets -they were too slow and lacked easy access to the information they had stored. The punch card and magnetic tape weren't adequate to the needs of data manipulation, though some companies made a try of it. The development of large disk arrays giving quick large-scale access to data in any order made it possible for information management to take the fore in computer organization. Large systems could process massive amounts of relatively static data easily, though updating information frequently caused problems. Nevertheless, as computing power and data storage grew, developers were able to create entirelynew structures for different kinds of data. They abandoned the old hierarchical structures and found new ways to work with data put together in a table. Databases took on new faces, reappearing as the spreadsheet, an advanced word processor, a desktop publishing system, or a CAD/CAM system. Now they're venturing into multimedia, bringing video and sound together in an interactive stew.

This file created with Hypertype 2.2 by Simon St.Laurent