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Old 06-12-2006, 01:21 PM   #1
Richard Waller
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Default Life before Google

What did we do before Google. When reading online or offline I keep coming across references which are new to me. I have a large dictionary, but it is always the other side of the room. Google always produces a reference, sometimes with pictures, or more usually in en.wikipedia.org

   
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Old 06-12-2006, 02:47 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Waller
What did we do before Google.
To find stuff? Altavista - and sometimes Lycos and Excite (life after Google includes MSN which is increasingly useful where link popularity isn't as important as content: I use it fairly regularly now). And before Altavista ... there was Gopher; even Gopher by email. And that still exists and you can still find specialized clients for it (though some browsers have support for the protocol, too).

I still miss Altavista - at least that had case sensitivity (the lack of which sometimes makes Google less than useful) and a NEAR operator which was very useful for refined searches. But that great user functionality didn't help when they (rather suddenly) seriously lagged in actually indexing sites. It's still only a shadow of its former self.

   
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Old 06-12-2006, 04:30 PM   #3
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Marjolein:

I still miss Altavista

Isn't it there any more? We tend to forget it, but it used to be the searcher's program of choice; and it didn't throw up 90% aadvertising either.

   
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Old 06-12-2006, 05:39 PM   #4
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I used a meta searcher software that submitted my requests to several search engines.
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Old 06-12-2006, 09:49 PM   #5
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I was actually using Google as a generic, rather like Hoover, meaning computer search. Yahoo was very useful, yet I seldom go there now. The joy of Google is that I have the search bar there all the time and save myself a click. Othere tools also have this feature of course.

   
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Old 06-12-2006, 10:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Rowley
Isn't it there any more? We tend to forget it, but it used to be the searcher's program of choice; and it didn't throw up 90% aadvertising either.
It's still there - but like I indicated as a shadow of its former self. What I miss is the Altavista that was. It stopped being useful when it stopped indexing - a great UI doesn't help if there's no content to speak of - and hasn't caught up.

   
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Old 06-12-2006, 10:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Waller
I was actually using Google as a generic, rather like Hoover, meaning computer search. Yahoo was very useful, yet I seldom go there now. The joy of Google is that I have the search bar there all the time and save myself a click. Othere tools also have this feature of course.
In Mozilla the address bar is also the interface to Google - no toolbar needed and not of that tiny input field that Firefox has, either. I see a Google Homepage no more than a couple of days a year!

But before Googe searching was different and that's what I described in my reply. Before search engines and directories there was Gopher - essentially a distributed directory with its own protocol; and it existed before there even was a world-wide web. I used that a lot. Not many people now know that you could still go and find information on the Internet before there was a web...

   
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Old 06-12-2006, 10:26 PM   #8
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I know what you mean -- I also use Google as a generic term for a search engine. And I also frequently Google things that come up during the day. I use it as a dictionary/encyclopedia/trivia library. For instance, I'll be watching a movie and trying to remember something about one of the actors, or the director, or another movie. (That happens a lot, what with my own failing memory.)

I used to go crazy trying to retrieve information from my brain. I'd have to call friends and see if they could remember.

Now I've got Google.

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Old 06-12-2006, 11:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Waller
What did we do before Google.
If you mean 'before the Internet' then I used to ask the wife.

   
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Old 06-13-2006, 12:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
I used to go crazy trying to retrieve information from my brain. I'd have to call friends and see if they could remember.

Now I've got Google.
Isn't it great? When one gets to a certain age, one's personal hard drive really starts to slow down, lol. I'm not sure "googling" has ever let me down completely. There always seems to be some mention somewhere of even the most esoteric thing.

   
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