I have often touted the Gear Technology archives as your ready source of reliable information. A recent question was resolved mid-conversation by the caller logging in and typing in a few key words. For all the problems the Internet causes, this instant information feature makes up for it.
This was not always so, of course. When I stated my career, circa 1971, if you needed product information you got a recent copy of a trade magazine, filled out a “bingo card,” mailed it in — and waited. Some firms had decent libraries of supplier catalogs, but the delays in the system tended to encourage always doing something the way it had always been done.
In its day the bingo card was quite the innovation. We youngsters used them to build our personal reference files; I still have a few of the catalogs and occasionally refer to them. The worldwide web is a constantly changing soup of websites and it may not be possible to find something today that you were sure you saw last week. Paper files are always there, although as you get older you may not remember where you put them.
The other day I saw a report of a mass effort to archive climate information before the new administration could delete it. Leaving politics aside, it points to this problem of “now you see it, now you don’t;” if there is something you use you may want to back it up. The decline of the newspaper industry and their online records has left more than one researcher empty handed.
Gear Technology is committed to building and maintaining the archive. Every issue is included and every article is searchable by keyword.
And — it’s free.
I still copy things to my files though. If the Internet gets completely hacked I want to be able to find my notes.