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How did you survive prior to the internet making information easy to find?

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e100:
I'm about to start an ESP32 project and today I saw someone on a forum mention that the GPIO pin toggle speed was way slower than the clock speed would suggest. I checked the ESP32 sitting on my desk and two minutes later I was looking at this post https://www.esp32.com/viewtopic.php?t=1595 which confirmed the behavior.

So how did you find out about this kind of stuff prior to internet making information searchable?


pcprogrammer:
Don't forget about datasheets that you could request from suppliers and electronics fairs to look around for new technology.

Or libraries with books for that matter or the popular electronics magazines.

RoGeorge:
At first, we survived with printed on paper info:  books, databooks (a book of datasheets), magazines.

I remember the whole floor used to be filled with all kinds of books and magazines, all opened at a given page or article that was related to whatever project was happening at the moment.  It was the equivalent of a web browsers with many open tabs.  ;D

That was not very efficient, so we invented the Internet.  :P

pcprogrammer:

--- Quote from: RoGeorge on June 19, 2022, 08:04:42 am ---I remember the whole floor used to be filled with all kinds of books and magazines, all opened at a given page or article that was related to whatever project was happening at the moment.  It was the equivalent of a web browsers with many open tabs.  ;D

That was not very efficient, so we invented the Internet.  :P

--- End quote ---

And a multiple monitor setup, so you can spread out the pages on your screens instead of having to swap between tabs :palm:

tggzzz:

--- Quote from: evb149 on June 19, 2022, 07:06:29 am ---Well before the internet was popular there were electronic bulletin board systems, or USENET / gopher if you did have internet access at work / school / whatever before the "web" was popular.

And of course "user groups", "clubs", "groups", etc. with people doing similar projects where one could ask.

--- End quote ---

That all came decades later.

Magazines, a few datasheets and application notes from companies sent by snailmail, books and textbooks, and in corporate settings "videos" on 16mm film.

With such little information available, the key skill was to repeatedly re-read anything you could get your hands on, in order to glean as much data as possible. That was valuable, since it encouraged thinking, and understanding of causes and consequences.

Today the opposite skill is required: rapidly determining what to ignore. There's vast amounts of superficial and inaccurate dross in people's blogs and yootoob vids.

Most videos are a waste of time: mere talking heads (much slower than reading), there are too many ums and ahs and you knows, and too much "I unboxed it plugged it in and it worked therefore it is good look at me and give me advertising revenue".

Go back and look at some of the corporate videos from before the 80s. They tend to be notably concise and information dense: they were carefully planned because creation, manufacturing, distribution and viewing were difficult. A good example is the Pace "Basic Soldering Lessons 1 - 9" videos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL926EC0F1F93C1837

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