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Design Books Can Get Old Real Quick

Design Books Can Get Old Real Quick

Mike Lenhart

I was looking through some of my old textbooks that I used at the onset of the new Millenium and had a chuckle on how old and outdated much of the information already is. We’ve come a long way in the areas of the Internet. We’ve also had many changes in the software and other applications in how we design.

Some of the Books

One of the books I have is simply called, “The Internet”. It’s a funny book that tells us about browser basics and how to search the Web, for example. If we don’t know these things by now, we’re in serious trouble. Maybe my Mom or Grandma can use this. There’s also some relatively helpful information on “FTP and Downloading Programs and Data”. Although out-of-date, some of the information is still useful. The “Advanced Email Topics” section is kind of funny as it talks about LISTSERVs and Majordomo and subscribing to a mailing list. Boy, have things changed since this book was published in 1999. 1999?! Another book I have is called “The Dictionary of Multimedia”. This book has a lot of outdated terms, such as “laser disc” and “NeXTstep”, but there are still some timeless terms contained therein.

I also have a textbook called “Multimedia – Making It Work”. Published in 1998, this book has some interesting, and outdated information as well as really funny-looking examples of sound and video applications.

What to Do

It’s funny how quickly times have changed in our few short years of life on the ‘Net. As designers, it’s not only important to know the history, it’s also a needed thing to keep up with the changes and updates going on out there. Hopefully, the books that you’re using for reference are the current ones. If not, you can always go on the Web and search for the most current information that’s useful to you. Be careful not to get caught up in the ads and pitches that ask you to buy the latest-and-greatest software and gizmos. Most times, we don’t need these anyway. In my opinion, it’s good to have a current, and useful, reference book library on which you don’t have to spend a lot of money. You can get used books on Amazon and Half.com and keep your library, and mind, full of the latest information. If not, remember your local library – it’s free!


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