My thanks to Roger Sanger, the copyright holder, for granting me
permission to host this article on my web site. To quote him, "I was looking
for a new home for DGP's 2300 AD articles, and naturally I picked the best fan
sites on the Web for that purpose. Kudos to Pentapod's World! Enjoy!"
- Kevin Clark
- January 24th, 2000.
Disclaimer required by Far Future Enterprises: This item is not authorized or endorsed by Far Future Enterprises ( FFE) and is used without permission. The item is for personal use only. Any use of FFE's copyrighted material or trademarks in this file should not be viewed as a challenge to those copyrights or trademarks. In addition, this item cannot be republished or distributed without the consent of the copyright owner ( DGP).
The modern personal library bears little resemblance to its historical predecessors. Those libraries frequently occupied large rooms, in many cases even buildings and complexes of buildings. Today's library is the size of a moderate sized travel case or large briefcase. On most models, the case swings open to reveal a screen and keyboard. Below the keyboard are usually 3-4 optical storage drives. The screen attached to the lid of the case is hinged at the top and latched at the bottom, allowing the screen to swing out to allow access to the optical disks stored behind it. Those disks are placed as needed in the non-index drives. One drive contains the index disk for the entire library.
As the library is a computer as well as a storage and retrieval unit, it is possible to do some extremely sophisticated searching for information. Almost any unit will have intrinsic paging, direct accessing, searching, and cross-referencing.
Late in the twentieth century, the beginnings of today's library technology were to be found, though primarily as computer peripherals. The full integration of these technologies had to wait until Earth had recovered from the aftermath of World War III. The full integration of computers and libraries for the private citizens did not take place until late in the twenty-first and early in the twenty-second centuries. Now, of course, such technology is in fairly common use even on the frontier worlds.
This widespread use has been a major factor in the spreading of knowledge and technology throughout explored space. It has also been of great use on the frontier worlds in making colonization of them possible.
In the process of colonization, it is rarely possible to accomplish the spread of knowledge and skills necessary to keep a planet self-supporting in its early days. The low expense and wide use of personal library technology has helped overcome this by providing the necessary knowledge, and instructions in using it, for given areas. In fact, one of the most popular packages is somewhat facetiously named "The Planet Owner's Operation Manual". In this package are instructions for constructing and using appropriate machinery for dealing with most of the problems met with in the early colonization of a planet, ranging from making soap, to building solar panels and computers, to maintaining a starship.
This is by no means the only package available for personal libraries. In fact, one company even puts out an up-to-the-current-date Interstellar Journal of Planetography ( formerly International and Interstellar Planetographic) with all back issues included, even those of its distant predecessors, the most popular of the pre-Twilight War planetography magazines of the 19th and 20th centuries. These personal libraries are extremely inexpensive for the capabilities that they have. The combined reader-computer averages Lv350 and disks cost around Lv10 each.
Size: 75 cm x 50 cm x 5 cm; Mass: 3 kg; Price: Lv350.
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