“Are microfilms the worst technology ever invented?” If it’s made out of plastic… …personally I am not against microchips, also (kind off) plastic.
Are microfilms the worst technology ever invented? The idea was to scan documents onto negatives, which could then be read with a machine that looks like a cross between something you’d find in a hair salon and something from the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. During my doctorate I spent 11 months using one of these machines for eight hours a day. I got pretty good at zooming through the reels to exactly the spot I wanted, guessing what order the poor soul who had created the microfilm had chosen to put the documents on.
But on this trip I was faced with one of the perversities of archival preservation. Rather than a vintage machine, I read the newspaper reports I ordered on a computer, hooked up to a negative scanner. It does not whizz through the roll of film as quickly as the old Captain Kirk. If I knock…
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