In 1986 I lived in Charlotte, NC and was working for a tax law report publishing company. The subscription was comprised of 18 4" ring binders that required a staff person to insert and remove pages every week. I would often go into client's offices and see stacks of updates a foot or more high. This whole new electronic, digital data thing was silly because only the really big firms could afford the equipment to use it. But it was really cool because you could enter a term and get some results. Problem was that it was usually in the thousands and most of it was useless for what you were trying to do.
11:10 am April 8, 2011
What has changed about those sorts of searches since 1986, i wonder? Better algorithms? People learning how to search using boolean terms (and, or, not, "")?