Researching Books Before the Internet

Yes, there was a time when we lived in caves, ate rocks and didn’t have an internet. Well, DARPA did, but the first Internet message was sent in 1969 and the system went down after two letters, but hey, it was a start. So, yeah, I actually wrote about that first message in a book, Black Tuesday (Time Patrol) because it did happen on 29 Oct 1969.

But I digress, as I often do. It’s a mental condition. Literally. People have always said I was one step off and I am. Got the tests to prove. But again, I digress.

I bought the original 512K Mac. Loved that computer. Never crashed. Also had no hard drive. So to write a book, which I did, several of them, you have to put in the 3.5 diskette to load the word processing into the massive 512K, then take it out and load a disk for the book. Which had to be in separate documents by chapter because the program could only handle so much at a time. It was very temperamental.

Anywho. So I wrote book in this ancient times and to research it, I had to go to a thing call the Library. I spent most of my childhood in one so that was cool. I knew the Dewey Decimal system; still do. Knew how to look things up on microfiche.

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Since I started out, and currently am, in thrillers. I needed maps. Lots of maps. I needed to look up time zones and distances because lacking a transporter beam, my heroes and heroines had to get themselves places, usually distant places like Antarctica ( Eternity Base) and I had to measure and then check range of aircraft and speed and, well you get it.

Today, since my new Will Kane Green Beret series is set in 1977, I broke out one of my old atlases which I have lugged from house to house as we move, because that’s all they’ve got to work with as they try to figure out where exactly in Utah the bad guys are.

It brought back memories, and I believe I just wrote about them.

Hey- if you’re reading this and gotten this far, could you post a comment, even just “yep” because I’m not sure if comments are loading.

Thanks.

Originally published at https://bobmayer.com.

West Point grad; Special Ops Vet; NY Times bestseller of over 80 books; for free books and over 200 free downloadable slideshows go to www.bobmayer.com

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