Re technology.. some 22 years ago, I sat in a company that dealt with SGML and embraced XML, parsed library catalogues for CD-ROM use (and movie scripts that let you jump in frame precision to a specific portion of a tagged movie). Part of our service was called a "virtual shelf" that let you easily browse (data about) related books, grouped by your very own search criteria. That was super exciting
since not many public libraries in Germany had even moved beyond card catalogues.
Then, an experimental prototype software came along that worked with VRML (or similar.. 3D GL something) and let you zoom, turn, and observe from all mouse-able angles a belt-buckle from the Bronze Age. The specimen that researchers had dug up and that was too precious to touch, or let anyone but conservationists handle, had been through several MRT runs and was turned into coarse pixel-brick data, and some ML dialect made it accessible to everyone who'd bother to install a proprietary plugin for their IE5.5beta2. (A standalone version of the viewer was available IIRC.) Museums is where that belonged.
Today, any decent browser will do the same. Current CPUs have indeed moved beyond the 350MHz Pentiums of old we had. High-gloss fashion provides the exact same experience though, i.e. Guerlain with lipsticks
. The look and feel are very
similar, sans the inevitably more modern and pre-rendered graphics in near-infinite resolutions. Oh, and it is less rewarding somehow.
Those were the days.
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