GCN at 25 | Site search, circa 1986

Have you ever stepped back and wondered how you got by without the Internet and, specifically, search engines such as Google? Here's one way: 'The GCN Index from December 1982 to December 1985.'

GCN 25th Anniversary logoPublished in July 1986, the 200-page book ' in a typeface only a dot-matrix printer could love ' lets you search through the first three years of GCN. You can search by name, company, technology, agency, policy or other topic, such as merit pay, procurement or health hazards. And in a separate section, you can search by author.

Once you get to your subject, your search yields (in 0.0 seconds!) the issue date, page number and headline for every story in which your search term is featured. Longtime government information technology watchers won't be surprised that longtime General Services Administration employee Frank McDonough's in there. IBM is all over the place, Microsoft got its first mention in March 1985, and an outfit called Safe-n-Sekure got its 15 minutes on April 26, 1985, Page 42. Computer security, as ever, was a constant topic, but the Internet got only two fleeting references. Of course, to find the stories, you needed all three years' worth of GCNs at your fingertips, but everybody had that, right? Even without copies of the issues at hand, it's still a pretty interesting stroll through the past. Plus, there are no pop-up ads.

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