Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ancient History. And Paleontology.

It all began with AskJeeves for me. I was young then and had just begun on the Wodehousian journey. So the search engine appealed to me, with its bright red letters proclaiming me to ASK, and an image of Jeeves, butler, beaming and standing tall in white and black.

There were many search engines that we used then that we don't any longer. Dogpile, Altavista, About etc etc. I could never get myself to use Yahoo!. The name was repugnant, and I wanted nothing to do with it.

Anyway, search queries were also entered in strange ways back then. In the olden times, when we were naive. A friend had said, AJ is so cool and user-friendly. If you want to ask a question, you actually do type a full question! And it gives you the answer.

I used to do that. Later I learnt the folly of my ways. Search engines only picked and used keywords. As long as you entered those, you could write all the prepositions and punctuations you wanted, and it wouldn't make any difference. Things got a bit colder that way.

But still, Google had arrived. And the rest of the search engines became history, as far as regular use was concerned atleast. I see Altavista and Dogpile still do function, so to say. But really, does anyone care?

After Google came Wikipedia. Everything seemed to change all over again. The two have now dominated the search engine field, as can be unanimously agreed upon by all net-users anywhere on the planet. A precious few do still use Yahoo though, out of loyalty or, well, something. I don't understand them.

My point is, search engine usage has now become a regular part of everyday life, for a lot of us. We use it to find movie show timings. We use to locate places on the map. We use it to find songs and ways to download them illegally. We use it to check up on food recipes. We use to find photographs of actresses and their navels. We use to verify if someone or something is of importance. Net presence, or your internet footprint, is a symbol of importance. You can't be really serious about anything unless you have a website to it.

Such is the dependence on search engines.

I don't know if you've asked yourself yet if all this has a purpose behind it. If I'm going somewhere with this. I'm not. I just found a picture of these online, and thought to share it.
They're called roasted pista. (Just in case.) I was munching on them just now, having rekindled fond memories upon finding this picture online.

The trouble with pista, as I see it, is that you have to go through some degree of trouble to get to the good part. You have to open the seals, and extricate the thing. Sometimes, they're too tightly enclosed and no amount of nail-wrenching can pull it apart. I don't like those. I just leave them behind in the container.

The second problem comes when you have to dispose all the left behind...seals. (What are they called??) You have to now have a second cup or a jar or a bin to throw them into. That equals more work. My solution is that I drop them back into the first jar. This way, the jar looks full always, which must surely be a symbol of positive influence to keep about the room at all times.

Also, as the jar empties of real pista, you have to dig your fingers into the jar and search for the ones left. You have to sift through the broken shells (Shells! That's the word.) and feel them between your fingers to reach the uneaten pista itself. I find it adds an element of fun and adventure, to an otherwise monotonous task.

1 comment:

smita said...

i too used ask jeeves as a kid :)and for a long time i believed that the other search engines wanted the users to use the so called 'cool lingo',indya not india,if u know what i mean..