70’s Database

The Australian Cultivar Registry Authority started in about ’66 as a list on a bit of paper. After a decade or so, it had grown into a database. Here’s a picture of a chunk of that data.

We just showed the young bloke. Why yes – back in the 70’s, this is what a database looked like. Either this, or a roomful of washtubs that could hold sometimes megabytes of data. And a database is what it indubitably is. It holds structured data – the cards have a consistent format – and is even indexed. Not a relational database, or even an electronic one, but database nonetheless.

But you can see why people get annoyed with interfaces that don’t let them annotate records, when they are used to this. In many ways, EDP is a step back in terms of flexibility and UI.

(bonus points for anyone who knows what EDP is)


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