What is a fossil? In modern usage, a fossil represents the remains of past life on Earth. By analogy, a fossil computer represents the hardware and software remains of an extinct—that is, no longer manufactured—computing device. Computers have been part of libraries for decades, especially in the academic environment. But the beginning of the personal computer era ten to fifteen years ago also marked the beginning of computing for many public, school, and special libraries. These early desktop devices have been showing their age for years as new machines have appeared on the market with enlarged memory, increased processing power, and graphic interfaces.
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