Will ‘Mad Men’ Be the New Steampunk?


Punch cards

For more than a few years, Steampunk has been a geek æsthetic that’s gained greater currency recently. Will it have to move over with the appearance of “Mad Men“?

Google Search is a thoroughly modern tool, having launched in 1997, but a new website is taking Internet users back in time for a vintage twist on the search engine.

Called “Google60,” the site enables visitors to search “Mad Men-style.” It features a 1960s aesthetic, complete with old-school punch cards.

via MashableGoogle Search ‘Mad Men’-Style Using Punch Cards.

I remember punch cards. We used them when I was an undergraduate. By the time I got to grad school there was one novelty machine behind the Help Desk. But more importantly, the terminal–based computing we did in SPSS resembling Fortran still behaved like punch cards. It was line-based programming and very intolerant of syntax errors. Jobs were submitted to queue and their results were received back.

By contrast, Steampunk offers creativity, whimsy, and even a little romance, just like today’s software environment. It’s hard to see “Mad Men” gaining currency except in contrast to the current era. What do you think?

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