Re: Model Train Magazine Index web site

Tim O'Connor


Yep. I first encountered it at the NMRA convention in Denver in 1991. A man was selling searches from
the database - some amount of money per page! Funny when you think about it. Then he sold floppy disks
with the database for early PC models (MS-DOS, remember that?) and for a fee you could subscribe to
the updates. I did that for a while too. I think index books were printed as well.

But, like I said, utterly obsolete technology, and often less useful than a Google search. I keep my own
database of hundreds of text files built up over the past 30 years but I've greatly slacked off since so much
information is redundant or has been supplanted with new publications (RP Cyc) or Excel spreadsheets,
etc. I only rarely encounter a question that can't be answered quickly nowadays.


On 1/6/2019 8:15 PM, Dennis Storzek wrote:
On Sun, Jan 6, 2019 at 11:34 AM, Tim O'Connor wrote:
The problem with the index is that it uses 50 year old technology, and the world has moved on.
The Model Train Magazine Index was the creation of one man, Jeff Scherb IIRC, who's job had him doing a lot of flying. The database was literally built on airplanes. Jeff would read the articles and assign keywords to each. The index search function would search for the entered keywords. At least, this is what Jeff told me the year we hosted the index on

Like all labors of love, it eventually became a chore, and Jeff sold the index to Kalmbach, who felt it would be a traffic builder for their newly launched I'm not sure if Kalmbach realized how much work keeping the index current was going to be, and I have no idea who now gets stuck assigning the keywords, but that is likely the root of the inconsistent search results. Other issues, like pages not loading, are likely an indication of how much interest they currently have in it.

Dennis Storzek

Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts

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