So I'm reading through the Tab Electronics Guide to Understanding Electricity and Electronics, and I'm literally at the first few pages of the introduction and he mentions electronics databooks.
The author describes them as such:
The manufacturers and distributors of electronic components publish data books, containing cross-referencing information and individual component specifications. A few examples of such books are NTE Semiconductors, The GE Semiconductor Replacement Guide, and SK Replacement Cross-Reference Dictionary.
Your first project in the field of electronics is to obtain all all of the electronics data books that you can get your hands on ... They are that essential.
After reading the whole section on this (about ~3 pages), I still don't really understand what they are, and why / if I need them.
Also, this book has a 2000 copyright... has anything changed (e.g., have these things gotten digitized and become free?)