Take the Scenic Route

Monday, May 30, 2005

Where can I get one?

OK, so some old internet jokes just never grow old. Kind of related to my prior CSI-bitching, those shows are so guilty of a lot of this stuff.

  • You never have to use the space-bar when typing long sentences.

  • Movie characters never make typing mistakes, even though what they type often doesn't show up on the monitor.

  • Advanced computers have easy-to-understand graphical interfaces.

  • Error messages make sense.

  • Computers beep randomly between keystrokes, when Enter is pressed, or when the screen changes.

  • Some computers slow down the output on the screen, so it doesn't go faster than can be read.

  • Really advanced computers produce the sound of a dot-matrix printer as characters scroll horizontally across the display.


And then the CSI-specific ones.
  • No matter how esoteric their requirements are, somebody has always designed a program to complete the task.

  • Further, unlike in science where the utility is a small buggy program[1] built in some obscure language, on CSI, they're bug-free, fast, and have imaculate user interfaces.

  • You can zoom in or out of a graphic image with no loss or change of resolution and detail (or in the case of CSI, the computer has an "enhance" function).


[1] I have nothing but the utmost respect for all the helpful people who have written such programs that have helped me with my work. However, very frequently it takes a good long time to re-format my data, and get the hang of the obscure switches for little things which invariably run in DOS, if at all.

7 Comments:

At Tue May 31, 10:26:00 AM GMT+12, Blogger noizy said...

ahhaha! all. so. true.

You can zoom in or out of a graphic image with no loss or change of resolution and detail (or in the case of CSI, the computer has an "enhance" function).

I must admit, I have been the guilty party behind this sort of imaginary OS design, when I designed the computer interfaces that got used on The Tribe (the kids TV show that used to be shot out at Avalon). All sorts of whizzy map interfaces, pseudo-game stuff, 'hacking' scenes, and the like. Oh yeah, and the slow input thing - that was a goody.

I always told myself that if they every asked me to do an 'enhance image' scene, I'd politely refuse, as even the most technologically illiterate teenager knows that sort of thing just doesn't really happen.

Naturally, they asked me to do exactly that within a month of me taking on the job. I politely accepted. Goddamn that evil money...

 
At Tue May 31, 12:26:00 PM GMT+12, Blogger MVC said...

What, you mean it's not possible to gain a positive id on a person by enhancing a grainy video image and washing it thru an advanced image reconstruction algorithm in less than an ad break. Damn you TV for lying to me again.
The thing I really love this that they have to create images of screens for shows because you can't film monitors.

 
At Tue May 31, 07:56:00 PM GMT+12, Anonymous Cleanie said...

computers in movies are great. there's this awesomely bad Steven Seagal movie/trailer that shows him at a computer - he hovers his hands over the keyboards, look of great concentration and concern on his face, sound of tapping ... no finger movement. i want one of those 'puters.

 
At Wed Jun 01, 11:35:00 AM GMT+12, Blogger noizy said...

// because you can't film monitors.

I assume that's if you're shooting on proper film?

You can shoot monitors onto digital/svhs/beta - you just need to synch the recording devices rate to that of the monitor (or something. I've seen it done, anyway).

 
At Wed Jun 01, 12:55:00 PM GMT+12, Blogger MVC said...

Yeah, proper film was what I meant.

 
At Wed Jun 01, 09:08:00 PM GMT+12, Blogger limegreen said...

My probable favourite of all time was, er, Jurassic Park, I think.

The young lass waltzes up, pronounces it to be a *nix setup, and then pops up this wonderful GUI, which from memory even had sort of drag and drop controls for the electric fence or some rubbish. You could click on the power supply icon and "drag" the electricity to a fence. Maybe I'm misremembering, but it makes a great story anyway.

Actually, one of my biggest grips at the moment is how crap some expensive commercial software is compared to some GNU stuff...

 
At Thu Jun 02, 10:04:00 AM GMT+12, Blogger noizy said...

there's this awesomely bad Steven Seagal movie/trailer that shows him at a computer - he hovers his hands over the keyboards, look of great concentration and concern on his face, sound of tapping

That's just the power of his Seagal's mind at work. Telekenetic typing.

 

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