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Computer 1950s/60s sci fi retroizing software

"Inputting hotel deals Monterey: Searching...beebeepboopboop" Search results complete"
  [vote for,

Computers in 1950s and 60s sci-fi had these great traits that never actually made it to reality. It would probably be pretty easy to make a background program that replicated these things on a modern computer.

They had psychedelic light shows playing on the screen at all times. Ok, that one made it to reality with screen savers I guess.

The made random beeping noises to show they were "computing".

You also knew they were computing because they said: "Computing" sometimes in a sexy android voice. (See link)

And in case you still were unsure if they were computing or not, they had a little lightshow of blinking lights matching the random beeping.

I'm thinking porn probably killed the talking computer though. Nobody wants to have the computer announce "Searching for jello wrestling nymphos" at work.

Great fun for the cyber hermit anyway.

Addendum: I'm adding — mouseposture's idea to this:

I've always found it annoying that computers don't use off switches, that you have to "shut them down" and confirm that you really want to log off every time.

So since you have to go through this routine anyway, instead of the screen showing: "Are you sure you want to log off" it should verbally say:

"Look Dave, I can see you're really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over."

You: "Hi, technical support? I'm having a problem with my computer. It says it's scared and starts singing "Daisy" every time I try to log off. Can I just pop the battery out or something?"

Thanks mouse. Good one.

BTW. Kubric's selection of "Daisy" as the song Hal sung while getting shut down wasn't arbitrary. See link.

doctorremulac3, Mar 24 2010

Retro computer voice http://www.soundsnap.com/node/94987
What it might say when you log on [doctorremulac3, Mar 24 2010]

Das Blinkenlights http://en.wikipedia.../wiki/Blinkenlights
[hippo, Mar 24 2010]

Android: "of the species." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android
The word derives from ανδρός, the genitive of the Greek ανήρ anēr, meaning "man", and the suffix -eides, used to mean "of the species; alike" (from eidos, "species"). [trixie, Mar 24 2010]

Barry White's groovy rocket design love bungalow Piston_20Rocket
But now, quiet. Too quiet. [bungston, Mar 24 2010]

Lion roar tuned down to simulate evil car revving it's engine http://www.youtube....watch?v=Tpfki48gszU
It's when the satellite flies by [doctorremulac3, Mar 26 2010]

Cardinal Richelieu http://www.youtube....watch?v=gldlyTjXk9A
A sort history lesson [doctorremulac3, Mar 26 2010]

Hal 9000's grandpa sings "Daisy" http://www.youtube....nBk&feature=related
The first computer to sing a song. [doctorremulac3, Mar 29 2010]


       Tickertape. Must have a tickertape printer. And one of those eyepiece thingies that Mr. Spock would look into.
RayfordSteele, Mar 24 2010

       //sexy android voice//   

       <pedant alert> Android means "looking like a man". Can anyone think of a good word for "sounding like a woman", which also implies a sci-fi context? If not, we must invent one.
pertinax, Mar 24 2010

       Are you suggesting that only women can be sexy?
pocmloc, Mar 24 2010


       Bip... bip... bip... deeeeee.   

       <extrudes bun from slot under monitor>
wagster, Mar 24 2010

       No I'm not. I'm just thinking that [doctorremulac3] wasn't thinking about sexy male voices in this instance. I may be wrong.
pertinax, Mar 24 2010

       //If not, we must invent one//   

       Come on, use your loaf. Andro- is from the Greek meaning male; Gyno- is from the Greek meaning female. The term you're looking for is Gynoid.
Jinbish, Mar 24 2010

       This would be dangerous: your PC woud emit smoke & flames when you fed it the Cretan Liar paradox or asked it ot define "love."
mouseposture, Mar 24 2010

       I have an old CDROM "Monty Pythons complete waste of time" which includes a keyboard Pythoniser. When installed, each keystroke caused a suitably comical sound effect (bong, fart, tweet, clatter, belch etc.) A simple extension of this principal could offer retro computer, HAL 9000, Surly and unhelpful computer (presumably ex civil service hardware) etc.
Twizz, Mar 24 2010

       //Gyno- is from the Greek meaning female. The term you're looking for is Gynoid.// So perhaps then a sexy female voice could be describe as "gynophonic" (which sounds like a 90's slang term for "good") or "venuphonic" combining "venustas" (attractiveness) with "phonic".
Postscript, Mar 24 2010

       [mp], ask it the exact value of pi, they hate that ....
8th of 7, Mar 24 2010

       re "Searching for jello wrestling nymphos at work." it has to be that way if it is to be interesting. It turns out that they are pretty mundane folks when not at work - doing laundry, at park with kids, standing in line at the DMV etc. Many have day jobs which are not especially interesting either so even the work qualifier is no guarantee.
bungston, Mar 24 2010

       I'm at work at this moment, and this site is the only hit on a search for "jello wrestling nymphos".
normzone, Mar 24 2010

       /[doctorremulac3] wasn't thinking about sexy male voices/   

       I was going to link up the Piston Rocket video to teach you a thing or two about sexy male voices, but the video is gone. Such a shame.
bungston, Mar 24 2010

       // Android means "looking like a man".// Surely androids are....androgynous?
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 24 2010

       You must be thinking of androgynoids, [MB]
pocmloc, Mar 24 2010

       /[doctorremulac3] wasn't thinking about sexy male voices/   

       True that on a couple of levels. The second being that there were no sexy male computers back then, only female, probably because guys primarily wrote the scripts to sci-fi movies.   

       Male computers didn't use contractions, (did not use contractions) and spoke in a monotone through a ring modulator. The also never had good news. It was always how many minutes till the hull buckles or some such.   

       And yes Rayford, hitting print would of course trigger the teletype sound.   

       You could also blow them up as 8th of 7 pointed out by doing things like making an illogical statement like: "I'm lying right now-compute whether or not I'm telling the truth."   

       Smoke generators and motors to make the thing shake and bounce around on the desktop when you ask it a difficult question might be a little much but having it repeat: "Does not compute! Does not compute!" would be doable.
doctorremulac3, Mar 24 2010

       //You must be thinking of androgynoids, [MB]//   

       I'm pretty sure you can get that treated.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 24 2010

       Yes, just rub the special ointment into the affected part(s).
8th of 7, Mar 25 2010

       Sadly I think this is just one of those things where glorious fantasy gets trumped by dull utilitarian reality.   

       Chatty computers reminding you that they're a computer every 5 seconds would probably get on your nerves after a while.   

       It's like video phones that we now have the technology for but don't use all that often. Neat in concept, but in reality it would be: "Oh, the phone's ringing, guess I need to put my pants on now." Put it another way, how would you like an invention that allowed somebody to stick their head in your window whenever they felt like it and say "Hey Doc! Hows it going! Heeey, no pants on eh?" Well, that's a video phone.   

       Looked cool while Kirk was using one though.
doctorremulac3, Mar 25 2010

       + love it!!! (That was first and original thought about pcs anyway- should be, would be, could be VERY Sci-Fi!!)
xandram, Mar 25 2010

       //Chatty computers...would probably get on your nerves after a while.//

Share & Enjoy!
DrBob, Mar 25 2010

       But it needs hardware too:   

       - main (flat-panel) display decked out as a spaceship window or viewscreen, background/screensaver a '50s style overlaying technique of land or starscape action in glorious black'n'white. (A complete collection of 'B' sci-fi movies is assumed)
- oscilloscope tube which, when it isn't displaying the computer-voice, is a command-line or simple-graphics display. Of course the screensaver is a slowly modulated sine wave or scrolling source-code or Matrix-code. Go go gadget vector-graphics.
- sadly the steampunk keyboard would be out of place, but any old Teletype or Selectric you have kicking around the garage should work just fine, and double as a text-printer.
- wire-grill speakers on the main box could operate as speakers. :D
- a pedestal tabletop microphone doubling as a mouse or joystick.
- "topload" CD drives with the flip lids replaced by clear plexiglass, tastefully countersunk into the main box (faux reel tapedrives)
Blinkenlights would be real status indicators (some would have to be software) but also have a "screensaver" mode.

       All mounted on/in an aircraft or submarine style grey metal desk.
FlyingToaster, Mar 25 2010

       // All mounted on/in an aircraft or submarine style grey metal desk //   

       There are many, many highly important industrial installations on your planet that still look like this, right down to the Bakelite meters and the chart recorders. Some are so retro that they look really stylish ...
8th of 7, Mar 25 2010

       how could I have forgotten the Bakelite!! And of course, VU meters for power-usage and temperature (possibly switchable to represent network bandwidth and CPU-usage). Can't think of a use for a chart recorder, though a plotter is a must.   

       [IT] given solid-state drives and viruses, clickety-clacks and whirrs might come in handy to represent high amounts of disk or outgoing network usage.
FlyingToaster, Mar 25 2010

       "wardrobe software malfunction"
FlyingToaster, Mar 25 2010

       possibly a white labcoat on a peg with a pair of (unfashionably) horn-rimmed glasses... and Brylcreem, *lots* of Brylcreem.
FlyingToaster, Mar 25 2010

       "possibly a white labcoat on a peg with a pair of (unfashionably) horn-rimmed glasses... and Brylcreem, *lots* of Brylcreem."   

       That's my look. In my fantasy world I'd be the go to guy to consult when the President needs to decide what we should do about the invading pod aliens from planet Bonermax 7. Of course the answer would always be: "I'm afraid we may have no choice but to use... (take off thick framed glasses for effect) ...nuclear force." (cue dramatic music and beautiful assistant fainting in my arms) And I'm holding a clipboard at all times. Even by the pool.   

       (Disclaimer: Doctor Remulac 3 does not condone the use of nuclear weapons for any other reason than to blow up pod aliens from Bonermax 7 and then only for pretend in a drive in movie)
doctorremulac3, Mar 25 2010

       Fembots. Female androids are Fembots.   

       PN N N N N n n n n n n n n nnnnnnnnnn...   

       I am a forensic detective in Miami and I can assure you, we have computers at the lab that do all of these things and more.
Cuit_au_Four, Mar 25 2010

       // I am a forensic detective in Miami //   

       Oooh, can you get us Horatio Caine's autograph ?
8th of 7, Mar 26 2010

       This could be a screensaver.
bungston, Mar 26 2010

<resisting the urge to design a desktop>
FlyingToaster, Mar 26 2010

       I volunteered at a museum built in the 70s, where they provided us with white lab coats when working with the public.   

       A guy came in to volunteer with thickly greased hair, and the lab director made him wash it out, because "too many people think we're robots that were installed when they made the lab already. We can't have you totally looking the part, now can we?"
ye_river_xiv, Mar 26 2010

       True labcoat story:   

       I needed a recording of a lion roaring (why is un-important to the story) so me and two partners went to the zoo with our recording gear wearing labcoats. We told the front desk we were from National Geographic. Yes, we lied, but it was for the sake of art.   

       Nobody thought to ask why National Geographic had labs, much less official coats to wear in them.   

       They even gave us an escort, we got our lion sounds and I learned that people tend to trust people in lab coats.   

       I tend to distrust people wearing labcoats outside of a lab myself but that's just my suspicious nature.
doctorremulac3, Mar 26 2010

       //I needed a recording of a lion roaring (why is un-important to the story) //
It may be unimportant, but we'd still like to hear it. Do you work for MGM?
coprocephalous, Mar 26 2010

       [doctor] Nowdays, people who wear high-visibility coats are trusted. There ahave been several high-profile robberies carried out by people wearing high-visibility clothing. It works because if you wear this you look like you're supposed to be there, doing something unusual.
hippo, Mar 26 2010

       //ahave been several high-profile robberies //
Difficult to keep a low profile in a hi-viz jacket.
coprocephalous, Mar 26 2010

       - but it is! - That's the point: If you see someone in a hi-vis jacket you ignore them but subconsciously assess them as probably doing something useful and maintenance or security related.
hippo, Mar 26 2010

       "//I needed a recording of a lion roaring (why is un- important to the story) // It may be unimportant, but we'd still like to hear it."   

       I used to make my living in the music biz and one song I wrote began with car starting. The car in the story was driven around by the devil (although I never come out and say it, it's implied) causing all who saw it to want one so bad they abandon all morals to get the money to buy one and turn evil and nasty.   

       We played heavy metal back then and sang about the devil a lot. Not sure why, it was just in the heavy metal musicians handbook. Probably just to piss people off and get negative attention. Anyway, I mixed a lion's roar, thunder and a couple of other sounds together to get the effect I wanted.   

       Against my better judgement I'll post a link so you can hear it. It's during the drum intro and you kind of need big speakers to get the full effect. When it's turned up with a big sound system it really does make the room shake.   

       Come to think of it, maybe it was Cardinal Richelieu driving that car.
doctorremulac3, Mar 26 2010

       //you ignore them but subconsciously assess them as probably doing something useful //
OK, I see what you're saying. A bit like the postman in the Father Brown story.
coprocephalous, Mar 26 2010

       I love some of the earlier Father Brown mysteries. The later ones, not so much.
RayfordSteele, Mar 26 2010

       No cookoo clocks. Back in those days, from time to time we'd go on "sound safaris" record various noises around town, take them back to the studio and run them through various sound processing gear. Sometimes it was great, sometimes it was noise.   

       Beat working for a living.
doctorremulac3, Mar 26 2010

       //The term you're looking for is Gynoid.//   

       Erm, no; that still means "looking like a woman" (or it would, if it were "Gynecoid"). What we're after is "sounding like a woman", remember?
pertinax, Mar 27 2010

nineteenthly, Mar 27 2010

       //Gynephonic// miaow ?
FlyingToaster, Mar 27 2010

       //Pod bay door// Of course, it should sing "Daisy" when powered down.   

       Years ago I wrote a piece of softwhare which took a while to crunch its numbers. To confirm that it hadn't hung, I had it print "Just a mintue...just a minute..." every so often.
mouseposture, Mar 29 2010


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