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Crying Computer

Learn to love your PC.
  (+4, -1)
(+4, -1)
  [vote for,

A computer programme which would monitor how slowly my PC was performing routines, and how much memory was being used up.

As the amount of free memory declined, my computer would start to complain, in a friendly way. A series of <small> audio files would be fired off, occasionally groaning and sighing, maybe using a cute childish voice to say things like "I'm getting very tired" or, "please, pleeease close dreamweaver before you open photoshop... I'm doing my best".

Eventually, my little PC pal would start whimpering, if I was cruel enough to carry on running too many programmes at once. If the blue screen of death appeared, I would feel a bit guilty rather than a lot angry. Also, I'd have had plenty of warning so I really shouldn't lose much work anymore.

Most importantly, if you're going to project a personality on an inanimate object, it would be nice to love it rather than hating it.

Fishrat, Jan 17 2004

Kismet site http://www.ai.mit.e...sociable/media.html
[theircompetitor, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Crying http://www.lyricsfr...orbison/118978.html
... over you. [Amos Kito, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]


jonthegeologist, Jan 17 2004

       Nice idea [Fishy]. I'd prefer a stern female German voice. I'm sure this probably exists already though.
silverstormer, Jan 17 2004

       Zis can be arranged...
Fishrat, Jan 17 2004

       I have googled this and can't find anything close, so I take back my probably baked remark. Dis ist gud yah?
silverstormer, Jan 17 2004

       <pragmatic git>How much memory would opening up wav files take?
RayfordSteele, Jan 17 2004

       Fishrat: It's ok to love your PC, just don't LOVE your PC.   

       See Kismet link
theircompetitor, Jan 17 2004

[Dave] [I can not allow you to open another program Dave]

       [RayfordSteele] I did worry about that, hence the <small> audio files. Imagine if opening the file was the straw which broke the camel's OS. Oooh, the irony!

       [silver, 2fries et al] I'm wondering from your posts whether a language pack might be a good idea? I like the cute version, but it could incorporate "Eastern European Dominatrix" or "Dave" or maybe even Scottie; "She's no got much poo'er left, cap'ain... starfleet ne'er designer her fer this!"
Fishrat, Jan 17 2004

       You can have a separate device that monitors PC activity, with its own sound files. Then it could mourn when the computer is dead.
I'd also like to have it send a sympathy card by e-mail.
Amos Kito, Jan 17 2004

       The Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner, if it manages to get itself stuck under a piece of furniture or something and cannot move, will start whimpering like a dog.
krelnik, Jan 17 2004

       Attempts to add cute features to PCs tend to meet with widespread user hostility and contempt (e.g. the Word paperclip and its numerous alternatives); I'm not convinced this would be any better received in actuality. It may sound cute now, but when you tried to open a new browser window and your PC started wailing and moaning you'd soon be shouting "I'll give you something to cry about" and switching back to the old-fashioned un-ostentatious interface.
kropotkin, Jan 17 2004

       I love it!! **computer voice** Your husband may love you, but he will not be happy if you crash his computer. You may want to close a few things.**computer voice**
babyhawk, Jan 17 2004

       //if you're going to project a personality on an inanimate object, it would be nice to love it rather than hating it.//   

       Unless you see as many computers needing repais as we do. Hate is the only emotion left! [+] - Very nice, [Fishrat]!
Letsbuildafort, Jan 17 2004

       [kropotkin], go for one of the add-ons then. How about a grumpy one which constatly berates you for choosing windows over another OS? The point is that you would have more empathy with your machines struggle to do it's best for you. [Amos] I'm liking your idea very much.
Fishrat, Jan 17 2004

       I wonder if we could add an interface that would ask you what mood you are in when you log on to your computer, and then picks a type of voice/message that would be the best with that type of mood.
babyhawk, Jan 17 2004

       Oh no, my computer has ground to halt timeslicing between photoshop and its demented sobbing.
st3f, Jan 17 2004

       [Humanbean] - better to listen to what your (no doubt beautiful) girlfriend is saying than to come home and find she's cleared you out, boiled your bunny, and torched your house. To me, this is the computer equivalent. Spot on, [tuska]. [babyhawk] - your interface sounds good to me.
Fishrat, Jan 17 2004

       Nice one, DJ Fish.   

       (From the background a plaintive voice pipes up - "Please Sir, can I have some more memory?")
lostdog, Jan 17 2004


Perhaps these emotional responses could be combined with an empathy seat, which would change its ergonomics on the fly based upon the computer’s performance.

For example, if memory reserves fell to dangerous levels, so too would the user as his chair screwed down, lower and lower, until he could no longer reach the keyboard. If the processor became overheated, it would send out a distress signal, and the chair seat would instantly overheat by the same amount.

Should the user ignore these warnings, recklessly opening too many applications, the computer would command his chair to roll backwards until it reached a frightening velocity, then abruptly swiveling half way round and hitting the brakes, sending him out an open window, or sprawling into an adjacent cubical.

If all else fails, the doomsday scenario: sharpened spikes hidden beneath the seat, spring loaded, held in abeyance only by the continued healthy functioning of the computer.

But, if the user behaved properly, deleting the burdensome SETI software, defragging on a regular basis, then he would be rewarded with gentle vibrations, accompanied by soothing music. A full surface scan of the disk would call forth sexual propositions and more vigorous vibrations, and perhaps even a singing telegram delivered by buxom courier.
ldischler, Jan 17 2004

       I'd rather mine didn't talk to me I'm afraid. It would just be too annoying.
RobertKidney, Jan 17 2004

       [ldischler] that is a really scary, that is taking this idea and running dangerously with it. :) yet, kudos for the inventiveness, even if it is kinda scary. ;)
babyhawk, Jan 17 2004

       Syrup pumps on top of the monitor will cause realistic "tears" to drip down when it "cries".
phundug, Jan 18 2004

       Maple syrup? Or Strawberry syrup for the "demonic mode?"
Letsbuildafort, Jan 18 2004

       -"Why? Why was i programmed to feel pain?" -"I'm afraid i can't let you do this dave, the risk is unacceptable."
whatastrangeperson, Jan 18 2004

       It sounds irritating, not to mention that it would use at least some of the very system resources it is there to complain about. But mostly I don't like it because it's not a very original idea, in that you're just talking about one aspect of a larger idea, that is a total AI computer, like HAL 9000 from 2001 only perhaps without the ability to plot your murder as a result of paranoid schizophrenia induced by conflicting programming.
Size_Mick, Jan 19 2004

       tsuka, I need your clothes, your weapon, and your unicycle... second thoughts, put your clothes back on, would ya? Saving the world is an interesting spin-off.
Fishrat, Jan 19 2004

       i love marvin the paranoid android!
benlevi7, Jan 20 2004

       [size_mick] //mostly I don't like it because it's not a very original idea in that you're just talking about one aspect of a larger idea// *Everything* is part of a larger idea. This post has nothing to do with AI. Firing off a couple of sound files as memory levels reach certain points doesn't really constitute intelligence. I hope.   

       Don't get hung up on the voice aspect - in a way this idea would work just as well if it changed the colour of your keyboard as memory levels because critical. It's just a more obvious warning system that you're on the verge of losing your hard work.
Fishrat, Jan 20 2004

       How about complaining in a Jewis Mother sort of style? "Why do you ignore my comments?", "Have you forgotten your PC?", etc. etc.
spekkie, Jan 20 2004

       "God forbid you should save once in a while..."   

       "Oy, gevalt, this half-bakery mishegoss again..."   

       "Vey'z mir, from this schmutz on your screen I shouldn't go blind..."
phundug, Jan 20 2004

       For those who don't like the 'cute' aspect - how about a sinister version, which occasionally gives an evil chortle, and bursts into manic laughter as your loss of an unsaved masterpiece becomes imminent? Most likely to be voiced by Christopher Lee.
Fishrat, Jan 21 2004

       if the computer had a female voice could you program it to have p.m.t. i mean once a month you could have **voice** oh god, why dont you appreciate me, you never listen, i mean do you even care about what i want**voice** or even if you were going to take it to the extreme you could have it so that every time a guy went on and was abusing their computer by opening too many applications it would wait till it was at a crucial piont in say writing up the minutes for your last meeting which have to be in tommorow(i.e. nearly finished)and just automatically shut down the computer and lose all of the work
slarti, Jan 21 2004


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