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Weathered OS

Because it’s easy to lose track of time when you’re sitting at your computer…
  (+28, -1)(+28, -1)(+28, -1)
(+28, -1)
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First, install a small weather station on the outside of your flat/apartment/house/cave, complete with anemometer, rain and temperature gauges, and a cheap camera to capture the general ambience of the light. Hook this up to your PC, and you’re good to go.

Call it Open Windows or something, but basically what then happens is that external conditions are mirrored by your operating system. All your icons are ray-trace rendered according to the prevailing light conditions, and cast shadows behind them depending on the season and the time of day. And if it’s raining outside: well, even if it’s only a light drizzle, your mouse pointer might skid a little and a fine mist of rain might obscure your screen slightly as it does your window. Hopefully you’ve got a touch-sensitive screen that you can wipe the virtual rain from – if not, you’ll have to drag a wee virtual cloth with your mouse about the screen until you’ve wiped a patch dry.

In the depths of winter all your desktop icons will huddle together in the center of the screen, shivering wildly, caked in snow and slowly turning blue. If it’s windy out, you’ll have to struggle with your pointer to get it to where you want it to click, fighting frantically against a strong virtual wind.

Not an OS that’s going to increase productivity in any way – but wait. Here’s the real point. Every time you send an email to someone, along with your message, your weather station data is also sent. My wee brother is about to emigrate to Australia in a few months, and we’ll probably communicate through email most of the time – I’m imagining opening an email from him in the midst of a Scottish winter and my whole OS suddenly being flooded with antipodean sunshine. Not that I know any Icelandic Eskimos, but it would certainly put their words in context if I had to chip away at the ice around their email with my mouse pointer to open it, and then battle said mouse against the resulting howling desktop gales.

USB powered heat lamps/refrigeration units are optional.

lostdog, Jun 20 2005

Iceland FAQ http://www.icelandt...tboard.com/faq.html
Vikings and Irish slaves but no Eskimos [FarmerJohn, Jun 20 2005]

Time-sensitive 3D shading Time-sensitive_203D_20shading
Related idea by yours truly [krelnik, Jun 22 2005]

Reflection of Daylight http://www.donelles...oftware/reflection/
Freeware OS X application to change your wallpaper based on the time of day. Sunny desktop at noon, darkness at night. [waxpancake, Jun 23 2005]

[link]






       Little wake vees trailing your cursor as it is moved.
bristolz, Jun 20 2005
  

       My OS already gets tired and cranky over time.
not_only_but_also, Jun 20 2005
  

       I live in Oklahoma. Does this mean that from time to time all of my desktop icons, decorations, toolbars, applications, etc will get blown away by a tornado type thingy? If so, bone for you. Too much trouble to rebuild.
Noexit, Jun 20 2005
  

       Can I build a virtual bonfire on my screen in the winter, to keep the icons warm? How about some virtual Rain-X to keep the screen clear in a storm?   

       Sounds completely useless, but entertainingly whimsical. [+]
Freefall, Jun 20 2005
  

       I really like that. ++   

       It's doubtful that any place has Eskimos, usually one will find Inuit and Yupik living in their place.
sartep, Jun 21 2005
  

       What did they do with the Eskimos?
lostdog, Jun 21 2005
  

       I like this a lot. I'd like the email sender's weather conditions to be contained within the window for the email itself. Move the mouse within the boundaries of the window and it acts different.
Etymon, Jun 21 2005
  

       Wonderfully useless [+]
Soterios, Jun 22 2005
  

       Hell's bells, lostdog, don't you live in Scotland?   

       Perhaps to avoid getting SAD from your desktop, the Weathered OS: Scotland Edition could run the inverse-to-the-outside skin, so you feel cheered in winter and persuaded to go outside into the sunshine during the three day summer.
calum, Jun 23 2005
  

       Maybe St Bernard dogs could search for the icons after particularly heavy snowfalls?
david_scothern, Jun 23 2005
  

       Very well baked thought.... It would be interesting to have your computer act in different ways according to weather, and the email idea is an exellent idea as well. I'm for. But Microsoft won't listen most likely.
Quadrax, Jun 24 2005
  

       My cousin lives in Washington state, where she says it's "permanently on the rinse cycle" ... who wants a screen that rains all the time?
Garboon, Jun 24 2005
  
      
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