Thursday, February 28, 2008

Are computers really out to get us?

This week Brewster Rockit is doing a riff on the HAL-9000 computer from 2001: A Space Odyssey (click to enlarge).

And look: I found this repository of .wav files from the movie, including this one where HAL announces he's discovered the plan to disconnect him.

Scary stuff.

But I'm not really afraid: I don't think computers can take over the world -- not when they still freeze up when instructed to print envelopes 10 minutes before the last mail pickup of the day. Every single darn time.

Like yesterday, for instance. There was absolutely nothing I'd done wrong: I was plodding along methodically, finishing my typing, printing my letters, leaving just the envelopes. Not clicking randomly. Not fiddling with other programs. Just trying -- trying for once -- to get my work out the door and into the mail on time.

Somehow, though, something always goes wrong. Something crashes. A reset is necessary. Meanwhile, down in the building lobby, the postman comes... and goes.

You know, on reflection, maybe my computer is trying to kill me -- by elevating my blood pressure through the roof.

I asked my computer about that just now... and this is what it said.

Somehow, though, I'm not reassured....

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