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A comic, a game and two videos - Which is not unduly obvious, as I am about to explain
dronon
dronon
A comic, a game and two videos
Comic: The Abominable Charles Christopher is an odd, funny and sometimes very sad comic about... er... a confused Yeti in a forest, who is eventually put on a spiritual quest to help the forest fend off the encroachment of mankind. Several minor plot threads, with frequent jumping to and fro between them. Lots of talking animal critters abound, including a bird couple having a marital tiff, and viral marketing skunks. And great artwork. Worth reading from the start! Sadly it only comes out once a week. (And don't worry, he loses the pacifier.)

Game: The Majesty of Colors, in which you get to play a bizarre sea monster, or at least someone dreaming they're in the mind of a bizarre sea monster. Five possible endings, only one of them good. One is sad/tragic, and the remaining three are slight variations on each other in which you're at war with humanity. It's a very short game. You can click through the text.

Video one: The StarLost was a horrid Canadian science-fiction TV show made in the early 1970s, adapted from a script of Harlon Ellison's that was so badly mangled that Ellison wanted absolutely nothing more to do with it. You can read more about it here. One thing about it though - it had one of the most infuriating and annoying computer AI interfaces I've ever seen, something I can totally see happening in the future, which is why I chose this particular clip.

Video two: Pas de Deux, a beautiful NFB piece by Norman McLaren. I've posted about this before, but now the whole thing's available online. You may think, "Oh, so he's repeating images on the screen, so what?" - Well, this was done before computer technology was up to it. He combined the images frame by frame, *manually*. But be warned, this is slow. He builds it up deliberately slowly, doing very simple optical tricks at first, then introducing the second dancer, and then only going crazy with multi-images towards the end. If you have the patience and don't mind artsy stuff, it's worth the wait.

Current Mood: chipper chipper

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Comments
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 2nd, 2009 09:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Whenever someone approaches me, radiating "my computer doesn't work", I always say "Can I be of...assistance...?"
dronon From: dronon Date: February 2nd, 2009 06:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
(laughs) Oh, that's great. Now this would be an interesting meme to spread through the tech-support community. :)
From: oh6 Date: February 2nd, 2009 09:38 am (UTC) (Link)
I finally figured out how to watch those NFB films online, after becoming familiar with Firefox add-ons in the course of configuring it for some cockamamie online training course (in C++, which did actually teach me a few things, but ugh.) I remember Reg Hart presenting "Pas de Deux" as what the world looks like on LSD, but it's more like the world when you're incredibly tired but too hopped up on caffeine to sleep.

Going from 2001: A Space Odyssey to The Starlost must have been quite a comedown for Keir Dullea, I have to say.

It's strange to consider that, retro as it is, you probably still couldn't fit The Majesty of Colors into an ordinary Atari 2600 game cartridge.
dronon From: dronon Date: February 2nd, 2009 06:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Really? What's the trick in Firefox, if it's not too arcane? I get the Flash screen and then it never seems to load properly.

(looks up Keir Dullea) Oh... dear. I had no idea it was the same guy. The poor fellow.
porsupah From: porsupah Date: February 2nd, 2009 12:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks to that reminder, I've finally got around to adding TACC to my RSS roster. ^_^ It's quite superbly drawn, ne? Not merely in the detail and unusually realistic style, but the fabulous expressivity afforded to every participant in the story.

TMoC I'll have to try to remember to play around with, once I complete my escape from the salt mine today.

PdD I recall from a while back, but it's been much too long - another for tonight's queue. ^_^

Just finished The Talons of Weng-Chiang last night.. I'm not honestly sure I'd rate it as an all-time classic, but certainly a good romp. Professor Litefoot (with that spelling, if I read the letter in one ep correctly) seemed like someone worth bringing back someday, but I suppose that wasn't to be. The main problem, for me, was trying to accept Li H'sen Chang's accent as authentic. ^_^; (Though he did rather come into his own in his swan song - the noble, tragic figure, as much wounded by his misplaced faith as by his physical injury)

dronon From: dronon Date: February 2nd, 2009 06:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've never understood why The Talons of Weng-Chiang is consistantly voted among the best of the original Doctor Who serials. I mean, it's not bad, but to me it's got just as many of the flaws one was bound to find in pretty much any of the serials. Maybe because it's a period piece that does well to look the part?
From: cjthomas Date: February 2nd, 2009 05:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
What gets me is how people keep thinking that a voice-command interface is a good idea. Aside from the password-entry problem, it overlooks the fact that most computer users can type faster than they can speak, and that it's easier to edit text than a dictated speech, and that it's a royal pain to speak loudly and clearly for hours on end.

You might indeed end up with an AI speaking like that magic mirror, though };>. It's the classic "How May I Help You?" voice-menu task, as implemented by someone on valium =^.^=.
dronon From: dronon Date: February 2nd, 2009 06:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, this AI gets worse. Aside from its condescending manner, weirdly stilted method of speech, far stronger in some other clips, there are times where it seems deliberately obtuse in recognizing authorized user access, and where it tells someone to type in "JGA-3497-LVT" for no discernable reason before proceeding with a user request.
thewerewolf From: thewerewolf Date: February 3rd, 2009 05:02 am (UTC) (Link)
I have the complete Starlost series DVD.
dronon From: dronon Date: February 3rd, 2009 06:39 am (UTC) (Link)
That must... hurt.
niall_ From: niall_ Date: February 3rd, 2009 08:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
I got through Charles Christopher recently and added it. I swear, I more than once talked to the monitor, and when I saw "BANG", i physically yelled out "Noooo!!!!" Yeah, I was that into it, though in my defense, it was all ready at once, which has deeper impact.

StarLost.. auuugh... "May i.. HELP.. youuUUU?" and the blinking! The blinking!! Yeah, Keir Dullea got shafted.

I adore Pas De Deux, but it does need patience. The optical effects are fantastic - it'd still take a lot of effort to do it digitally with this precision. My facourite McLaren piece is still Begone Dull Care, though. Because after I've watched it, whatever dullness I might haev cared about is gone!
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