Do Not Adjust Your Screens

There…appears…to…be a rift…. in the…. webcomics… continuum.

Or something…

…or maybe it’s just that Ryan Estrada’s taking over?


These beautiful and intelligent people wrote

  • JasonReply
    September 17, 2008 at 2:07 am

    Thank you for addressing the “Hollywood Computers”! Every time I see this on t.v. it bothers me. Invariably you see it on CSI or other police-type shows; “Can you zoom in?” “Sure ” *unleashes flurry of random typing* computer makes “squibble squibble” noises.

  • AbhijitReply
    September 17, 2008 at 9:16 am

    Oh goody! the myth of hollywood computers. Unfortunately he got hold of Italian Job’s computer instead of those NCIS ones :)

  • GregReply
    September 18, 2008 at 11:55 am

    LOVE this comic. I have a permanent red mark on my forehead from years of slapping it whenever I see Hollywood portray computers and related technology this way. Yes, I get it – real computer usage isn’t nearly as visually or aurally exciting as what we’ve come to expect in TV and movies. However, it is SO tiring to see computers always portrayed in this way. Over-the-top visuals, *everything* makes a “cute” noise, hacking the most hardened site takes a few keystrokes, and _everything_ is connected so a determined hacker can do whatever they need to remotely.

    Some additional musings:
    * Computer users in movies never make mistakes; no backspaces, no using of the mouse to re-select text, and they are always a wiz at the keyboard.
    * Searches are always HAL-level heuristically friendly. IOW, you can type the most ridiculous English phrase in and the computer still returns just one, or at most a handful, of probably results. Not having to sift through all kinds of bogus returns or generating Boolean search terms or creating a RegEx.
    * Computers on TV or movies, while having flashy interfaces, rarely use the mouse – especially for graphics work. WTC? Seriously – even on Unix systems these days, if it’s got a GUI – it’s usually mouse-driven. If you are doing something with graphics, you are using the mouse – period! Typical dialog – NON-TECHY DETECTIVE: “Can you enlarge that and sharpen it so we can see fine details from a very pixelated original?” TECHY DETECTIVE: “Sure, all I have to do is [tapity, tapity] add the fleuristic matrix algorithm we just installed [tapity, tapity] and apply the 3-D rendering algorithm to this poorly-lit scene and…[tapity, tapity]…there you go!” SCREEN SHOWS THE SUSPECT UNAMBIGUOUSLY ENOUGH THAT EVEN PEOPLE WITH MACULAR DEGENERATION CAN TELL IT’S THE SUSPECT.

  • DavidReply
    December 13, 2008 at 8:19 pm

    Ha, what a blast. Yeah, the computers in media fiction are ludicrous. I refer to them as MovieOS or TVOS [insert appropriate year]. “Ah, I see they’re using TVOS 08!”

    Can you imagine how irritating it would be to have every page in every program make those dee-dee-dee as search results are rendered, fingerprints are compared, or Fleedddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd noises as pages scrolled? How long would it be after loading and first using one of those programs (TVFingerprintVisualizer ’08) and hearing the useless sounds before the user would actually go into the Options and turn off sound?

    And maybe it’s just a guess on my part, but really, I doubt that any programmer would bother having a fingerprint database search render each and every fingerprint it compared onscreen as it compared. I think the right one would just pop up in a few seconds, no noise, no fingerprints.

Tell me what you think!