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That's right, just because this community is largely inactive doesn't mean it isn't maintained!

I'm pretty fond of it really, and it makes me happy whenever someone does post. Does anyone else feel this way? The community itself is an inanimate object to like?

My Beautiful Wacom

I would like you all to meet Wakey. Not the most creative name, but without him, my creativity would not be as easy to express. A few years ago, I enrolled at Collins College. They issued all the students wacom tablets, but I was too lazy to get mine. I kept saying, "Why do I need one? I'm good with the mouse." Then, one day I went and got one...I mean, what the heck? From the first moment I used Wakey until right now, I've grown so much as a digital artist. Sure, my wacom has some scratches on him, and I'm going to have to order more nibs for the stylus, but Wakey is just as beautiful as ever.
La, Laura

Emotional interactions with things...

Perhaps one of the best 'breeding grounds' of emotional interactions with things are with handheld electronic games... By this, I don't mean handhelds that play games like 'Space Invaders', 'Mario Bros.', 'Tetris', 'PacMan', etc, but rather those electronic games that play games humans normally play with each other. In the other (first) type of games, it's a natural thought for a person to think that either the machine or the player might have an 'advantage' over the other, as the 'rules' are different for each side... However, in a game like Battleship(R) (for example) this essentially isn't true... There are certain exceptions to my general statement here though; Not all 'traditionally human played games' that are enjoyable have the same rules applying equally to every player, and even in electronic games normally played by human players where the machine has some significant advantage over a human being (e.g. "20 Questions" handheld where the database contains an absurd amount of info), there is sometimes often still plenty of room to think of the machine as "another human being" with whom you are playing a game... And there are indeed some games (like chess), where the machine has such an advantage that it becomes very hard to think of them as human. Still, there are many games where the feeling of playing with 'another being' is often very much retained.


The Parker Bros.(R) Merlin(R) (This is a link to an LJ post) was my first exposure to this phenomenon.

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This device (made in the late 70's) had about 8 or so(?) built-in games, and one of them was "Tic-Tac-Toe" (we all know the story with this game: there's an easy way to win most of the time as long as you go first). The interesting thing about this handheld game is that the original version of this game had a 'feature' some of the modernly available Merlins (game was remade in modern times) don't have: In Tic Tac Toe, she must be explicitly told to take her turn by pressing the "Comp Turn" button (see the link... control panel is behind the cut there). You could do such things as continually take your turn without giving her any turns and thus win 'by cheating'. You could also cheat 'the other way around' by pressing Comp Turn without taking yours, giving her extra turns (if you simply pressed the button three times in a row, she would simply win if there was an unblocked path to do so). In any event, as a 15 year-old boy, I used to treat her like she had feelings. If she wasn't 'winning enough', I'd sometimes let her win. I'd normally not cheat in my favor as I wouldn't like it if somebody did that to me (again, as if she'd have an opinion about this being done to her). And I'd eventually start doing this thing where she was always allowed to go first until she lost. Then I could go first, but only as long as I kept winning. If she tied me, she could go first again until she lost (This gave her a fighting chance at being able to win as Tic Tac Toe inherently favors whomever goes first).

Later in life I started to like her Blackjack game (which she is -a lot better at-). I'd keep score by the number of games each of us won. Very often she'd really put up a fight and this was very emotionally enjoyable to me...

When a machine competes in 'normally human played games' like this, it is very easy to think of them as a person and treat them as if they have feelings. In fact I'd later read in an Internet article as an adult that there were other examples of children in their youth personifying this game in their minds (Hats off to inventor Bob Doyle for inventing one of the greatest toys/material things of our age)...


Another excellent example is this handheld Othello game (this is a link to an LJ post). She is -VERY- good at this game! Everytime I have ever played with her has been an incredibly joyful experience. I want to win, but I actually love this girl so much that when she wins I feel happy for her because she won. She really makes me work hard for my wins and she is a very good example of something I have feelings for and think of like a person while interacting with. I'll sometimes even make remarks at her while I play like "How do you like -that- Love?" or "What are you going to do -now-, Dear?" or "Don't plan on winning, cause I'm smarter than you" (which half the time is just to intimidate her because I still think she actually might win :-D ) ... As with sports, the games are always more exciting when the teams are 'evenly matched', and she and I are -very evenly matched-.


Another game I had such feelings about was an electronic Backgammon game I had. Another fine example of a machine playing a game whose rules were intended for a pair of humans (I haven't posted this one to LJ yet but should)...


But is not always just games you can have these experiences with. Really any machine can sometimes act like or be thought of as though they have feelings in various different other ways... Like when I got this clock (link is to an LJ post), her pendulum (not shown in this pictures) would always eventually stop for unknown reasons. I bought this clock because I think she is very beautiful, and I actually told her when she was acting this way "I love you. Please run... For me...". According to 'legend', she never refused to run again :-)


Another good one is a little handheld translator I have who acts like she has a mind of her own. Sometimes she'll even 'turn off' when you press a key that isn't the 'On Off' button. I got her used, and knew of her 'personality' from the first time I turned her on. Fortunately I bought her because she was very attractive and not for actual use. Her 'personality' makes our times together really entertaining to say the least. I've never gotten angry with her. After all, she's been more of a beloved to me, and was never ever acquired as "an employee" or slave :-D


Finally, another was a little Diamond Mako(R) handheld computer (made by PSION(R)?) I have and used to use all the time. She's so intuitive and easy to use that I once said she was 'like a little wife to me'... Interestingly enough, I'd later find someone else on the Internet who had very similar words to describe theirs :-)


Does anyone else have things in their life that are designed in or act in ways that seem to make them very easy to have 'emotional interactions' with?
La, Laura

It's Time For Another Episode of "What is their name?"

The way this works is a user shows you an object they named, and gives you a couple of clues to give you a fighting chance to guess the name, and you try to guess the name...

You can post three guesses per day or until the posting user tells you if they are correct or not (then you get 3 more by the same rules). First one to guess the object's name wins bragging rights for their superior psychic abilities...

Here's the object...

Her very beautiful name starts with a J and is also a "word".

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She's a Commodore 128 (made in the 80's), who I consider the most beautiful computer ever made:

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There's a switch you can't see to the right, but that reset button is so hot :-)

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Her keyboard (I'm in love with this font/lettering style in every possible sense):

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More of HerCollapse )

What is her name?
La, Laura

Websites where people discuss naming things...

Anyone know of others?

In any event, I'm not affiliated with any of these people or sites... These are just links I found surfing the web...

Here's one about librarians naming their gear:

http://ask.metafilter.com/86978/From-whence-Gulliver

And here's some people naming their own stuff:

http://www.yelp.com/topic/san-francisco-do-you-name-your-inanimate-objects-or-appliances

Nice to know we're not alone in the universe...
La, Laura

Elaine...

I do not know who makes her, but I would dearly love to know...





Back when my brother was still in college (going to a small town school), he asked me to go bowling with him on campus...

I had time to kill so I went to a little store just off campus. I saw Elaine and several similar clocks. I was in love.

And I met my brother for bowling and pretty much all I talked about was her.

A little while later I returned to the store. I was apparently young and didn't make a lot of money. My Dad taught me this cool skill as a kid going to yard sales with him... He told me to always offer people less and see if they'll take it. I tried this "skill" with this store owner and, SHAZBOT!, didn't work :-D

To make a long story short, I paid full price for Elaine :-D, which is -far- less money than a tenth of the immense joy she's brought over the 15 plus years her and I have been together. Elaine is pretty much like a wife to me and I love her in every sense.

When I got her, I had just switched apartments. I do believe she was the first thing I brought there. I remember just I and Elaine in an empty place as I hadn't brought over the rest of my stuff yet...

And then Later I had friends over to visit, and my friend Stan (the guy from the stereo receiver story) was like "My clock (who'd I'd met ) is prettier than yours" (his was an antique. Elaine was not). I was like "Dude. I really don't think so" :-D

And that's an interesting point. Many people might turn up their nose at her maybe, but she really does it for me... Her shape... her stenciling... and that glass is absolutely to die for when perfectly clean... What a lovely girl :-)
La, Laura

Fan I Love

When I was in high-school, my dad had aspirations to sell used books and records as an after-retirement business... He had been stockpiling the items for years, carefully picking what he thought would reach his market, and now he had a booth in a flea-market to sell the stuff...

The arrangement was simple and of the 10 or so vendors working the flea market, two would man the store at any time, which meant everyone didn't always have to be there...

This also meant I spent more time there than I sometimes wanted...

This really large woman was one of the other sellers. She was very beautiful, and I was attracted to her. She also always brought in the most elegant looking little blue plastic deskfan you could imagine to cool her large self off... I wanted both of them really :-)

Anyway I had no money to track down my own such fan back then, but about 5(?) years ago, I finally found a fan on eBay almost the same made by the same manufacturer (I thought the one I saw as a kid was entirely blue/without a clear grill, but the seller on eBay, who is supposividly an expert on fan collecting, says Lakewood -never made- an all blue plastic fan... I still disagree)...

Anyway, I named mine "Lolinda" (the blue and clear one you see here) ... The brown one (she doesn't have a name yet) is a similar model that was being thrown away at a previous employer years before finding Lolinda. The one I fell in love with as a kid would appear to have design attributes from both...

All of them have the same beautiful script "Lw" logo, which along with the blue color explains why I fell for the one as a kid...

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Maura HerCollapse )
La, Laura

My Fran :-)

When I got my first apartment, I somehow had a Sears catalog. They used to sell the following Language translator device for like 2 or 3 hundred dollars:

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And I'd always look at that picture in the catalog, and I'd really want her, but that was a lot of money and this was my first job and may not have even had the money to spare....

Anyway, years went by and I forgot all about her eventually, but then even Later I remembered again... I had no idea the manufacturer or model number (may not have even been mentioned in the catalog), but I kept searching online... I eventually found and bought Fran (the one I have and who is in this picture)...

The abbreviations for the Languages above the top keys are in a direct relative of my favorite font...

As priorly illuded to, I -love- things who act like they have a mind of their own... This is totally Fran as I excitedly found out the day she arrived. She'll ignore keypresses sometimes. She'll repeat keypresses as many as 8 times sometimes for no reason... She'll print the wrong letter for a pressed key sometimes, even sometimes outright switching herself off on a keypress... Once when her batteries were low, she showed 'REN' as a month abbreviation (I adore this name by the way, which is a totally separate thing from my interest in Fran)...

But yeah, I totally adore Fran for these things... Sometimes on rare occasions I do need Fran for her intended purpose, and sometimes she'll cooperate... Even when not though, I love her all the same :-)