The ‘what’s the geekiest thing you own’ thread got me thinking.
There are some very cool, very geeky things out there , and some that I can imagine, but aren’t out there, or at least, I’ve never seen them. For instance, I’d love to have a Kobayashi Maru ball cap, but I’ve never seen the like.
What geeky thing would you like to have that doesn’t, as far as you know, exist?
This isn’t something I’d actually buy unless I was rich and I’d bought everything else first, but I’ve wondered why nobody has made a working cellphone that looks just like a communicator from the original Star Trek. I mean, cellphones have voice dialing nowadays so it could even work like one.
Yeah, and you could program it by connecting it to a computer, so you wouldn’t have to worry about a keypad!
Actually, I always thought a cool thing would be a Star Trek style communicator attached to a lapel. Maybe visible, maybe concealed (you could design it to act like a backing for some kind of pin, like the sort used on various uniforms).
I’d love to have a screen-in-a-mirror like on The 6th Day. From what I understand, it’s technologically possible (flatpanel screen behind a two-way mirror), but nobody has seen the money in doing this.
A mobile videophone. Like, a cell phone with a camera that lets you have two-way video conversations. Maybe they have it Norway or Japan, but it surely doesn’t exist in Arizona.
On a similar vein, a handheld holographic two-way communicator, Star Wars style.
Problem is, this wouldn’t work. As anyone who’s ever walked through a dark house with a candle knows, having the light that close to your eyes only causes your iris to contract, thus making it *harder *to see in the dark. All you’d see, with that umbrella, would be the halo of light around the umbrella; everything outside of that would be black.
You can get them from Master Replicas. They are called Force FX. The site says the items are sold out but you can find them in b&m stores still, I’m sure. The saber hilts are slightly larger than the movie version to safely store the electronics inside and the lightsaber doesn’t disappear when you switch it off but the lights are bright and there are cool sound effects including saber on/off, crash, idle, and swing.
Get the Darth Maul double blade bad boy. Switch it on at night and scare the neigbourhood dogs and impress the kids.
A Lisp machine laptop based on the Ivory architecture but with writable control store and a larger address space. The Lisp dialect would be Common Lisp with a ZetaLisp emulation mode and the editor would be an extended Hemlock. It would have a KL10 emulator and ITS disk and tape images including MACLISP and MACSYMA and all other essentials, including a Chaosnet-to-TCP/IP bridge. (Perhaps cooler would be a working WAITS system with all of the I/O hardware emulated.)
A close second is the computer Foonly should have produced, plus a few iterations into the present day. And software by the AI Lab and SAIL, as written by hackers who understand what made ITS and WAITS great and how to improve them.
Somewhere in there would fit a PDP-8 clone on the same die as a modern Pentium core, with extensions to the x86 ISA that allows the programmer to feed opcodes to the 8 instead of the Pentium and get data from the 8’s emulated console, front panel, and disk and tape drives, all also on core. Think of it as a coprocessor. A coprocessor that can run Hunt the Wumpus all by itself.
when I was little i was obsessed with Inspector Gadget. The wacky Inspector was always getting himself into pickles and his niece Penny and her trusty dog Brain would always save the day with the help of Penny’s computer book. It looked like a book but was really a computer. When you opened it up, beep booop booooop you could solve any crime! So when Christmas comes around I ask for a computer book. You can imagine my disappointment when my parents got me a book ABOUT computers.
Fast forward a small bit to when I was obsessed with Get Smart. I was a bit older at this point and not so naive to believe in impossible technology, but I was ecstatic when my dad told me he found and bought a shoe phone. When dad’s weekend came around I couldn’t wait to try out the shoe. I don’t know if I thought it would fit me or him or anyone but you can imagine my disappointment when I found out that not only was it a sneaker and not a loafer like 86 had but you couldn’t actually put it on your foot and walk around. I knew it would have a cord but I really thought you would be able to wear it.
these days I’m obsessed with true crime and have quite an impressive little library. What will be my next great disappointment? Probably when I try to get my own luminol.
I don’t like this whole geek/nerd pride movement. Why would anyone want to deliberately label themselves as uncool is just strange to me. I mean being cool is subjective but calling oneself a geek is to me being like “hey i’m awkward and NOT awesome” People should like what they like and not worry about it, but this whole geek power thing isn’t ironic and adorable it’s just awful.
From what I understand of sociology, it’s a sort-of inevitable result of being excluded based on whatever trait (ie: geek/nerdiness). In the Geek/Nerd Pride thing, it’s a less extreme version of how lots of ethnic minorities take pride in their ethnic minoritiness. Add to it the fact that in the modern world, geeks and nerds have become fairly important seeing as how we’re the only ones who know how to make the stupid computers work much of the time, and you can see how we’d get full of ourselves pretty quickly.
Especially since we’re just so danged awesome. (Can we get a Spock smilie? Please?)
Now, what is also interesting is this Geek/Nerd compartmentalization thing. Some people self-identify as geeks, others as nerds. Some do as both, but the ones who self-identify as one or the other can oftentimes get a bit touchy about being called by the wrong name (I, for example, have considered myself a Geek since my junior or senior year of high school, but not quite a Nerd.) I couldn’t honestly tell you the difference between the two groups, save some vague notion that Geeks are more social and Nerds more academically/technically focused, and I’ve heard even that is an entirely subjective/regional interpretation.
EDIT: Oh, and since my mirror/TV apparently already exists, how about an armored jumpsuit, like what the Jumptroopers used on Exo-Squad?