Eiron’s Archives 07

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Because there is no human-being involved in the compositions, there will be no royalties to pay! The soft trillip trillip of the British skylark, the confident greeting of the Brazilian ‘Ben Te Veeee’ or the once heard , never forgotten, boom of the Scottish Capercaille, could all make wonderful contributions. Best of luck.


Dear ‘Catfreak%’

My legal advisors tell me that the word ‘computer’ actually means ‘an object which can be used to compute’ Encompassing a calculator, a pencil and notepad ( if there is an attached human ) , a pile of beans etc etc. The word ‘compute’ itself means ‘to reckon or calculate a number’. I think the compiler of the dictionary had remarkable foresight, or a wicked sense of irony, to use the word ‘reckon’ don’t you ? Perhaps that goes some way to explaining the errors you keep getting.

Dear SyphonicSister,

Yes, there are a number of yearly ‘computer throwing contests’ available for you to enter if you wish. May I suggest you try the well publicised one at the University of Bergen, Norway. Or perhaps the Amsterdam Mac User Group, who also have a yearly competition. If you happen to find yourself in Russia, you may care to visit the town of Krasnoznamensk, which holds an annual competition in a carpark near the outskirts of Moscow. The current record is 17.5 metres, which will take some beating!

Here’s a tip from an insider. A week or so before the competition, arrange that you – ‘upgrade the operating system’ – on your computer. It will probably take you five or six days to get your machine back to a state of half-baked usability, by which time you will have built up a psychological pressure which will easily add 25% to your throwing efforts. Good luck!


Dear ‘pinjockey’

No more than three of four hundred metres, at best. Now, I know it’s not really pertinent to your question, but I feel I must take the opportunity to tell everyone about the stunning performance of Schoenberg’s ‘Das Buch der hängenden Gärten’ at the much underrated ‘Ciba ’ theatre at Lucerne, overlooking lake Geneva, at the weekend. His use of ‘Sprechstimme’, caused a sensation amongst the ( I have to say, otherwise a trifle stuffy ) audience. I really do think that his mastery of atonality far exceeds that of Anton von Webern, though others may disagree. Do try and catch it everyone! It’s on until the 19th.

[ Can you please stick to the subject ? Ed.]

Dear ‘twelvetonner’

Thank you for testing the idea. Until your efforts, it had not been determined exactly whether the ‘dropping your mobile down a well to check if there is water’ idea, would work in practice. Unfortunately though, your request for compensation cannot be entertained. Have you tried using a magnet and string to retrieve it? If it is any consolation to you, 60,000 mobiles are lost down toilets in the U.K. every year ( source – continentalreaserch.com)


Dear ‘railroad-x-ing’

Damn and blast them to Hades. How can they be so mean-spirited? Just because you downloaded some un-authorised copyrighted work without permission! How were you to know?

I suggest the following defence strategy for your imminent court appearance. In the United Kingdom, it is not an offence to remove the property of another, p r o v i d i n g that you can show that you fully intend to return it to the rightful owner undamaged. Therefore, if your intent was to ‘borrow’ the music in question, and then immediately return it ( undamaged of course ) , it cannot be a case of theft.

Of course, if you ‘broke into’ the server in question, things may become more difficult, in the same way as if you ‘broke into’ your neighbour’s garage to ‘borrow’ his lawnmower. But, providing no damage was done , you should be ok. Send back the file immediately with a thank-you note. I could represent you if you like, but I fear my fees may well exceed the cost of the CD you should have bought.

Dear ‘codebloat’

I can’t tell you how inspiring it was to read the ‘blog’ which you sent me! It was fascinating to know what you had for breakfast this morning and that you still have a hangover – what a nuisance ! Also, I especially liked the picture you had on your site showing the current weather conditions as seen out of your window. It’s a coincidence, but I too have weather visible outside my own window !

If I had a ‘blog’ page, which I don’t, it would probably go something like … “Got up. Logged-on. Found my fav blogsite A1. Then went to A2. Later A3. When I got to blogsite G33 I sent out for a pizza. Then I continued to V55. I was hoping to get to W23, but they were all sooooo interesting I just couldn’t make it. Went to bed, looking forward to a great day blog-reading again tomorrow.” If only we could persuade everyone to blog everyday. Even the dullest, most trivial, self-obsessed, uber-bore has something interesting to say everyday, don’t they?

Dear ‘Ever hopeful’,

No-one could be more pleased than I, to hear that you have developed a romantic attachment to your ‘Mac’. There is too little love in the world, and any addition to the general bonhomie can only be a good thing.

In answer to your question, however, as far as I am aware, there is no country in the world which currently recognises the status of marriage to a machine. Many have campaigned in the past to persuade the legal authorities to broaden the definition of matrimony, with some recent successes, but as of today, there are no special considerations given to cyborg unions of any kind.

It is very unlikely that your computer will ever evolve truly human characteristics, so if perhaps, if I might suggest, you may find that it helps your campaign to first try to compromise in some small way by making yourself more machine-like. You might be advised to investigate the endeavours of professor Kevin Warwick (http://www.kevinwarwick.com ) who has implanted several cyborgial devices into his body. My best wishes to you both.

Dear ‘dograt’

Unless I am mistaken, this is the third time you have written to me, under different names, but on the same subject. I am now able to recognise, at a distance, your charmingly eccentric spelling style. The answer to your observation is – you are wrong. You may be quite correct in pointing out that the weight of the average P.C. can be around 5Kg. But that would be more than ample for it to act as an anchor for a small fishing boat. As far as small boats are concerned, it is not the weight of their anchor, but the shape which is important. Any object that does not float, and which has a sufficient quantity of sharp edges and corners to snag on undersea rocks will work perfectly well.

By a curious twist, your grasp of nautical matters appears to be at exactly the same level as your grasp of language, perhaps both could be augmented somewhat before you write again.

Dear ‘chaincore’

There could be many reasons why your copy of ‘Quark’ won’t read ‘Photoshop 3.2’ ‘tagged image format’ files. What makes you think I would know ? Why don’t you try and ███████ [contents deleted: Ed.]

Dear ‘amalahey’

No, you as a human being ( I am making an assumption here, I know ) cannot catch a virus from your computer. The reverse, however, is completely possible. You should wear a face-mask at all times while you are using your machine, maybe at other times as well. By the way, thanks for the photo.

Dear ‘noqua@form42’

Oh ye of little faith. Laptop croquet, as it is known, is a recognised sport. I have played it myself many times. The ball is a little smaller, at 80mm, than the regulation 92mm. of the normal ball. Also, the turf on the green must be especially well mown. Perhaps you can ask your groundsman to continually trim yours down to around 8mm. The more often it is cut, the better. ( As the old chestnut goes – mown, mown, mown! ) I have also found that a restrained sprinkling of fine silver-sand helps to speed up the ball roll. The rules are exactly the same as for normal croquet, except that the Finishing Stake is placed at the North Boundary, and ‘Roving’ is not allowed. It really is capital fun! Do give it a try!

Dear ‘Chaincore’

Why do you persist in asking me about impenetrable details of your pathetic software? I know nothing of these things, nor wish to. If you were to enquire about the fine wines of Liguria, or upcoming investment opportunities in tobacco futures, I may be of assistance.

Dear R@faced

You must not use your mobile phone whilst driving your automobile. It’s illegal and dangerous. Furthermore, your efforts to concentrate on driving may cause you to make an error in your conversation. Just imagine the calamity if, perchance you were in conclave with your broker and inadvertently said ‘Buy’ when you meant to say ‘Sell’ – it could cost you thousands!
Don’t phone and drive. Don’t drink and drive. In fact, don’t drive at all.

Dear ‘Nazz’

Many researchers ( especially, for some reason, the bulk of those employed by telecomms companies ) tend to come to the view that the radiation emitted by mobile telephones is not in the least harmful. However, Her Majesty’s UK Government recommends that small children do not use the devices for long periods. I should point out that the phones emit much more radiation when transmitting (i.e. when you are talking ) than when receiving. Thus, if you can persuade your young son to only listen to what his friends say, and not reply to any of their questions, he will undoubtedly receive less of a ‘dose’. Having said that, three and a half does seem a bit callow don’t you think?

Dear ‘paranoidelf’

You are completely correct in assuming that ‘They’ know where you are everytime you make a call on your mobile. The country in which you reside has seen fit to introduce laws which insist that 95% of all cellphones must contain chips which locate their position, down to a metres or so.

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