“Greatest Generation” my ass! ® **

by The Good Reverend on September 23, 2004 · 13 comments

in Sci-Tech

Okay, so this is probably shopped, but oh god please let it be real.  This is one of the funniest pictures I’ve ever seen.  Behold!  What computers will look like in The Year 2004..

(in echoing voice) The computer.. of.. The Future!

(click on pic to see full-sized image)

Okay, so they suffered through the Great Depression.  Fine.  Okay, so they selflessly sacrificed life and limb to defeat the Axis from world domination.  Yes, I see.  But I think quite possibly, this picture is powerful enough to undo all of that.  “What’s that you say, Grandpa?  The steering wheel does what?  Ah.  Moves the cursor.  Of course.”

A steering wheel!  And notice it’s actually two steering wheels.  I suppose one steering wheel would control up-down movement of the cursor, while the other controlled left-right.  You see, the Etch-a-Sketch was cutting edge technology at this time, so it just stands to reason.

But this visual feast doesn’t end there.  Above the steering wheel are what I can only assume are hydraulic pressure gauges of some sort.  Each gauge measures one bit of memory.  Computer memory in The Year 2004 will be a mind-numbingly complex interplay of copper tubing and pressurized steam (this sentence reads best if you do it in the voice of Carl Sagan… go on.. you know you want to go back and read it again).  If steam is going through the pipes, that is binary “1”.  No steam – “0”.  The gauges will tell the computer technician of The Future the binary status of his computer at any moment… while at the same time steam pressing your fine garments and foaming your latte.  Another example of progress through repurposing of Nazi technology (I just know I recognize those gauges from a U-boat in Das Boot).  This pictured computer model will be very fast, supporting such games as “Guess the steam pressure”, “Make Believe U-Boat Captain”, “Random Button-Pushing and Knob-Twisting Game”, “Whoa!  Blinking Lights!”, and “Naptime in Grandpa’s Futuristic Computer Room”.  I should mention most games available for this model will only be geared towards kids and people on acid.

Lastly is the “monitor” – notice how it protrudes at an awkward angle from the wall.  In 1950, all televisions were floor units.  Not only did no one even dream of a television mounted on a wall, it was actually illegal.  Honest.  So, we can only imagine how sensational this image was back then.  “That tv is suspended in the air!  Children, to the bomb shelters!” Then we have the dark expanse below the television CRT.  Now at first glance you might think, “Christ, he mounted a floor unit on the wall without realizing he doesn’t need the tv stand anymore!” Nope.  Not the Greatest Generation.  That’s a speaker, baby.  This rig is equipped with full surround sound.. if you are deaf in your left ear.

I’m not going to be a pandering, blatant ass-kisser like that punk Tom Brokaw and say our grandparents were the “Greatest Generation”.. I mean, the Macedonians of 330 B.C. kicked a whooole lot of ass – but let’s face it, they were a great generation.  But let’s not forget that they were also a silly, silly people that made computers with steering wheels.

Or this image was photoshopped, in which case I say to you, “I don’t care”.  Quit pissing on my parade.

Can you think of a game that needs to be developed for this state-of-the-art system?  Come on, gamers, let’s hear ‘em!

** “Greatest Generation, my ass” is a trademarked catchphrase of LordStrange-a-Corp Industries

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  • http://www.livejournal.com/users/shadwstalkr Shadow Stalker

    I love reading and watching old science fiction.  It’s fascinating to me how some of the most creative, forward thinking minds who ever put pen to paper didn’t even contemplate alternatives to some technologies they took for granted.

    In the story by Philip K. Dick on which Total Recall was (very loosely) based, the main character goes to have the memories of a vacation implanted in his brain, encountering all manners of futuristic transportation and fashion on the way.  When it fails, he goes home and pulls out his typewriter to write a complaint letter.

    In one of Isaac Asimov’s stories he follows the evolution of a computer that has been given the task of stopping entropy.  As the centuries go on the computer gets exponentially more powerful, and exponentially bigger until it becomes the universe itself.  Of course, when it was written all logic gates were constructed with vaccuum tubes.  You can’t really fault him for not foreseeing the invention of the transistor and the seemingly endless miniturization that we may be able to achieve with quantum computing.

    I think the most intriguing part of all this is wondering what part of technology we are taking for granted in all of our sci-fi, because it seems that technological advances in the most overlooked areas have the greatest impact on our society.

  • http://www.dadsbigplan.com .alphamonkey.

    CBS wouldn’t even bite on that photo, GR.  That’s so blatantly ‘shopped it’s ridiculous.

  • http://www.livejournal.com/users/shadwstalkr Shadow Stalker

    But saved by a great write up.

  • LordStrange

    I think they central point was missed by some: There’s a friggin steering wheel! Damnit!

  • http://www.dadsbigplan.com .alphamonkey.

    I have a steering wheel next to my computer as well, but it’s attached to the Cheez Puffs dispenser. Wheee! I’m driving the road to happy mouth!

  • http://www.livejournal.com/users/shadwstalkr Shadow Stalker

    But they are the greetest!  Even if it is for no raisin!

  • http://www.dadsbigplan.com .alphamonkey.

    +2 for working the Futurama reference.

  • http://www.livejournal.com/users/shadwstalkr Shadow Stalker

    +2?  What are we playing Advanced Blogs and Comments now?

  • http://360.yahoo.com/razorfine_review Thundarr

    I’m sure this is the computer they used to give the monster life in Young Frankenstein.  Windows 2000 can’t match that!

  • Souped_up_on_Jihad

    Well, perhaps with Transbuddha helping to spread the myth, the people at snopes felt the need to debunk this picture.


  • Chronic Addicted Deranged Looney Lawner Mower

    Oh how I would love to try Snake II on that thing, I would get the world’s highest score! Incredible!! A ONE kHz Processor!! Think the minimum requirement for Snake II is a 1.5 kHz, oh well…

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