Superman Verses the Super Computer.

Watching ‘Superman III’ on the television the other night, two things stood out during the course of the film.

One was the superb effort of its star, Christopher Reeve, to maintain Superman’s credibility despite an appallingly constructed script that played more for laughs than action adventure. (It’s not hard to see why the franchise died soon after this).

The other was how dated the computer technology in the film is.

Superman III was released in 1982, at a time when computers were still gaining momentum. People knew about them but really didn’t know how they worked. Computer networks in the workplace took up whole rooms. Computers in the home were limited mostly to gaming consoles, and perhaps your classic early consumer computers like the VIC 20.

The Star Villain of Superman III is a Super Computer that can do ‘anything you tell it to do’. Having just been built, this machine first appears in the final half hour. It is huge. Several stories high, completely filling an entire subterranean cavern with wires, buttons, lights, power cables and all manner of electronic gadgets.

In today’s world, I couldn’t help but think, “if they built that now you could probably wear it on your wrist.”

Does it make bread?

I can’t pretend to know what six weeks of hand washing is like but I can imagine it must be pretty bad since my partner, finally able to buy a new washing machine, proceeded to wash everything in the house – even stuff that had already been washed.

The new washing machine is an odd looking thing. It’s not your typical top-loading machine with the controls on a raised panel at the back. It’s more ‘chest’ shaped, kind of rounded on top, with the controls on a panel at the front. It looks rather a lot like an oversized bread making machine and, with the number of lights I’m sure there must be one that tells you when the bread is done.

Not even our video recorder has that many lights. It has a myriad of settings. One setting lets you set the machine to start washing even before you get out of bed in the morning…no cup of tea...but at least your clothes are done.

The machine also makes a number of beeping noises. I don’t know what any of them mean but the one I heard sounded like it was probably reversing. It is an amazing little washing machine. It’s been washing almost non-stop for two days and still going strong. Happily cleaning everything.

I’m just wondering when we can try out the bread making cycle?

Terror is for Stupid People.

This is an idea for a song that began forming in my head one morning. I found myself desperately trying to finish taking a shower so I could write something down before I forgot everything. You know how it is...you think of one line, then another, then another and before you know it you've forgotten how it started.

Anyway this is as far as I got before my day took over. I may finish it sometime in the future.

Terror is for Stupid People.

Terror is for Stupid People,
The weak, the undeserved.
You only read what you want to see,
You miss out many words.

Too many people dying.
Only the dead are really free.
The rest of us, left behind,
Thank God we've got TV.

This modern world is crying.
Look what you have done.
Fear and a 'War on Terror'.
This is what we've become.

- TET, May 30th, 2006
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