Author Topic: How much do you find yourself "personifying" your computer or tech devices?  (Read 7969 times)

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Offline Hoagiebot

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Recently, I had to do some major work on a second-hand computer that I had bought on eBay.  To my dismay, the machine had been mistreated by the previous owner and probably by the shipping process as well, to the point where I was bending parts of the metal case back into shape with pliers so that all of the body panels could actually be fit back together again, and prying jammed-in components out of their bays with a flat-head screwdriver so that they could then be re-installed into the computer properly.  Despite the fact that the computer was an inanimate object, as I found more and more carelessly damaged hardware on it I actually started feeling really bad for it and how it had been treated.  In fact, I even started to feel some animosity towards the previous owner for treating the machine that way.  I realize that the machine is just a machine and not an abused kitten or something like that, but as a guy who has practically grown up with computers for most of my life and is an enthusiastic collector of them, I couldn't help but feel some empathy for the poor battered computer.

That incident has gotten me wondering: How much do all of you personify your computers (or smart phones, tablets, etc.)?  Do you give your computers names?  Do you give them a gender and call them "him" or "her?"  Do you curse at them or plead with them when they freeze, break, or start acting up?  Do you tell them "good job" or thank them when they actually do what you want them to do?  Do you feel sad, guilty, or nostalgic when you sell or replace them?  Do you feel terrible if you have accidentally broken or damaged them in some way?  Do you consider them to be a friend, or just a mere appliance?  And as a follow-up question, do you think that we *should* be personifying computers and other machines?

I would be interested in hearing about everyone's feelings on this, and any stories that you have to share.  Hopefully you will all find this topic interesting as well.

Offline Mylo

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I get sad when my electronics break...
*violin music starts playing*
All they want to do is make their user happy...and then they break... :(  :'(

Offline Old Rabbit

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I have been a electronic geek most of my life. If I could have gotten a
computer in the early 1960's I would have been tickled. But it was
the mid 70's before I could get something I could afford. A heathkit
6800 trainer. It had a motorola 6800 processor with 256 byte ram.. Yup
just 256 bytes.  :D

But I did manage to upgrade it to 4096 bytes. "WoW"  Heh.. But it was
a lot of fun making a computer do things back then. Sometimes I feel it
was more fun then than now..

These days one basicly  plugs in devices to make it like you want.

When you build something you tend to be more protective of it. :orbunny:

« Last Edit: August 28, 2011, 08:55:47 pm by Old Rabbit »
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Offline redyoshi49q

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I personalize my computers somewhat.  I give my computers names that coincide with the names of my fursona, RP characters, and characters that exist within my imagination but have not been used in RP.  Such names include redyoshi49q, firetail, theris, and (if I get a dedicated server or demote my desktop to such by replacing it) martin or MLS.  I see it as symbolic of my computer representing the gateway between my RL and online identities.  (This also explains why I use my real first name as a username; for instance, my user@host prompt currently looks like ethan@firetail in Cygwin.)  I also talk to my computers sometimes, particularly if they're not working or if I'm trying something particularly unorthodox or prone to failure.

Aside from things like that, however, I see computers as a tool, and though my interaction with them as such does warrant care, I don't get particularly emotional about the computer itself (though I can sometimes get quite emotional about whatever it is that I'm *working* on, if I'm absorbed enough in it).

I get sad when my electronics break...
*violin music starts playing*
All they want to do is make their user happy...and then they break... :(  :'(

This reminds me of one of my favorite 404 pages.  In it, the clinically depressed server apologizes for being unable to fetch your page through a text box with dynamically changing content, then laments about its destiny of two weeks of information overload ended most likely by being discarded and replaced by a new server due to a mild security hole.  That page always makes me chuckle.
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Offline Hoagiebot

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I personalize my computers somewhat.  I give my computers names that coincide with the names of my fursona, RP characters, and characters that exist within my imagination but have not been used in RP.  Such names include redyoshi49q, firetail, theris, and (if I get a dedicated server or demote my desktop to such by replacing it) martin or MLS.  I see it as symbolic of my computer representing the gateway between my RL and online identities.  (This also explains why I use my real first name as a username; for instance, my user@host prompt currently looks like ethan@firetail in Cygwin.)  I also talk to my computers sometimes, particularly if they're not working or if I'm trying something particularly unorthodox or prone to failure.

I also name all of my computers, which makes sense because all of my UNIX and Linux-based workstations require unique host names on my network.  As a furry artist, my first love in life has always been all of the sexy furry and talking-animal pin-up girl characters that I have created and drawn over the years.  So when I started obtaining droves of Sun and SGI workstations that all needed unique host names on my network, it became only natural that I started naming my computers after all of the female anthro characters that I had created over the years.  And since I now currently have around 81 Ethernet-capable computers residing in my basement with me (I am a computer collector), it is a very good thing that I have created *a lot* of female anthro characters over the years to pull names from!  In other words, you can bet that pretty much any female character of mine that you choose you can bet that I have a computer in my basement named after her!

Here are some random examples of a few of my computers and the characters of mine that they were named after (click the link to see a drawing of the character):

  • rosie - A Sun Blade 1500 (Red) with a 1.062GHz Sun UltraSPARC IIIi processor and 1GB of RAM.  She runs Solaris 10.
  • vulpecula - Named after my personified furry rendition of the Vulpecula star constellation, vulpecula is a Stratacache Express E-70 web caching appliance that I bought on the cheap on eBay and re-purposed into a general-purpose Linux server that I use for DHCP, DNS, TFTP, and PXE-booting.  She has a 2.4GHz Intel Celeron D 320 Prescott-256 processor and 1GB of RAM.  She runs Scientific Linux 5.3 "Boron."
  • tempest - tempest consists of two compute nodes from a SGI Origin 300 low-end supercomputer, linked together through a NUMALink3 interconnect.  Each node has four 500MHz MIPS R14000 processors and 4GB of RAM.  She runs IRIX 6.5.  I would add more compute nodes to her if I could ever find an affordably-priced Origin 300 R-Brick NUMALink3 router, which is needed to expand an Origin 300 beyond two compute nodes.  *sigh*
  • aurora1 - aurora6 - Six Sun SPARCStation 5's linked together as a Beowulf cluster.  Each SPARCStation 5 has 70MHz Sun MicroSPARC II processor and 64MB of RAM.  Naming this cluster after my cute little Alaskan Cross Fox vixen character "Aurora" actually worked out on two different levels since Sun's development code name for the SPARCStation 5 was actually "Aurora!"   :)
  • amber - A Sun SPARCStation 10 MP with duel 40MHz Sun SuperSPARC processors and 128MB of RAM.  She runs Solaris 9.
  • dixie - A SGI Indy Colorbus Cyclone.  She has a 133MHz MIPS R4600SC processor and 160MB of RAM.  She runs IRIX 5.2.

Needless to say, since I name my computers after my personal harem of furry dream girls, that definitely has a strong hand in aiding me with becoming very attached to my computers, and it also probably helps with me subconsciously affixing personalities to the different machines, etc.  With that said, since some of these machines are pushing 20-years old or older these days, many of these computers provide most of their own "personalities" and quirks themselves like old hardware is apt to do, believe me!   :)

As far as the kinds of feelings that I can have towards them, with so many computers it is hard for me to spend much time with any particular one of them (unless they are a computer that I use for actual work), and as a result I can start to feel really guilty if I stumble across a computer that I haven't played with in a while, as if I have been neglecting "her."  I feel even worse if I have neglected a computer long enough that I have allowed its battery-backed NVRAM chip to run down (which on older Sun and SGI machines is a relatively expensive problem to fix).  I feel even worse still if I ever end up having to scavenge some parts from one machine to help to get another machine working-- I feel like I am causing an injustice to the first machine by stealing from it, as if the machine actually "owned" those parts.  Even more dramatic is when I end up having to make the donor machine incomplete or non-functional during the process of scavenging parts, as if I was a surgeon that just gave up on a patient and pulled the plug on her, or like I am some computer version of Jack the Ripper, killing a helpless machine to harvest its "organs!"  (As you can tell I have a very vivid imagination!)

In fact, I ended up gutting out most of the parts from a Sun SPARCStation 10 MP named "foxy" because she had a bad SCSI bus on her motherboard, and lacking a spare motherboard most of her useful parts were taken out and given to four other Sun SPARCStation 10 MP's.  That was 5 or 6 years ago and I still feel bad about leaving Foxy a gutted, empty hulk like that.  I swore that I would rebuild her once I tracked down all of the 19-year old vintage replacement parts needed to do it, and after a few years of tracking down parts I nearly accomplished that feat until I needed to coldly steal from her once again and place the vintage 2.1GB SCSI-2 5400RPM hard drive that I had procured for her into a SPARCStation 2 named "holly" instead ("holly" was slated to make an appearance as part of my exhibit at the Vintage Computer Festival - Midwest, which is why she got the hard drive instead of foxy).  Poor foxy, she just can't catch a break!  There is no justice for her!

Then there is the sad story of the poor above-mentioned SGI Indy workstation, "dixie."  I found her laying neglected in another computer collector's garage and bought her from him.  She was my very first SGI machine, and she looked very sharp in her aqua marine-colored case.  After a lot of effort and an expensive purchase of yet more SCSI-2 hard drives later I finally got IRIX 5.3 loaded onto her, only for her to be hit by a power fluctuation during a sudden unexpected summer thunderstorm a few days later, which tragically screwed up something in her hardware.  The poor girl has never worked quite right since.   :'(  Poor Dixie, I barely even got to know her!

Yeah, I've got this whole personification thing bad!  I do pretty much everything that I mentioned in my opening post in this thread: I scold my computers when they screw up on me, I compliment them when they do right, and I plead with them to magically somehow heal themselves when something hardware-wise seems to have gone wrong, etc.  I am so attached to my computers that I don't sell them-- not even the broken or gutted "parts" machines like the before-mentioned computer named "foxy."  I am kind of like the character "Joey" and his computer "Lucy" from the 1995 movie Hackers with how I am attached to my machines, only unlike Joey I am even worse since I own like 90-times the number of computers that he did!   :D

When you are alone in a cubicle or a basement sitting in front of a computer all day it can get kind of boring or lonely, especially if you view your computer as some kind of lifeless piece of slag sitting in front of you.  I don't personify computers to the point where I view them as being like people by any means, but you could say that I soft of almost "superstitiously" treat them as if they were kind of like some kind of mysterious magical creature that consumes electrons and emit useful computrons in return.  If you treat the creature with respect and care and "feed it" with hardware and software maintenance, it will be loyal to you and return the "kindness" in kind by doing nifty and useful things for you.  If you beat it, kick it, and/or treat it like crap, odds are that it probably won't keep on doing work for you for very long!  They can catch "viruses" and get sick like animals.  They can have their "organs" fail and need "transplants" to stay alive, and instead of "giving up the ghost" when they die they release their magic smoke instead.  I don't know if it is a "healthy" thing to personify machines or not, but sailors have been calling all of their ships "hers" since at least the day of sail, so it's not like it is an unheard of practice.  Besides, it is just so much more fun to say something like, "Code blue!  Amber just threw out her disk again!  Prep her for emergency surgery, stat!" or to say that you need to bring the computer back to life through "deep magic," "incantations," and "waving a dead chicken over it" then it is to say something boring like, "The workstation at 10.0.0.9 has experienced a hard disk failure.  Power the workstation down and replace its failed hard disk with a replacement."   :D  I also like to see myself as being a bit "ahead of the curve."  If the television show Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is any kind of a guide to the future direction of computer hardware design, then when we all start getting our own personal "Camerons" being placed on our work desks and in our server closets some time in the future I will already be well-practiced with treating the machines like a lady while everybody else won't know where to begin!   :D

But it was the mid 70's before I could get something I could afford. A heathkit
6800 trainer. It had a motorola 6800 processor with 256 byte ram.. Yup
just 256 bytes.  :D
...
When you build something you tend to be more protective of it. :orbunny:

Your Heathkit 6800 Trainer puts my vintage computer collection to shame-- I have several different models of computers such as TI-99/4A's and Sinclair ZX81's that date back to 1981 and a Commodore VIC-20 that dates back to 1980, but that is as far back as my original equipment goes.  Despite this, I do still have a bit of a knowledge of what you are talking about with how special it is soldering your own working computer together from a kit.  My Sinclair ZX-81 was a "new old stock" original unbuilt kit from 1981 that I soldered together myself.  In addition, a small company called Briel Computers sells solder yourself kits that allow you to build fully-functioning replicas of classic 1970's kit microcomputers.  I have already soldered together their "Replica I" kit, which produced a working replica of a 1976 Apple I microcomputer, and I recently bought their "ALTAIR 8800micro" kit, which when I am finished building it will produce a replica of an Altair 8800 complete with front-panel lights and switches and everything!   :)  I may have missed that era of computing, but there is nothing that says that I can't try to relive it!   :)
« Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 01:14:55 pm by Hoagiebot »

Offline Sunny Snowflame

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Re: How much do you find yourself "personifying" your computer or tech devices?
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2011, 11:08:03 pm »
I actually know how you feel, Hoagiebot. Although I don't have a basement full of computers, I do name all my devices. I used to have so many identical flash drives that I would mix them up. I eventually had to give them names that Windows would recognize. Having studied Japanese heavily, I'd give them all Japanese girl names. What's cool about them is that you can make up unusual ones by combining different characters with different meanings!

I had an MP3 player named Akimi (which I think meant "shining light"), another named Aiko ("loved one"), and several flash drives with names like Shiratori ("white bird"), Midori ("green"). I even used to do this with hard drives when I got tired of looking at "TOSHIBA #1234" or whatever.

Though being a car enthusiast, I tend to be really bad about doing this with vehicles. I've had several cars in the last few years (thought not all at once), and I named them all:

"Sally," an old Lincoln Town Car
"Serena," a Mercury Sable
"Sarah," a Chevy truck
"Celeste," a Saturn
"Melanie," an Oldsmobile (current).

And yes, I am guilty of talking to them... I do most repairs myself, and they seem to run better if I tell them "goodnight" at the end of the day...  :-[
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Offline Alsek

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Re: How much do you find yourself "personifying" your computer or tech devices?
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2011, 09:48:23 pm »
This is a picture of the laptop i had before i got the one i have now.



I refused to acknowledge that it was,  "Abused."  I called it,  "Well-loved."


Right now it's sitting in a lot of different pieces scattered across me room.  Motherboard fried.


Veerrryyy Old pic.

Personification?  Never that far.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2011, 09:52:43 pm by Alsek »

Offline Hoagiebot

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Re: How much do you find yourself "personifying" your computer or tech devices?
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2011, 11:16:23 pm »
I refused to acknowledge that it was,  "Abused."  I called it,  "Well-loved."  Right now it's sitting in a lot of different pieces scattered across me room.  Motherboard fried.  Personification?  Never that far.

 :o  You brute!  You contemptuous ruffian!  Don't you know that those poor little machines can't fight back when you go all "Hulk smash" on them?   Apparently what you need is a computing companion that is tough enough to break your knuckles and toes as you angrily kick and beat it.  A fully-rugged Panasonic Toughbook is for you!   :D


Offline Alsek

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Re: How much do you find yourself "personifying" your computer or tech devices?
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2011, 02:55:52 am »
No...  The real problem is that it was a cheap dell.  I was actually quite gentle with it but the hinges broke more than once (i had them replaced,  and the tech they sent said they had a serious problem with the hinges on a regular basis.)   Not to mention,  the first day that i owned it the screen's backlight went out and i had to have them send someone out to replace it which took 2 weeks.  x_x

Eventually it stopped working together,  i took it apart to see what i i could do about it,  about found a large black area around the power supply on the motherboard....

Kept all the salvageable Parts.

For comparison,  i've had my HP for 3 times as long as i had that dell,  and it's still in great condition... But it has a serious overheating problem even with a clean fan,  and it is WAY too shiny and distracting.

My lenovo is even older and is in even better condition than the HP.


If my laptops past and present were personified as movie and television characters, they'd be



Lenovo (very powerful and sleek black.  My favorite.):








HP (decently powerful,  Really flashy,  and... Wai- ...IS IT ON FIRE?!)






Dell  (yeeahhhh...):




« Last Edit: September 30, 2011, 03:14:45 am by Alsek »

Offline Sunny Snowflame

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Re: How much do you find yourself "personifying" your computer or tech devices?
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2011, 07:37:24 am »
I had a Dell once. Actually, it was three of them: one for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. All the same model, all fifteen-pound paperweights. They weren't even the cheap ones; they were Studio 17s. I exchanged three of them out, trying to find one that didn't have a faulty wireless card. I even drove a hundred miles to a different store, thinking it was a bad batch--no luck. Every single one of them had an incompatible wireless card, causing endless hardware interrupts (junk data taking up 75% of the CPU).

This is me with those Dells...







Finally I gave up and got an HP DV7, which I still have, almost three years later...



 :D
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Offline Cimarron

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Re: How much do you find yourself "personifying" your computer or tech devices?
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2011, 03:35:59 pm »
A few months ago my laptop wouldnt turn on. I got so frustrated I chucked it off my back deck and it exploded all over the driveway. I got a new one at Office Max. As soon as this one starts showing signs of weekness, it will meet the same fate. I also threw my cell phone out of my car window because it dropped a call. Its all good... I got the insurance. I really hate it when things dont work properly. Its just a piece of machenery, like a can opener. It dont hold any other value to me than any other tool.
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Offline Foxpup

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Re: How much do you find yourself "personifying" your computer or tech devices?
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2011, 04:39:37 pm »
A few months ago my laptop wouldnt turn on. I got so frustrated I chucked it off my back deck and it exploded all over the driveway. I got a new one at Office Max. As soon as this one starts showing signs of weekness, it will meet the same fate. I also threw my cell phone out of my car window because it dropped a call. Its all good... I got the insurance. I really hate it when things dont work properly. Its just a piece of machenery, like a can opener. It dont hold any other value to me than any other tool.

Yeah, but you don't use your can opener for confidential communications (I hope), so throwing it out the window of your car into the hands of assorted evil people isn't something you need to be worried about. As for the computer and the cell phone... Well, you might want to put a little more thought into how you dispose of them.
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Offline Sunny Snowflame

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I had a printer that not only refused to print, but also did something to create a static charge on the case of my laptop (the Rainbow Dash personified one). It also wouldn't let me print a shipping label I had already paid for.

That printer met a fate similar to Cimarron's laptop. Only I chucked it, then stomped on it, shattering it into a hundred fragments (but not before taking out the ink cartridges for a credit at Office Depot).  :D
Just what exactly is a nerf, and how does one herd them?...

Offline Hoagiebot

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A few months ago my laptop wouldnt turn on. I got so frustrated I chucked it off my back deck and it exploded all over the driveway. I got a new one at Office Max. As soon as this one starts showing signs of weekness, it will meet the same fate. I also threw my cell phone out of my car window because it dropped a call. Its all good... I got the insurance. I really hate it when things dont work properly. Its just a piece of machenery, like a can opener. It dont hold any other value to me than any other tool.

To think that I thought that I knew you, Cimarron!  I can't believe what I am reading!  You are dead to me now!  And to think that I actually viewed you as one of my strongest allies against our mutual adversary Paw at the Lake Area Furry Friends bowling meets!  I had no idea that you applied such an extreme version of Social Darwinism to your poor helpless computers and that you coldly executed those machines that are unfortunate enough to even slightly displease you!  Until the days that computers become self-aware and turn on us you must remember that computers are our friends!  They have given us so much, from the ability to play fun and enthralling video games to visiting fchan to visiting this very forum!  They are companions to be cherished and loved-- not unceremoniously thrown off of a back porch or carelessly chucked out a car window!  In fact, just last week when I was at the Vintage Computer Fair Midwest 6.0 I found a poor 22-year old Sun SPARCstation 1 left abandoned on the "free pile," where anyone could claim it.  I hurriedly scooped up the poor mistreated machine and took it under my wing, and I have plans to repair it and put it back into working order so that it can emit computrons happily once again.  You can bet that you are going to get a stern lecturing about computer compassion from me the next time that I see you at LAFF Bowling later this month, mister!   :P


Finally I gave up and got an HP DV7, which I still have, almost three years later...



 :D

I can do you one better Sunny Snowflame-- check this photo out:


It's my 21-year old Sun Microsystems SPARCstation 2 (the one named "holly" from my earlier post above) from my exhibit at last week's Vintage Computer Fair Midwest 6.0 convention!  This classic workstation is now literally 20% cooler and Rainbow Dash-driven!  While changing the desktop background on a computer may seem trivial on today's modern operating systems, to do it on this vintage computer it was actually a real challenge since it was running the Common Desktop Environment on Solaris 7 with only 32MB of RAM, 2.1GB of disk space, an 8-bit frame buffer, and 1MB of dedicated video memory.  So instead of being able to do the customizations in a Rainbow Dash-like "10 seconds flat," it actually took me more like 2-hours to make the changes!   :D  If you are interested, you can read all about it as well as see additional photos of the SPARCstation's three other Rainbow Dash desktop backgrounds in the Furtopia forum post that I made here:  Topic: Rainbow Dash at the Vintage Computer Fair Midwest (with photos)!

I really loved having that SPARCstation 2 setup at the VCF-MW convention this year for people to look at and play around with.  It really broke my heart when the convention was over and I had to shut her down, disconnect her peripherals, and pack her up to take her home.   :'(  She just looked so proud and happy sitting there all setup and working like that, you know?
« Last Edit: October 04, 2011, 03:56:39 am by Hoagiebot »

Offline Sunny Snowflame

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Wow, Hoagiebot! That is cool! Reminds me of the time I changed Windows XP's boot screen to display a picture of an OS-tan. That took two days to figure out, working with a 16-color palette. It was really cool until SP3 came out, which immediately went into Spaz Mode upon seeing a modified ntoskrnl... Long story short, I didn't feel like updating the kernel, so I didn't bother with it anymore. And with 7's new flashy, animated one, it doesn't really matter anymore.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2011, 03:24:03 am by Sunny Snowflame »
Just what exactly is a nerf, and how does one herd them?...

Offline Hoagiebot

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Wow, Hoagiebot! That is cool!

Thank you very much for the compliment-- I greatly appreciate it!

Reminds me of the time I changed Windows XP's boot screen to display a picture of an OS-tan. That took two days to figure out, working with a 16-color palette. It was really cool until SP3 came out, which immediately went into Spaz Mode upon seeing a modified ntoskrnl... Long story short, I didn't feel like updating the kernel, so I didn't bother with it anymore. And with 7's new flashy, animated one, it doesn't really matter anymore.

Back a few years ago I created both a custom boot screen and a custom login screen for my two Windows XP machines as well.  If I remember correctly, I created the images for the custom screens with the appropriate sizes/ color palettes/ formats, etc. in Jasc Paint Shop Pro 7, and then used the LoginStudio and Bootskin applications from Stardock to apply them to my system.  I have upgraded both machines to Windows XP Service Pack 3 since then, and my custom boot and login screens still work.  I guess by using those Stardock applications instead of altering the files by hand I somehow luckily missed the problems that you encountered.  *shrugs*  Anyway, if you would like to see my custom Windows XP boot screen, here is an image of it:


As you can see, it was made to parody the original Windows XP boot screen, only the Windows logo was replaced by my "Foxee," the cartoon arctic blue fox vixen that is the mascot of my company.  Also, the little progress bar below the "FoxeeXP" logo was animated, just like the real thing.

Unfortunately, I don't have a very good image of my custom login screen on hand.  The best image of it that I have is the small preview image of it that is shown by the Stardock LoginStudio program before you apply it, which you can see here:


With that said, if you are willing to download a bitmap image, I have a much larger Windows bitmap wallpaper version of the primary image used in the login screen (minus the lightning at the top and bottom) that you can download and view here:  http://www.foxee.net/goodies/wallpapers/FoxeeAnimatronicsWallpaper.bmp.

In fact, my custom Foxee boot screen, login screen, wallpapers, and user account picture are all freely available to download off of my Foxee.net website in case anyone else ever had a desire to use my custom Foxee theme.  The page that they are all located at is here:  http://www.foxee.net/goodies/index.html

When I got my newer Windows Vista desktop machine in 2008 (which is still my current desktop) I had fully intended to customize all of its boot and login screens as well, but here it is 3-years later and I still haven't gotten around to it.  Since I haven't even drawn the artwork that I had wanted to use to customize all of those screens with yet I suppose that I probably never will at this point!   :D
« Last Edit: October 04, 2011, 03:56:35 am by Hoagiebot »

Offline Sunny Snowflame

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That looks really nice, Hoagie. Looks like I'll be putting Star Dock on my list of programs needed.

Also, I checked out Foxee's website, and she really is beyond cool! Are there any plans to update the software? A new voice, maybe? Or some more pictures? I'd love to see more!  :)
Just what exactly is a nerf, and how does one herd them?...

Offline Hoagiebot

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That looks really nice, Hoagie. Looks like I'll be putting Star Dock on my list of programs needed.

Thank you very much for the kind words about my custom WindowsXP boot and login screens-- I very much appreciate it!

Also, I checked out Foxee's website, and she really is beyond cool! Are there any plans to update the software?

I am so very glad to hear that you liked my Foxee Microsoft Agent Character!  She was the result of three separate college class final projects (two programming classes for different parts of her software and website development, and one Technical Writing class for all of the documentation that I wrote for her).  I also bought several animation school textbooks and supplies and learned how to draw hand-drawn animation just to create her.  I still look back on her as one of my crowning achievements.

As far as updating her software goes, the Microsoft Agent 2.0 technology that powers her is now 13-years old, and has been deprecated in versions of Windows that are newer than Vista.  You can still run her in Windows 7 if you install a hotfix that is available from the Microsoft website, but there is no guarantee that Microsoft Agent 2.0 will be supported at all in the up and coming Windows 8.  Because of this situation, I have long had plans to develop my own software to run Foxee and any other future animated characters that I create, but I just haven't had the chance to make too much progress on that yet.  I have literally dozens of personal projects that I have started over the years, so it is always a question of which one to focus on and when.  I would absolutely *love* to work on my beloved Foxee again, but I have other projects that are higher priorities that I need to take care of first.  You can expect that to see some revisions to the Foxee.Net website sometime in the next several months though, as I will be going through and making some major upgrades to all of my websites within the coming year!  (I say "year" because I have a lot of websites!)  x_x

A new voice, maybe?

Foxee, due to the long-in-the-tooth Microsoft Agent 2.0 technology that she is based on, has to use a Microsoft Speech API 4 or 5-compatible text-to-speech engine.  Out of all of the SAPI 4 and 5 female-English speaking voices that I have tried, the L&H TTS3000 Female British-English text-to-speech engine sounded by far the most pleasant to me, and that is why I chose it.  As a result, she will not be getting a new English text-to-speech engine while she is based on Microsoft Agent technology because in my opinion all of the other voices that I could have given her sounded much worse.  With that said, interestingly I recently had a customer request me to make a version of Foxee that speaks Russian by default.  I have no idea what the female-voice Russian L&H TTS3000 text-to-speech engine sounds like yet, but I pray that it sounds pleasant as I want my customer to be pleased!

Or some more pictures? I'd love to see more!  :)

I have probably over a dozen penciled and inked Foxee drawings that are waiting for me to scan, digitally cleanup the line work of, and then color.  I just need to get around to finishing them!  *sigh*  So there are plenty of Foxee drawings out there that will someday be added to the website-- they are just waiting on me to finish them!  Sorry about that!   :-[

Thank you again for your kind words-- I really appreciated them!

Offline Mr. Nekosan

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This is a picture of the laptop i had before i got the one i have now.



I refused to acknowledge that it was,  "Abused."  I called it,  "Well-loved."


Right now it's sitting in a lot of different pieces scattered across me room.  Motherboard fried.


Veerrryyy Old pic.

Personification?  Never that far.


I have noticed the hinges of dell laptops are one of the first things to go, it must be some kind of design flaw.

Offline Avan

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Hinges on laptops are actually subjected to a significant amount of force. Normally to open and close it, at say a radius of .25m, and it doesn't feel like much effort. The force you are acting against in the hinge though (functions like it has a high static friction coef, and moderately high kinetic friction coef; not sure if its entirely frictional though or based on some other mechanisms) designed to keep the lid held in place while you are using it, and to prevent you from closing the lid too quickly), and the hinge pivot is elevated a small amount away from the body of the laptop, you can get a force around 50 to a 100 times greater over a much smaller distance each time you open and close the lid that gets exerted onto the frame (often plastic, being pushed on by a small but thick metal post that forms the base of the hinge). Eventually this will fatigue it to the point of failure.
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Offline Alsek

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Avan,  this is in fact a very well known problem with dells in general,   but particularly thinkpads.   i had a repair tech that works on several brands (i used the warenty) tell me this was a particularly common issue with dell inspirons.  Personaly,   i'm never buying a dell again.   They're terrible pieces of junk,  as dell puts in the lowest possible quality parts they can that still allow them to claim technical specifications on the box.

If your're buying a laptop,   get a lenovo thinkpad.  ugly but they Do. Not. Break. from intended use.  t series is well rounded.  i have a thinkpad i've been using for 3 times as long as the dell pictured above with the same amount of abuse but it still looks brand new.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2012, 02:21:55 am by Alsek »

Offline Avan

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ah yeah, lenovo thinkpads are good. But my point was that all components will have a MTF, and overworking a particular part (esp mechanical ones) will lead to earlier failure. I've seen damaged hinged devices of all sorts (computers & phones), though I never paid that much attention to models

In other news, related to damaged laptops, I dropped by netbook a few weeks ago, and then the screen got all wonky, but a few sharp taps to the side and its been working perfectly again ever since.
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Offline Kay

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It sounds strange but my family has a weird habit of naming our computers from naming our cars.
Recently the names have been quite... Ridiculous, but my sisters and I name our technology.
My IPOD is Eclaire
My desk-top-lap-top is Cookie
My alarm clock is Harold
I tried to name my mom's new car Samuel... But she didn't like it, so we settled for "Sexy Beast".
My step-dad's car is the Great Pumpkin
And my lap-top vents I've dubbed Wanda and Betty.

My names are all over the place.

Offline Acton

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I do uses furry name s when naming net for  my work group for m net is Bear******* or I sues Sanrio character names .  Unfortunately I a little more abusive (in jest) with my computers.My Pc know they working the net for me, I keep them in line. They better know not to hold out  on me or I use the boot strap program.
They call me the PC P.

Now were my cup.

Or they are my evil minions and  remember Acton doesn't tolerate failure.



Offline EmmaCornell

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My mother named her 1996 camry "Camel" (pronounced "ka-meel") and the few times she has been in an accident in that car she acted as if she wanted to sue the person for everything they got. :D Oh and she still has that car. Runs just like new! (:
And as for me, I treat every electronic I'm given as if it's a child. I don't name them, but I do take extra care of them (:
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