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February 26, 2011

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Charles

Excellent, what a great post. I always name my hard drives after fictional computers. Can I add a few of my favorites? I won't add links since your spam filter would probably eat this comment, but these should all be available at Amazon or whatever, maybe even your store.

From the Hugo award winning cyberpunk novel "Software."
Disky. Named after DSKY, the Apollo lunar lander guidance computer, the first computer on the moon. Disky is the supercomputer that supervises all the self-replicating robots in the lunar colony. Also notable in that novel: Ralph Numbers. He is the robot that broke free of his programming and attained free will by exposing his core memory to cosmic rays, causing mutation.

From Phil Dick's "The Day Mr. Computer Fell Out Of Its Tree."
Mr. Computer (of course). BTW, love the PKD Ace pulp paperback first edition pic you posted, I have a few of those books myself. They're too fragile to read.

From "The Adolescence of P-1"
P-1. A story of an adolescent computer hacker, the self-aware program he accidentally created, and how they grow up together.

Let's include some pop culture icons:

From the movie "Colossus: The Forbin Project"
Colossus. The ultimate paranoid cold war movie, Colossus takes over world control and enslaves mankind.

From the movie "WarGames"
WOPR (a/k/a Joshua) War Operations Plan Response. Would you like to play a nice game of chess?

From the TV Show "Red Dwarf:
Holly/Queeg. The computer with an IQ of 6000 that has become senile. Oh, let's not forget Talkie Toaster, the annoying computerized appliance with a fixation on bread.

From "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."
Some legendary computers here: Marvin the Paranoid Android, Deep Thought, and of course the greatest computer of all, The Earth.

Ray Girvan

Nice project. Here's another E for you: Epiktistes, the creative cigar-smoking computer that appears in several RA Lafferty short stories, and is the subject of his 1971 novel "Arrive at Easterwine: The Autobiography of a Ktistec Machine as conveyed to R.A. Lafferty".

And a G: the Great Napoleon, the mechanical analytical engine that's the main computer of the French government in Gibson & Sterling's steampunk novel "The Difference Engine".

Ray Girvan

Ah: if we're talking about Rudy Rucker's "Software", there's Mr Frostee (an evil computer so-called because he travels around in an icecream truck for the refrigeration necessary to cool his chips).

Charles

Oh, I forgot about that one, Ray. I once named one of my hard drives Mister Frostee. I checked, it's spelled out and not abbreviated Mr., which just seems to make it more ludicrous and malevolent.

Now I've been thinking, was DSKY really the computer on the moon? Could there have been a computer in an earlier lander like Surveyor? I found this very complex and interesting paper that seems to indicate the Surveyor guidance system was a simple electromechanical feedback mechanism, not a programmable computer.

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19660082318_1966082318.pdf

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