March 22, 2003

free-range computin’

Now blogging from the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. They’re surprisingly liberal in what they allow you to do on their computers. We spent an hour stuck in the entry way, trying to figure out the little brain teaser puzzles they had set out. Eventually I balanced twelve heavy nails on the head of one. I shouted hurrah and drew stares. I don’t think the entire museum was quite ready to share in my sense of accomplishment.

The kid at the computer next to me is playing a game that’s got shotguns. It looks like a glorified version of Oregon Trail, if there is such a thing. If any state could come up with a glorified version of Oregon Trail, for some reason I get the feeling I’m there, now. Kids here look at me like I’m insane.

There’s a 486 sittin’ ’round here that has the ELIZA computer psychologist installed. We got in a fight because she kept saying “I see,” and asking me if I could “elucidate my thoughts.” I shouted at her for using such big words. The whole thing was annoying. It was like talking to myself.

Seeing as how this computer is probably logging all my keystrokes (along with spelling errors and everything) I should probably jet.

UPDATE: Yes, it is Oregon Trail. This version has even got colorful, gibbering frontiersman folk. When you wait for conditions to improve your family argues in the background. The characters all sound drunk.

“Good work there, lad. Go hunting.”

“Hey, there’s a skunk.”

“I don’t think you can eat that.”



“Pretend that nothing happened.”

“OK… hmm. My family won’t let me back in the wagon, now.”

“Tough game, huh?”