Hello, Computer

“hello, computer!” 

 (hat tip: memory-alpha.org)

I suppose everyone has them (if not, I suppose I’m in trouble) – those signature lines from books, movies, and discussions with your parole officer that burn their way into your consciousness and become THE go-to line that always plays in your head during certain situations. Often (as I discovered when I found the clip, which I embedded below) “the line” has grown larger and funnier in your head than it was in its original context.

For me, whenever I have a moment’s difficulty with a computer – when one freezes up, presents me with an inexplicable dialogue box, or otherwise takes on a mind of its own, I think (and sometimes say) “Hello, computer?!?” This is because of the scene with Scotty in Star Trek IV. The formula for transparent aluminum is in that brilliant mind of his, but to turn ideas into reality, he’s got to turn to – a 20th century computer! Worse, a 1980’s computer!

I think it’s comforting because Scotty can indeed fix anything, and always in half the time that he told Captain Kirk it would take, but computers are still baffling, even to him.

(edit: having watched the scene again – why does McCoy know more about 20th century pointing devices than Scotty? Well, let’s not apply too much logic to this scene… or this entire movie)

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