Uncategorized’s Amusing Parody of Microsoft’s “Surface” Ads

I’m surprised this didn’t happen sooner, but someone —, the folks behind the How to Kill Your Brand video — has finally created a parody of Microsoft’s “you should be in awe, or at least think we still have some ‘game’ left” ads for Surface, their vision of “big-ass table” computing:


Microsoft Surface, Sun Starfire and Apple Knowledge Navigator Videos

Yesterday, I wrote about how the “cyberwar” in Estonia seemed rather different from the way William Gibson depicted cyberattacks in his “Sprawl series” novels, most notably Neuromancer. I thought that as long as I was comparing speculations of what future tech would be like against how the future actually turned out, I should tie it in with the hot news of the moment, Microsoft Surface.

Microsoft Surface’s Promo Videos

In case you haven’t seen the promo videos for Surface yet, I’ve posted them below. Here’s the first one: Microsoft Surface – The Magic:

Thos one’s called: Microsoft Surface – The Power:

And finally, Microsoft Surface – The Possibilities:

Sun’s Starfire Concept Video (1992)

I mentioned Sun’s Starfire project in my post about Surface, but thought it deserved a front-and-centre mention. Starfire wasn’t a project to develop an actual platform, but to develop concepts that would eventually find their way into future platforms when the technology made it possible and show them in a video. The video is available online in MPEG-4 format, but you’d better have a good connection: it’s 270 megs in size:

Still from Sun’s “Starfire” video.
Click the image above to view the Starfire video.

Apple’s Knowledge Navigator Video (1987)

If the Starfire video gives you a sense of deja vu, it’s probably because you’ve seen Apple’s Knowledge Navigator concept video, shown below:

If the Starfire and Knowledge Navigator videos bear similarities to each other, they should; Apple UI guru Bruce “Tog” Tognazzini helped create both.


I’m going to post some notes on some of the concepts in the Starfire video that appear to have come to fruition with Surface as well as my notes on what they thought 2004 would be like back in 1992.


Microsoft’s Midnight Surprise, Revealed: Microsoft Surface

“Microsoft Surface” logo.Microsoft’s Midnight Surprise? It’s Microsoft Surface, a large-area screen-and-multi-touch-surface computer. Here are some places to get started:

It’s pretty nifty technology, the sort of which we’d been waiting for since Bruce Tognazzini showed the world (okay, maybe not the world, but a couple of really interested people at Sun and whoever bought Tog on Software Design) his “Starfire Project” concept back in 1992, in which he showed a theoretical multi-touch surface computer hooked to a global network in the far-off year of 2004.

That’s all I’m writing for now; this Global Nerd’s gotta go beddy-bye.


Dialog Box of the Week

Worse Than Failure asks: in the dialog box below, which button do you click to reset to the factory default settings, and which one to you click to cancel the reset operation?

“Reset to Factory Default” dialog box featuring two buttons: “Apply” and “Reset”.

Even this redesign featuring CB radio slang (I watched Convoy and many episodes of BJ and the Bear as a kid) makes more sense:

Improved “Reset to Factory Default” dialog box featuring two buttons: “10-4 good buddy” and “That’s a negatory”.


Funny Linksys Dialog Box

Many people, myself included, have a Linksys WRT54GS quietly performing yeoman service in their homes, offices and home offices. I’ve never had any trouble upgrading its firmware, but other people have, and they’ve been greeted with this All Your Base-esque message:

Linksys “Upgrade are failed” message

Here’s a close-up:

“Upgrade are failed” dialog box

[Images courtesy of my friend, Miss Fipi Lele.]