Our studio used Macs powered with Final Cut, which was amazing video editing software at the time. Equally amazing was the speech software that allowed our two main workstations to speak in a variety of wobbly, stilted computer-generated voices whenever an alert message popped up. The voices would (badly) pronounce whatever phrases you typed into their respective databases. It was as simple as “open speech program => select alert message => add new random phrase to say for Alert X, Y or Z.”
So let’s say you got an error message while working. The computer might say in an endearing computer-lady voice, “Whoops. Sorry about that.”
Or, if you were using our machines, you’d very likely hear the computer say in an idiotic male robot voice, “Oh, sure. Blame it on me. You stoo-pid hu-mans are all the same.” Or maybe even, “Don’t look at me. You fucked it up.”
This is because my brother Josh and I stayed after school for three hours, programming every stupid insult we could think of into the speech programs of both workstations: anything ranging from smack-talking the user to insulting specific people in the classroom. Mr Keene would be in the middle of a lecture and somebody doing make-up work in the back of the classroom would trigger a loud phrase like, “Here is my impression of Mr Keene. Duh. I am a jerk. How duz this com-pyoo-ter work. Oh god am I stoo-pid.”
We came into class to do a little work on a project the day after we’d infected our computers with the Douche Virus. Schoolmate Amy was at one of the main workstations, typing furiously at the keyboard.
“Hey, Amy,” said Josh. “What’s up?”
“THIS STUPID COMPUTER CALLED ME RETARDED!”
I was surprised she hadn’t smashed the thing to bits. Amy didn’t take shit off of nobody.