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Monday, February 12, 2007

OK, maybe a tiny bit odd

[Warning:  This post will almost certainly bore you to tears.  However there's a joke at the end so it might possibly be worth the slog]

There are bound to be times in every marriage where one half of the couple will look at the other in frank amazement and silently wonder 'what the hell was I thinking?'

I'm sure my wife has had more than a few of these moments, but if one were to look for one of the themes that has topped the list of 'David's odd fascinations', Stanley Kubrik's masterpiece film '2001 A Space Oddysey' would have to rate high on the wierdness scale.  If you haven't seen it you have missed out on one of life's important experiences.

This fascination goes back a looong way. 

When I was attending University, the library had a whole bank of cute Macintosh computers (yes, we had computers back then... albeit primitive ones).  I found it endlessly entertaining that you could change the sounds for pretty much any event on these Apple computers.  Guess what I changed some of them to?   

You see, in addition to the standard menu of default sounds with which every Mac person is familiar, I stumbled across a collection of 2001 A Space Odyssey-themed 'event sounds' that someone had loaded onto the machine I usually used.  Needless to say, I set up the computer to employ many of these sound clips. 

For instance, when the computer would first boot up it would say:

"Good afternoon, gentlemen. I am a HAL 9000 computer. I became operational at the H.A.L. plant in Urbana, Illinois on the 12th of January 1992. My instructor was Mr. Langley, and he taught me to sing a song. If you'd like to hear it I can sing it for you."

Also, instead the default error sound, I set the computer to use the HAL 9000's voice saying "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that", whenever I inadvertantly tried to perfrom a function that wasn't allowed.

Admittedly, it wierded out some of the other students (remember this was still the dawn of the computer age) to the point that they often avoided this machine... but as more and more demand was placed on these handy little computers for word processing and such, this was definately a plus for me.

Why have I bored you to tears with all this today?

It's because I am shopping for something to replace my cell phone's long-standing ring tone (the current one is still 'La Valse D'Amelie' from the film Amélie) and I really, REALLY want to get my hands on one of those old '2001 A Space Odyssey' clips.  The problem is that I haven't been able to find them anywhere.

Back in June when I wrote about Israelis and their cell phones I mentioned in passing in the comments that I had a 'jones' for a 2001-themed ringtone, one of my faithful readers sent me a link to an online program that would adapt pretty much any sound file to pretty much any polyphonic phone.  However - surprise, surprise - Mr. organiziation over here misplaced it.

So I'm asking:  Can anyone help me out?

Anyhoo... you've been very patient with me so here's your reward (a joke a recieved from my friend Heshy):

Why men make better friends:

Friendship Between Women:

A woman didn't come home one night.

The next day she told her husband that she had slept over at a friend's house.

The man called his wife's 10 best friends. None of them knew about it.

Friendship Between Men:

A man didn't come home one night.

The next day he told his wife that he had slept over at a friend's house.

The woman called her husband's 10 best friends. 

Eight of them confirmed that he had slept over, and two claimed that he was still there.

220_83

Posted by David Bogner on February 12, 2007 | Permalink

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You are very lucky. Your wife seems to like you a bunch. Despite the 2001 thingy. And other eccentricities. Hey, that passed "spell check."

Posted by: Seattle | Feb 12, 2007 11:31:27 AM

Yep...made me laugh...but I don't know what the site was. If you find it, then I could do the same with one of "The Wiggles" songs that I've been wanting...

Posted by: Safranit | Feb 12, 2007 12:55:08 PM

It's great to discover that I'm not the only geek that did that. I downloaded a bunch of 2001 soundclips some years ago from soundamerica.com, and set up "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that" for one category of errors and "It can only be attributable to human error" for another. The site's still there: http://soundamerica.com/sounds/movies/A-C/2001/

As for adapting the .wav files to something your cellphone will play, I'm assuming you're looking for a Mac program, so I can't help you.

Posted by: Simon | Feb 12, 2007 12:59:14 PM

OK, so this time I'll put it in the comments so you don't lose it...

Audio editor for Mac OS X:

http://www.rogueamoeba.com/fission/

Let us know if it works!

Posted by: wogo | Feb 12, 2007 1:02:17 PM

hahahaha...yeah right...my cell plays mariloo (tzvika pik) cuz that's what my youngest and his friends call me...hekchewally i wanted 'california dreaming' sigh...but this way i don't hurt when the phone rings :)))

Posted by: marallyn | Feb 12, 2007 2:46:02 PM

I have always loved that joke.

Posted by: Jack | Feb 12, 2007 5:46:44 PM

Wow. Sound America. That's one I haven't seen in ages. When I first got a computer that was faster than 90mhz, and an internet connection, one of the first things I did was go looking for wav files so I could create sound themes. I still have all the files. I've just been transferring them onto every new computer's hard drive since 1998.

Posted by: Amanda Rush | Feb 12, 2007 6:32:49 PM

This post reminds me that after almost twenty years of marriage, I discovered that my husband was a "trekkie" in high school. Another reason why I thank G-d we didn't meet until we were both adults!

Posted by: westbankmama | Feb 12, 2007 7:01:35 PM

Most of modern cell phones can be used with mp3 and aac (use iTunes for conversion). However, if you need another sound utility for Mac OS X, you probably may want to try SoX (freeware, open-source), found here: www.waveformsoftware.com/SoX_Wrap/soxwrap.htm

For online conversion www.media-convert.com may be the right place for you. :-)

Posted by: Piet | Feb 12, 2007 8:52:27 PM

Aren't kids the only ones who are allowed to have non-standard ringers? :)

Posted by: tnspr569 | Feb 12, 2007 9:43:55 PM

It was 1965. I worked for a computer timeshare company. In those days we used "acoustic couplers", you placed the telephone handset on a box with two large earphone type devices to talk to the computer. Procedure was to dial the computer, listen for the modem, then place the handset. A new customer dialed the computer room operator instead of the modem. The operator, Lanny Nance, picked up the phone and said: "Good morning, Transdata Corporation, can I help you?". From the other end: "My G-d, it talks!!!",

Posted by: Roy Lofquist | Feb 12, 2007 11:35:28 PM

I think Kubrick was a great, great director... but for some reason, I just didn't really get that particular movie at all. I guess that's due to all these crazy sci fi movies around me with the latest special effects... but it would certainly be interesting to hear a real fan talking about why he (or she) got into it... so far, most posts I've seen only dealt with that in passing, so I never do get a chance to find out why people find it a great movie.

Posted by: Irina | Feb 13, 2007 2:09:39 AM

Good thing most of my friends are men. : )

(Just kidding, sweetie)

Hubby will get a kick out of this post. He too, is a Space geek.

Posted by: jaime | Feb 13, 2007 2:17:02 AM

David,

Set this as wallpaper on the desktop and you'll be good to go. :)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/1f/Hal-9000.jpg

"Dave, will I dream?"

Posted by: K Newman | Feb 13, 2007 5:09:38 AM

I totally understand the draw to "2001". Whenever I get frustrated I beat my desk with a femur. Also, I'm very very hairy.

"My G-d! It's full of stars."

BTW, did you like "2010"? Not nearly as huge of an achievement in moviemaking, but I still loved it.

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Feb 13, 2007 4:35:02 PM

I used to pretend to be HAL 9000 when I first met my husband David. I used to say all kinds of things à la HAL....that soothing, yet infuriating and frightening at the same time voice that always portended doom. We are married after 24 years, and I ditched the HAL voice a long time ago...but it was nice to read this post. It brought back fun and fond memories.

Posted by: Jauhara al Kafirah | Feb 13, 2007 9:49:10 PM

My brother saw 2001 about 15 times... recall this is when you had to pay to see the movie in a theater each and every time.

My wife, bless her, is way more of a geek than me (indeed, Jauhara al Kafirah, in another life, I would dote upon your HAL-isms), so I get to tag along on such oddments as actual Star Trek Conventions and the like.

2010 is a huge let-down, IMHO (as told to me by my brother, see above). Beginning with the fact that THE SPACESHIPS MAKE NOISE IN SPACE... Dolts! Imbeciles!

Although I've never been on the apparently required herbal or chemical doses to "get" the last 15 minutes of 2001, I still find the movie, up until then, powerfully moving.

A few years ago, I got to teach the daughter of Gary Lockwood, the guy who gets offed by HAL. Note how I am still telling people that.

It's a pity more people can't put up with that movie.

Oh, my. Have I made a fool of myself?

Posted by: Wrymouth | Feb 14, 2007 3:31:58 AM

Amelie is also one of our (wife and I) favorite modern comedies. Very simple yet evocative soundtrack, too!

Your next test, Trep, should you decide to accept it: "Strictly Ballroom," directed by the young Baz Luhrman out of Australia.

Posted by: Wrymouth | Feb 14, 2007 3:36:17 AM

Amelie is also one of our (wife and I) favorite modern comedies. Very simple yet evocative soundtrack, too!

Your next test, Trep, should you decide to accept it: "Strictly Ballroom," directed by the young Baz Luhrman out of Australia.

Posted by: Wrymouth | Feb 14, 2007 3:36:24 AM

You're channeling my husband. Or he's channeling you. I had to endure the HAL theme on our computer for ages. "just a minute. Just a minute." Argh.

Now he's going to find out that he can get a 2001 ringtone, because he reads your blog. Thanks. Thanks a whole lot.

(aside to Hubby: and yes, honey, if I can find "I am immortal" I *will* have a Highlander ringtone on my future phone!)

Posted by: projgen | Feb 15, 2007 12:01:08 AM

You're channeling my husband. Or he's channeling you. I had to endure the HAL theme on our computer for ages. "just a minute. Just a minute." Argh.

Now he's going to find out that he can get a 2001 ringtone, because he reads your blog. Thanks. Thanks a whole lot.

(aside to Hubby: and yes, honey, if I can find "I am immortal" I *will* have a Highlander ringtone on my future phone!)

Posted by: projgen | Feb 15, 2007 12:01:39 AM

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