Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Blog robot - part two

Hi everyone,

Sorry I've left it so long to continue my treatise on BLOG ROBOT. I've not had much time lately. It could be because I've been busy getting in the seasonal vegetables at the shop, or it could be because I'm a figment of someone's imagination, and they've not had much time lately. Either way, this is the first chance I've had.

Anyway, it's time to get down to business, and actually fire-up BLOG ROBOT and see how it works. After you shove the disquette into the drive, there's a bit of whirring and we see the opening screen, which invites us to LOAD or GENERATE a "BLOGGER PROFILE". (If you've got the compact cassette version, you'll find it takes around five or six minutes to get to this stage.) I hit GENERATE and we move on. (There are a number of preset profiles that ship with BLOG ROBOT, including Beverley Craven, Terrell Owens and Genghis Khan. We will start afresh, however.) I'm now asked to delineate my general personality characteristics using a set of sliders that look like this:

The manual that accompanies BLOG ROBOT describes the sliders thus:
BLOG ROBOT's slider matrix allows you to choose from an incredible array of realistic and/or historical personalities!
Drag the HUBRIS SLIDER to adjust your degree of self-confidence. The slider runs from "unpleasant" to "completely unbearable".
How many art and craft projects do you have on the go? Perhaps you only knit a couple of jumpers per week? Set the PRODUCTIVITY SLIDER all the way to the left-hand side for "little". Alternatively, maybe you feel you mirror the industrial economy of a small country! In that case drag the slider over to "manufacturing plant" on the right.
What about your political motivation? If you like to share your views on the matters of the day (this is supposed to be a blog, after all!) then the RIGHT ON-NESS SLIDER is the slider for you. Of course, every blogger should be right on, but if you like to go out of your way, then slide that RIGHT ON-NESS SLIDER all the way over to the right! (Do you see what we've done there!?!)
Last of all, there's your level of vitriol - particularly for the squares, oldies and generally non-Davina McCall/Craig David-savvy individuals of the world (or nonDM/CDSIs, as we call them at WR:TW.) Drag the BILE SLIDER all the way over to "Roy Keane" to let 'em have it! (Note: this slider works particularly well in conjunction with the RIGHT ON-NESS SLIDER.)
Heavens. Still, despite all this, the manual assures us that:
Don't worry - if this is all too much work for you, or if you cannot find a CELEBRITY PROFILE to suit your needs. BLOG ROBOT's default personality is more than capable of producing sparkling blog entries.

Well, ok. Perhaps it's best if we just move on to the next screen while I take a few deep breaths.

Next up, I'm invited to choose what I'm into. Do I like to knit, crochet, sew, weld, "hang out with my friends", snorkel, hang glide or something else? What football team do I support, Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea or West Ham, or am I happy just to support the highest placed London club? To be fair to WR:TW there really are a lot of choices, and if there are sufficient routines in the code to generate realistic story lines around them, then I'm impressed. (Crucially, this screen doesn't allow me to specify anything that qualifies as taste rather than simple interest. Taste - particularly in music and books, of course - is factory set by WR:TW.)

And now I'm ready to go! Next time we find out what happened when I pressed BEGIN. I confess, I'm so excited that it may be as little as another month before I write again.


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