technology

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Strong Bad Email #143
watch secret identity some kinda robot
Demonstrating the art of floppy disk folding.

Strong Bad makes an introduction to technology for middle school students.

Cast (in order of appearance): Strong Bad, The Cheat, Pom Pom, Bubs (Easter egg), Homestar Runner (Easter egg), Strong Sad (Easter egg)

Places: Computer Room, The Classroom, The Field, Bubs' Concession Stand (Easter egg)

Computer: Lappy 486

Date: January 30, 2006

Running Time: 3:39

Page Title: Lappy 486

Contents

Transcript

{Strong Bad types "strongbad_email.exe" and presses enter.}

STRONG BAD: {singing} Don't you wanna email, don't you need a email, don't you turn your life around!

{Strong Bad pronounces "Oswego NY" as "Oswego to New York" with "Oswego" in a sing-song voice, as if saying "Off we go!"}

STRONG BAD: {typing} You would really appreciate it? That's it? Man, back in the olden {pronounces "olden" as ol-dén} days, I could get upwards of 3 chickens, a sack of barley and a half-dead goat all for doing one of my technology intromercials. {clears screen} Well, I sure hope JCPenney's accepts really appreciate it's, 'cause I know for a fact they stopped taking {exaggerates voice} I'll be your best friend's {returns to normal} a while ago. Either way, middle school kids are all idiots and they need as much of my help and guidance as they can get.

{Strong Bad gets up. Cut to a classroom with Strong Bad in a white lab coat, the words "I'M USING TECHNOLOGY" written on the blackboard and a poster with a drawing of a computer captioned "computers don't BYTE".}

STRONG BAD: {slightly robotic tone} One, zero zero, one one, zero, one, one zero, one one zero, zero one. {normal voice} You may not have understood me, but I was speaking technology.

{Cut to a close-up of Strong Bad's head in the lab.}

STRONG BAD: The word technology... means... magic. It's basically anything that's really cool that you don't know how it works. And if it breaks, you have to buy a new one. Why, I've got some technology beneath my pants right now! Whoo-ya!

{Cut to the full classroom shot again. Strong Bad takes a 5¼" floppy disk with the logo "5.25 power" from behind him, throws it in the air and catches it in his right hand.}

STRONG BAD: This is a diskette. Diskettes were invented by computers to help us. Like how cows—

{A crude drawing of a cow replaces the text on the blackboard.}

STRONG BAD: —invented milk.

{Zoom in on Strong Bad's head.}

STRONG BAD: The two warring factions of diskettes are floppy disks—

{He shakes the 5¼" disk, emphasizing its floppiness.}

STRONG BAD: —and hard disks.

{He lifts an unlabeled 3½" floppy disk in his right hand.}

STRONG BAD: I prefer {hides the 3½" disk} these big ones because they hold more memory, although you have to {crumples the 5¼" disk} fold them up to fit them into these new computers.

{Camera pans right to center on the "computers don't BYTE!" poster. Strong Bad drops the crumpled disk and continues.}

STRONG BAD: Another thing you'll need is your very own email address.

{Cut to a Tandy 400-like computer screen with an orange envelope labeled "email".}

STRONG BAD: Just take your favorite hobby,—

{The words "soccer", "ballet", "nachoeating", "skater", "fire", "football", "racecar" and "swimteam" alternate under the envelope and stop on "swimteam".}

STRONG BAD: — add kid, grrl, pie or izzle—

{The words alternate next to "swimteam" as he speaks them, then being replaced by "pie".}

STRONG BAD: —and put a bunch of numbers at the end!

{The number "33331" appears next to "pie". The address is completed with "@kindergartencop.edu" appearing on the next line. Then, cut to the classroom with a picture of a robot marching towards a city and the text "gank gank!"}

STRONG BAD: {in a robotic voice} Robots are technology shaped like square people. {returns to normal voice} They are primarily used for destroying Japan and serving hors d'œuvres.

{The Cheat walks up to Strong Bad with a plate of hors d'œuvres, making robotic noises and encased in what appears to be an upside-down metal pail. The pail has bolts drawn on it in black marker and light bulbs sticking out of holes cut in the sides.}

STRONG BAD: Ah, The Cheatbot! I would love a stuffed grape leaf! {grabs one and eats it}

{Cut to The Field, where the lab-coat wearing Strong Bad and "The Cheatbot" are standing next to Pom Pom, who is talking to someone on his PDA.}

STRONG BAD: Originally, tellular cellaphones {indicating Pom Pom's PDA} were for sending misspelled messages to your friends, telling them where you are in the food court.

POM POM: {makes a few bubbling noises directed at Strong Bad, then resumes his conversation}

STRONG BAD: Pom Pom just bought movie tickets with his cell phone!

POM POM: {looks annoyed and makes more bubbling noises}

STRONG BAD: Oh, he just watched a movie on his cell phone!

POM POM: {looks angry at Strong Bad, makes more bubbling noises}

STRONG BAD: Oh oh oh! Pom Pom just wrote, directed, produced, and distributed a movie with his cell phone!

POM POM: {answers an incoming call and makes a few more bubbling noises}

STRONG BAD: ...and he just got into Sundance! High-five, brother!

{Pom Pom absorbs his PDA into his body, produces a pair of sunglasses and a water bottle, and bounces off, "drinking" from the water bottle.}

STRONG BAD: {holding out for the high-five a bit longer} Uh, cool, right. I'll, uh... see you later. {waits a bit, then turns to The Cheat} What are you still doing here, The Cheatbot?

{Cut back to the classroom, where the blackboard now reads "THE FUTURE??" in large letters.}

STRONG BAD: The future of technology, or at least what people won't shut up about, is wireless. You know, things like—

{The view zooms in on the blackboard, which displays drawings of each of the items Strong Bad mentions.}

STRONG BAD: —walkmans, flashlights, and solar calculators.

{He pops up in front of the blackboard and holds up a "Cakkalater" brand calculator which has the digits "53045 3080" typed in.}

STRONG BAD: Look, I can make mine say "oboe shoes"!

{He turns the calculator upside-down so that the digits resemble the words "OBOE ShOES". Cut back to the Lappy, as Strong Bad sits back down.}

STRONG BAD: {typing} And then there's the Lappy, which rules over technology with a 42 pound, allegedly portable fist. Watch as it magically saves this screen.

{Strong Bad types "screen_savior.exe" on a new line, bringing up a screen saver that resembles a primitive 3D maze. The words "Strong Bad gots the style" are written on the wall at every turn.}

STRONG BAD: The screen is saved, man. This thing's gonna last like 50 years! Alright, awkward children, I'm all done kickin' my tech-knowledge. Now leave me alone! Got to find my way out of these catacombs...

{The Paper comes down.}

STRONG BAD: {mumbling to himself} Left... left... no, right... no, left... right... just keep goin'... Strong Bad... style...

STRONG BAD: {after some time} Where are you taking me, Lappy?

STRONG BAD: {after another delay} Man... I throwed up all over this maze.

Easter Eggs

  • Click on the words "half-dead goat" for a picture of a goat with the caption: "Do you see this goat as half-dead or half-alive?"
  • Click the left side of the Lappy's screen at the end to see Strong Bad and Strong Sad arguing over floppy/hard disks.
STRONG SAD: I keep telling you they're both floppy disks!
STRONG BAD: You think this is a floppy disk?
STRONG SAD: Yes, it is!
STRONG BAD: It's not a hard disk? {he hits his desk with the disk three times}
STRONG SAD: No.
STRONG BAD: Are you sure about this?
STRONG SAD: Absolu- {Strong Bad throws the disk in his face} Ow!
  • Click the right side of the Lappy's screen at the end to see Bubs selling Wireless Extension Cords.
BUBS: Get your wireless extension cords. Three for three hundred! Lightweight, existent, and shockproof!
{Homestar peeks out from the left edge of the screen}
HOMESTAR RUNNER: Umm... I'll take fooour! {he flies up the left screen edge and disappears}

Fun Facts

Explanations

  • When Strong Bad "speaks technology," he is speaking in binary code, where each 1 or 0 is a bit.
    • A byte is an ordered collection of 8 bits.
  • There are two kinds of disks shown in the email, 5¼" and 3½", and they are both floppy disks (meaning Strong Sad was correct). Note that not only does Strong Bad misidentify the 3½" floppy disk, but he incorrectly states that the larger disk has more memory. The smaller one has more disk space.
    • In a 3½" floppy disk, the disk itself is flexible, hence the name "floppy disk", even though it is inside a hard case. In a hard disk, the disk itself is inflexible.
  • A hard disk or hard drive (more correctly: "hard disk drive") is a storage unit for computer files that is usually located inside the computer and, therefore, not portable. Though recent technology has made hard drives that are both external and portable, the disk in Strong Bad's hand is not a hard disk.
  • A catacomb is any network of caves, grottos, or subterranean place that is used for the burial of the dead, or it can refer to a specific underground burial place.

Trivia

  • The label on the disk in the floppy disk container reads "gold rush".
  • Taken as a whole number, Strong Bad's sequence "10011011011001" represents the number 9945. In 7-bit ASCII, this sequence represents the letters "MY".

Remarks

  • You cannot actually fold a 5¼" floppy disk to make it work in a 3½" drive. Attempting to do so will destroy the media (and possibly damage the disk drive).
  • The screensaver goes in an endless loop of Forward, Turn Right, Forward, Turn Left, as shown here:

  ---- end
    |
    |---- end
    |  |
   end |---- end
       |  |
      end |...

  • Strong Bad has referred to the 3½" disks as floppy disks in the email funny.
  • The number on the chalkboard solar calculator, 3.14, is the most common approximation of pi.
  • A typical solar calculator has space for only 8 numbers. Strong Bad's has 10.
    • This calculator is also able to insert spaces between numbers, which normal calculators can't do.

Inside References

  • Pom Pom's ring tone is the indietronic remix of The Geddup Noise, heard in the email geddup noise.
  • The "kindergartencop.edu" domain was also used in unused emails, for the email address that Bubs sends spam to.
  • The Lappy being 42 pounds and portable is also mentioned in animal, when it first debuted.
  • This is another appearance of Goats.
  • Homestar flying up the side of the screen bears a resemblance to many instances of Homsar doing similar things.
  • The Cheatbot's sounds are nearly identical to those he makes in the intro to the news program in local news.
  • When Strong Bad is describing how to create an e-mail address, there are references to both 'grrl' and 'Pie'.
  • This is another instance of the Food Court.
  • During the screen saver, Strong Bad says, "Left, left, no! Right, left..." This was said by Homestar in Trogdor Con '97

Real World References

  • Strong Bad's binary sequence sounds very similar to the song "10001110101" by Clutch.
  • The "catacombs" screensaver on the Lappy is reminiscent of the "3D-Maze" screen saver first introduced in Windows 95 OSR-2. It is also similar to the 1991 DOS game Catacomb Abyss.
  • Kindergarten Cop is a movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as an undercover cop, posing as a teacher.
  • Sundance is an annual independent film festival in Park City, Utah, founded by actor Robert Redford and also a US pay cable television channel showing similar films. The name refers to Redford's portrayal of The Sundance Kid in the film Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid.
  • Pom Pom's cell phone looks like a Palm Treo 600, 650, or 700w.
  • Pom Pom drinks from what appears to be a Nalgene water bottle, a brand popular with college students and Hollywood artist types.
  • JCPenney is a large chain of department stores commonly found in malls.
  • Pom Pom's cell phone says "Incoming Call: Bob Redford", referring to American actor Robert Redford.
  • "Do you see this goat as half-dead or half-alive?" is a reference to the famous expression "Do you see this glass as half-empty or half-full?", a psychological question often used to determine if a person is optimistic or pessimistic. It is also a reference to the famous Schrodinger's cat experiment which involves an experiment wherein an unobserved cat is in a quantum superposition of being alive and dead.
  • In MMORPGs, gank is slang for a player attacking and killing another player who is at extreme disadvantage.
  • Strong Bad's definition of technology may be a spoof on Clarke's third law: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Most middle-school technology classes begin with the definition of technology, which is the use of tools, materials, and knowledge to solve problems and do tasks efficiently.
  • The first item to appear written on the blackboard is "I'm using technology," a lyric from the Stooges song Search and Destroy--"Look out honey, ’cause I’m using technology."
  • Coincidentally, on the morning that this email appeared, NPR's Morning Edition aired a story about movies filmed with cell phones.
  • The poster that says computers don't BYTE, the font used for BYTE is the same font used in BYTE magazine. The computer on the poster also resembles an Apple IIe.
  • When Strong Bad says he will be "Kicking (his) new Tech-Kuh-Nowledge", he is referencing the Beastie Boys, in particular "The Sounds Of Science" on Pauls Boutique. The lyrics go "I've been dropping the new science and kicking the new knowledge An M.C. to a degree that you can't get in college", in which "Knowledge" is pronounced with the "K" in the way Strong Bad does in the toon.
  • "Intromercial" is a play on "infomercial", a commercial that usually lasts at least half an hour, often called "paid programming".

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