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Strong Bad Email #143
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Demonstrating the art of floppy disk folding.
This article is about the Strong Bad Email. For the article about Strong Bad's preference for out-of-date computers and other gadgets, see Strong Bad's Technology.

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: Monday, January 30, 2006

Running Time: 3:47

Page Title: Lappy 486

DVD: strongbad_email.exe Disc Five, Sbemails' 50 Greatest Hits DVD


[edit] Transcript

STRONG BAD: {singing while typing "strongbad_email.exe"} Don't you wanna email, don't you need a email, don't you turn your life around! {presses Enter}

{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-dèn} 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: {moving his hands in a robotic way, speaking in a robotic voice} 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, and then "pie" is selected.}

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

{The number "33331" appears next to "pie". The address is completed with "" 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: {moves his hands and head in a robotic way, speaking 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 The Cheat noises and encased in what appears to be an upside-down metal pail. The pail has bolts and a smiley mouth 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 cell phone.}

STRONG BAD: Originally, tellular cellaphones {indicating Pom Pom's phone} 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 phone 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. {He emphasizes "see" and "you", as though saying "C U". He 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 "Cakkalate" 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... OK... 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.

[edit] Easter Eggs

Half-dead... or half-alive?
  • 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 BAD: And you're sure about this?
STRONG SAD: Absolu— {Strong Bad throws the disk at Strong Sad's 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 inexplicably flies up the left screen edge and disappears}

[edit] Fun Facts

[edit] 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. His wording is incorrect here, too, as floppy disks don't have memory, per se, they have disk space. 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.
  • The comment about robots destroying Japan refers to Japanese kaiju films or tokusatsu shows in which major cities are destroyed by giant monsters and robots. The best-known example of this genre is Godzilla.
  • When Strong Bad says he "throwed up all over this maze", he means his graffiti. A "throw-up" is a work of graffiti of a complexity between that of "tag" and a "piece". He's speaking loosely (or ignorantly), because his hasty scrawl would more likely be considered a tag.
  • When Strong Bad makes his calculator say 'Oboe Shoes', he is referring to the popular elementary/middle school practice of calculator writing.
  • Stuffed grape leaves, known as dolmades, are commonly eaten in southeastern Europe and western Asia.

[edit] Trivia

Originally, tellular cellaphones were for sending misspelled messages...
  • The label on the disk in the floppy disk container reads "gold rush".
  • Taken as a whole number, Strong Bad's binary sequence "10011011011001" represents the number 9945. In 7-bit ASCII, this sequence represents the letters "MY".
  • "Tellular cellaphone" is a spoonerism.
  • This is the first email where Strong Bad supposedly hits Enter after every line, and he does this from from every email afterward. Before, Strong Bad was always able to skip to a new line without hitting Enter, except perhaps during Tandy 400 emails.
  • Pom Pom's Treo 650 cell phone seems to have AT&T phone service. Upon zooming in while he's receiving the second call, the Blue Bars design of AT&T can be seen under Bob Redford's name.
  • The computer on the "Computers don't BYTE" poster in the classroom resembles an Apple IIe with a DuoDisk floppy drive.
  • The YouTube description for this email is "Strong Bad tries to explain technology to middle school students."

[edit] Remarks

  • A 5¼" floppy disk cannot actually be folded to make it work in a 3½" drive. Attempting to do so will destroy the media (and possibly damage the disk drive).
    • Moreover, the computer in the poster Strong Bad gestures at when describing this procedure doesn't actually have a 3½" drive.
  • The screensaver "maze" is a single closed hallway, turning around (alternating turning left or right) at each end.
  • Strong Bad has referred to the 3½" disks as floppy disks in the email funny, in which he says "Let's see here...I can tape this blank floppy disk to my head and start talking gibberish and acting like the crazy squeaky guy".
  • 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 in its display. Strong Bad's has 10.
    • This calculator is also able to insert spaces between numbers, which normal calculators can't do.
  • Bubs's "wireless extension cords" call to mind the magnifying transmitter, an experimental device developed by Nikola Tesla as part of his research into the possibility of wireless power transmission.
  • The Cheatbot is able to serve Strong Bad a plateful of stuffed grape leaves even though the bucket doesn't have any visible arm-holes that don't have light bulbs stuck inside them. The Cheatbot's arm appears to come out from behind its body.
  • Although producing a movie on a cellphone like Pom Pom does was infeasible at the time this email was released, a movie shot entirely with iPhones did premiere at Sundance almost 9 years later.

[edit] Goofs

  • When Strong Bad turns his head when saying "magic" and "pants right now!", it appears his face and the chalkboard are together, because his mask is the same color as the chalkboard.
  • When Strong Bad takes and eats one of The Cheatbot's stuffed grape leaves, it can be seen in his glove, but none of them disappear from the plate.
  • In the Easter egg with Strong Sad, a bit of the screen is poking out of the left side.

[edit] Inside References

  • Pom Pom's ring tone is the indie-tronic remix of The Geddup Noise, heard in the email geddup noise.
  • The "" 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.
  • The Cheatbot's sounds are similar to those The Cheat makes in the intro to the news program in local news.
  • When Strong Bad is describing how to create an email 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...", similar to Homestar's mistake in Trogdor Con '97.
  • The Cakkalate is a reference to how Strong Bad pronounces "calculations" in space program.
  • When Strong Bad says "Oh oh ohhhhhh" when talking about Pom Pom's cell phone, it is similar to Homestar Runner's pronunciation of the same phrase in couch patch.

[edit] Real-World References

  • 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.
  • Pom Pom's cell phone looks like a Palm Treo 600, 650, or 700w.
  • Pom Pom's cell phone says "Incoming Call: Bob Redford", referring to American actor Robert Redford.
  • Sundance is an annual independent film festival in Park City, Utah, founded by actor Robert Redford. The name refers to Redford's portrayal of The Sundance Kid in the film Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid.
  • "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.
  • 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.
  • On 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 IBM XT.
  • 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 Paul's 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".
    • It is also a portmanteau of infomercial and intro(duction).
  • Strong Bad uses the term "-izzle", an English suffix used for pop-culture hip hop slang initially used by The Gap Band, but popularized by rapper Snoop Dogg and Bay Area Rapper E-40.
  • The phrase "I'm using technology" is a line from the song "Search and Destroy" by Iggy Pop and the Stooges.
  • JCPenney is a large chain of department stores commonly found in malls.
  • A Walkman is a portable cassette player manufactured by Sony that was popular in the 1980s and early '90s. In recent years, Sony has used the brand on MP3 players and cell phones.
  • screen_savior.exe is a reference to an icon found in the Cyberspace Office in Sierra's Space Quest 6.

[edit] DVD Version

  • The DVD version features hidden creators' commentary. To access it, switch the DVD player's audio language selection while watching.

[edit] Commentary Transcript

(Commentary by: Mike Chapman, Matt Chapman)

MATT: Mike, we have a sister that—

MIKE: What?!

MATT: Yeah! {gasps} Hold the phone! We have a sister that teaches young children about technology.

MIKE: Yeah, it's true.

MATT: On the computers!

MIKE: It's true, I bet she doesn't do a very good job of—

MATT: Aww, that's not true.

MIKE: No, no. She teaches little babies about things, though.

MATT: Really?

MIKE: Yeah.

MATT: Little babies?

MIKE: Like two-year-olds.

MATT: I don't think that's true.


MATT: I think it's like fifth-graders.

MIKE: Well... {pause} Do you think she uses this as a teaching aid?

MATT: Probably not. I think we've been banned—

MIKE: Really?

MATT: —in public schools.

MIKE: It's— She doesn't teach it at a public school, that's for darned sure.

MATT: One time, I swore a cuss—

MIKE: {chuckles} Yeah.

MATT: —on my website.

MIKE: Do it right now.

MATT: Yeah?

MIKE: Do it right now.

MATT: Parg.

MIKE: Parg. {pause} Wow. Sorry, moms. {Matt starts to say something} All you moms out there that just heard that. Dads don't care.

MATT: Yeah, dads love a curse.

MIKE: Dads love a good curse.

{long pause until Strong Bad finishes "speaking" in binary}

MATT: We should have our friend that makes homebrew Atari games turn that string of binary code into something.

MIKE: {simultaneously} {chuckles} And find out what it is? Yeah.

MATT: Make some video art out of it. {Mike laughs} {pause} So "Computers don't Byte", that was a popular, uh... poster for computer labs back in the '80s.

MIKE: Yep.


MATT: Thanks, computers!

MIKE: Two disk drives?

MATT: Yeah.

MIKE: That was also popular in the '80s.

MATT: "diskcopy a: b:", that was always—

MIKE: That was for one disk drive. Or wait, no—

MATT: But you had "B".

MIKE: Yeah, well, there was one way where you could do it where you could copy something with, uh—

MATT: Yeah, what was it saving it to?

MIKE: I guess— I don't know. Maybe it had a hard drive? But I remember—

MATT: A little bit of RAM?

MIKE: you had to switch back and forth a million times.

MATT: Yeah, yeah.


MIKE: So that was the first— this is the first time we used the, uh, amber, uh, instead of green monochrome.

MATT: Yeah, I think that kinda was the inspiration for Thy Dungeonman III, wasn't it?

MIKE: Well, I think we'd actually done the— some graphics for Thy Dungeonman III before that.

MATT: Oh, had we already?

MIKE: Yeah, yeah. But, we have friends that had a quote unquote, portable computer {laughs} that weighs about...

MATT: {overlapping}} That weighed about 50 pounds.

MIKE: It was huge and it had a very— the keyboard flipped down from the front, and revealing, like, a 5-inch or 6-inch amber monochrome monitor.

MATT: Oh yes.

MIKE: Played a lot of Karateka on that, maybe?

MATT: Ooo, nice. Hey, our— we have a friend that just got into Sundance!

MIKE: And it wasn't Pom Pom! It was—

MATT: What?

MIKE: It was the person who invented Pom Pom.

MATT: That's true.

MIKE: Our Craig Zobel.

MATT: Our very own millioniare gadabout. Craig Zobel. {pronounced krayg-zowbel}

MIKE: He looks just like that.

MATT: Yeah, he's always drinking bottled water and wearing Ray-bans. {pause} The Cheatbot is adorable.

MIKE: I like him.

MATT: I'm going to make a— submit a fanstuff to ourself. Where I cut a hole in a bucket—

MIKE: {overlapping} You're going to put a bucket over a stuffed The Cheat?

MATT: Uh huh.

MIKE: That's a good idea. {pause} It doesn't get much more fun than drawing stuff on chalkboards.

MATT: Nope. {reading calculator} "Oboe shoes". Strong Bad doesn't know— know much about computers, really, does he, Mike? He got the hard disk and floppy disk thing all wrong—

MIKE: Yeah. Check.

MATT: I can remember, uh, correcting a teacher in seventh grade.

MIKE: Check.

MATT: Check?

MIKE: Yes. Sorry.

MATT: Is this a list?

MIKE: Yeah. {laughs}

MATT: Oh, all right. Uh, a dozen eggs.

MIKE: {laughs} Nope, still need those.

MATT: {simultaneously} Whole wheat flour. Uh, do you remember this? I forget what it was called.

MIKE: Yeah the old—

MATT: "Maze", "3D Maze", or something.

MIKE: Yeah.

MATT: It was a nice screen saver.

MIKE: Screen saver for, what, like Windows '94 or something?

MATT: Yeah. It looks very Wolfenstein. {pause} Um..

MIKE: Oh, this keeps going for a bit, right?

MATT: Yeah it does.

MIKE: Does it ever do something different, or does it?


MIKE: Oh, ok.


MIKE: Just keeps going for—

MATT: Do you think that maybe, the, uh— those words that he put on the wall, that's, like, customizable?

MIKE: Ooo. It should be. Type in whatever you want.

MATT: Yeah.

[edit] Fun Facts

[edit] External Links

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