Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Flame

I deposited a check today at a new Chase ATM. You just put the check directly into the machine, the check gets scanned and the amount verified. Saves me a small amount of time but more importantly nobody at Chase ever has to look at the check. The computer has completely taken over.

On this theme we just rented Wall·E, another Powerful-Aware-Evil computer movie, though at least this time the main protagonists are also machines. The movie scared my daughter when she saw it last summer and I had to give her "you need to be in control of technology instead of having technology control you" talk.

In the movie, Wall·E uses a Zippo-style lighter and creates a flame. When I took a computer graphics class back in 1984 the professor presented a slide show of the state-of-the-art in computer graphics. The last shot was a photo of a flame because a good computer flame was unobtainable at the time.

One generation's "holy grail" is a new generation's "take it for granted".


  1. You don't even have to leave your living room. USAA now takes deposits by scanner + Internet. It's a bit strange that we are using paper cheques at all anymore (according to my opinion)

  2. The scene of an ATM scanning your cheque sounds very steampunk to me - it's like the idea of having laptops with punchcards.