Information display for reputation enhancement

January 15, 2007 at 7:38 pm Leave a comment

This pretty good idea is a pretty good idea for having a very visible and very arcane display that is visible to friends, family, and neighbors.

The idea behind this is twofold:

  1. Be able to see some information or whatever
  2. Intimidate others with your ready access to cryptic looking information

This device will consist of a large display board and an input device to allow you to control the display of information.

Plus, there will also be some kind of information appliance or whatever, but the details are not worked out for that yet.

The display

This could take any of a number of different forms, depending on your information needs and your overall design scheme.

Something like the big LED displays at the stock exchange, or the CRT departure and arrival boards at airports would give the impression of being pretty important in business or whatever, whereas something with Nixie tubes or dashboard type dial display things might make it seem more like you would know how to make different bombs and poisons and things. So it’s important to evaluate your goals and get a good feel for the image you want to project before you start ordering the parts or anything.

The information you actually display could be anything. Time and temperature, stock performance, the GPS coordinates of somebody you have a tracking device on, or whatever you can get from the internet, or some kind of wireless transmission (like radio signal or ambient network or something like that. Details. These are all little details you’ll need to work out.

Following is an illustrative mockup, showing just one possible display:

displayboard.png

The input device

Here:

hotline_phone.png

This is an important part of the project, as you can see. A red AT&T 500 model rotary dial phone. Ideally, this will be housed under a large glass dome, like the kind they have in diners to put on top of a cake or whatever. In movies, anyway. I don’t think I’ve seen that in real life, but you get the idea. I think I’ve seen that on The Twilight Zone a lot. So if you don’t know what I mean, go watch the Twilight Zone until there’s one with a diner.

I even have a glass cake dome cover or whatever somewhere around here, but I can’t find it, and I’m not sure whether it is large enough to cover the phone. So there’s something for the To Do list. Find phone-sized cake dome.

The reasoning behind this choice of input device should be obvious: It makes you seem more like Batman.

Of course, the information serving appliance, whatever it is, will have to somehow recognize that clicky-click input from a rotary dial telephone, so figure out how to do that, and then program in your custom information codes appropriately. So that, like, you dial in your zip code to get the current temperature, or you dial in different unique identifiers for GPS tracking, or whatever, and it will automatically query the selected information and display it on your board.

Installing and setting up your new information display

The final step in this project is to properly set up and display your new information display system. This is arguably the most important aspect of this project, as your ultimate goal is only accomplished once others have seen you casually using this system.

The ideal arrangement for this is to have a house that has a large picture window facing the street, so that you can be observed using the red phone to manipulate the information on your display.

One important note: Try to look fishy. Pretend that you’ve left the curtains open accidentally, and if you ever make eye contact with an observer, give them a stern and threatening look, then abruptly close the curtains to obscure their view.

To Do List

To summarize, the steps to completing this project are as follows:

  1. Establish image you want to project. Influential bigwig? Potentially dangerous scientist? Some combination thereof?
  2. Think of good reasons that you have to install a large information display, in case your boyfriend asks any nosy questions, getting all up in your business.
  3. Purchase house with large picture window facing a public street.
  4. Learn whatever science and computer things you have to know to be able to make the project.
  5. Buy the things for the project.
  6. Find a cake dome that is the right size to fit over an AT&T 500 model desk phone.
  7. Complete project.
  8. Practice making the right kind of face at anybody you catch looking at your thing. It should be sort of angry and surprised, and it should be very intimidating. Like a sharp, level glare or something.
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Entry filed under: Batman, behavioral modification, boring, defense, door to door, fear, geography, hardware, hotline, information display, intimidation, neighbors, numbers, proof of concept, salesmen, scary, social, software, telephone, urban.

Window pan rack I invented yogurt!

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