The iPad In Star Wars

StarWars Tablet Computer

It dawned on me today while watching “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace” that George Lucas actually featured a surprisingly iPad like device. It was used by Shmi Skywalker, Anakin’s mother (left) and Queen Amidala (right) to watch the podrace which occurred over a larger terrain than spectators could see. It was wireless, thin, and roughly the same form factor, but with handles. In theory if licensing weren’t so complicated we could watch sports like that today at stadiums.

Interesting to note that even in a world where interplanetary travel is almost trivial, a tablet computer is thicker than the iPads we have today. Then again the timeline was “a long time ago”. What an amazing world we live in when you can beat George Lucas’s imagination in a mere 15 years.

Capture © 20th Century Fox

How the THX Deep Note Was Created

There is a fascinating piece of history regarding the creation of the THX Deep Note sound. Essentially the folks as the Lucasfilm Computer Division created it using an Audio Signal Processor (in the days before DSP chips) by writing 20,000 lines of C which generated a “sequence of parameters that drives the oscillators on the ASP. That 20,000 lines of code produce about 250,000 lines of statements of the form “set frequency of oscillator X to Y Hertz””.

That would make the deep note one of the earlier examples of computer generated sound.

May Madness

Finals are here, and yes we are talking sports… Academic challenges that it. The muscle: the brain.

Ugh. What fun. I think I’d rather eat dirt.

On a sidenote, About Schmidt is a pretty good movie. Quite funny, especially if you like Jack Nicholson. Just beware that there is a nude scene featuring Kathy Bates. Quite revolting. Her baby feeding apparatus covers the rest of her… and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing, or just another revolting trait. Great actress, but needs clothing.