Category: science fiction

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Alan Gutierrez

Alan Gutierrez

Ken Barr.

Ken Barr.

Star Wars rebel bag and wallet by Loungefly fo…

Star Wars rebel bag and wallet by Loungefly found at Hot Topic.

Eric Fastner.

Eric Fastner.

Adam Hughes.

Adam Hughes.

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Roger Stein.

Roger Stein.

Frederich Pohl’s “Age of the Pussyfoot” (1969)…

Scifi does not have a very good record for predicting things like the internet, but. Frederich Pohl’s “Age of the Pussyfoot” (1969), however, had something very much like a smartphone, the Joymaker, a scepter like device that in terms of sheer indispensability, universal use, and connectivity, is very much like a smart phone in that it is used as a GPS, telephone, alarm clock, reference library, connection to central computer networks, voice to text, and credit card.

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A part of the instruction manual is attached to the book: 

The remote-access computer transponder called the “joymaker” is your most valuable single possession in your new life. If you can imagine a combination of telephone, credit card, alarm clock, pocket bar, reference library, and full-time secretary, you will have sketched some of the functions provided by your joymaker.

Essentially, it is a transponder connecting you with the central computing facilities of the city in which you reside on a shared-time, self-programming basis. “Shared-time” means that many other joymakers use the same central computer – in Shoggo, something like ten million of them. If you go to another city your joymaker will continue to serve you, but it must be reset to a new frequency and pulse-code. This will be done automatically when you travel by public transportation. However, if you use private means, or if for any reason you spend any time in the agricultural areas, you must notify the joymaker of your intentions. It will inform you of any steps you must take.

“Self-programming” means that the programmed software includes procedures for translating most normal variations of voice, idiom, accent, and other variable modalities into a computer-oriented sim-script and thence into the mathematical expressions on which the computers operate. As long as your personal joymaker is within reception range of your voice, you may communicate via other shared-time transponders if you wish. Appropriate modulation will be established automatically. However, do not attempt to use another individual’s joymaker when yours is not within range. Proper conditioning cannot be assured. In the event that your joymaker is lost or damaged …

To use your joymaker as a telephone: You must know the ortho-name and identification spectrum of the person you wish to reach. Once you have given this information to the joymaker it will be remembered, and you can then refer to the person in later calls by a reciprocal name or any other personal identification programmed into your joymaker. If you have been called by any person, the joymaker will have recorded the necessary ortho-name and identification spectrum. Simply ask the joymaker to call the person you wish to speak to. If you wish to establish a priority rating with any person, that person must so inform his joymaker. Otherwise your calls may be deferred or canceled as directed by the called person.

To use your joymaker as a credit card: You must know the institutional designation and account spectrum …

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