Personify–The New Way to Study Ancient Computers

Personify: your modern answer to mindless hours trudging through countless boring, obsolete document files, picture files, and myspace posts.

{WARNING: This post contains obscenity and excessive nerdiness}

The year is 2214, and digital technology surveyors find it more convenient to personify ancient computers, so that instead of spending long hours sifting through old text files, selfies, and e-books, they can simply speak to the computer.

From her studies, she knew the semi-completed circle with a line through it usually indicated a power button. This one was very small, a narrow silver bar with a dot that would likely hold an LED. With the appropriate plug in place, (she checked the diagram displayed on her lap desk just to be sure,) she pressed the button. Sure enough, the little clear dot lit up.

Janna scoffed at the prosaic design, the bulky machine and its magic little lights.

Once it booted up, she loaded the Personify program. Luckily this computer fell within the 2005-2033 range, when they had a little SD card slot. The Personify program had been converted onto an SD card just for such machines.

As the program loaded up, she opened her visi-pad and set it on the table next to the old laptop. Lasers worked under a transparent surface, and soon a holographic image was drawn, line-by-line, from the glass surface upward, until a miniature human was standing in front of her.

Depending on the settings, a user could select a generic avatar, or one representing a famous person, a selection of amusing cartoons, or the user’s own appearance. But, for research purposes, Janna enjoyed talking to Personify’s approximation of what the computer’s owner actually looked like. Ever since the early 2000’s, most people living in modern society had thousands of pictures on record. Thousands. That was a lot of data to go on. The figure in front of her was slender and tall for a woman, from the looks of it. Her face was long with a narrow chin, long nose, and almond-shaped eyes.




“Hewlet Packard. August 2012.”

Janna blew out a long breath. 2012, this thing really is more than a century old. She smiled. Let’s have some fun.

“Open text files. Random document.”

“November 5th,” the hologram dutifully announced, “2014.”

Janna took in an anticipatory breath as the small representation opened its mouth. She was confused, however, when it began speaking in a robotic iambic pentameter:



Ne’er mind that’s forbidden,


AVIS up in this bitch,

the bird is the word,


Before you’re bullshit is heard,


Everyone can hear me,

Occulus reparo,

I got something you want to see.”

Janna drew her eyebrows toward each other and stared at the hologram in silence. What is this… song? Partially in Latin? Latin poetry didn’t usually contain rude language. She pondered. But then… those specific Latin words struck a chord in her memory. Weren’t the magical spells in that old folk tale from the early 2000’s in Latin? The one about wizards?

Harry Potter! She knew about Harry Potter. Most of her friends read it as children. The History Appreciation Museum was putting on a stage production–reimagining it as a space saga where all the characters would be androgynous beings and the dialogue would be completely monotone.

Some of her friends were just in a chat about possibly going.

“Hmm.” In 2014, it seemed, primitive peoples were still writing songs about widely spread cultural stories. She took some notes and made sure to rent the computer for further research.

What else did this strange person save on her computer?

“Next document,” she said.

This was a very off-the-wall response to a Daily Prompt.

***Post edit: Ohhhh my god… I still can’t believe I published that. But you know…. all in the name of candid.***