Thursday, November 22, 2007

In memory, Clippy

My psychology of design seminar today touched on affect and annoying things in technology design, and in the textbook chapter Clippy was mentioned. In case you don't remember, Clippy was that annoying paperclip helper that's enabled by default in the older versions of Office.

Black/White Clippy Coloured Clippy

As it turned out, although he was intended to help, Clippy generally annoyed more people than he ended up helping (which is how he earned his way into the textbook, I think). And in reading Wikipedia, I found out that Microsoft had designed a series of short videos as part of an ad campaign, publicising Clippy's removal (by default, anyway) from Office XP (watch them! they're funny!).

Clippy Gets Clipped
Clippy Goes Undercover
Clippy Faces Facts

I particularly like how in the last video, there's a short scene with a little computer mouse running behind the wall of the paperclip residence.

So where is Clippy today? Well I also found out from Wikipedia that he's still around, as a Windows Dancer for Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 (whatever that means). Apparently the white sheet occasionally slips, revealing the thin curve of steel underneath.

Boo Who?
Boo Who? General dance style: Spooky Groove

An avid dancer and amateur contortionist, “Boo Who?” or “Boo” as his friends call him, graduated cum laude from Contoso University in 1994 with a degree in the performing arts. Driven by dreams of fame, upon graduation “Boo” did a short stint of dinner theater in Boca Raton, Florida where he participated in a showtunes revue. It was after a harrowing incident involving a fork that Boo followed his classmates, entering the Information Technology industry where he served as Chief Technology Officer for Fitch & Mather. It was during that time that he formed a rock band and moved to Seattle, only to miss the grunge movement by two days. Disheartened, Boo returned once again to the familiar IT industry working for a short while for a Redmond, WA based software company, where he continued to work until being retired in 2001.

Since then, Boo has been hanging out on the LA mime circuit, practicing his dancing, acting, and singing in the hopes of becoming a “triple threat” on a future reality-based talent show. In his spare time, Boo picks up extra money as a part-time model for children's Halloween costumes.

Hilarious! Microsoft has certainly earned itself many many cool points, in my book. Gosh. Who'd have thought?


Jean said...


amy said...

HAHAHA that's hilarious!
and yes i do have bad memories of Clippy now that you've reminded me. i guess microsoft redeemed themselves tho.