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People Feel Loyalty To Computers

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the cognitive-dissonance-overcompensation dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 476

stoobthealien writes "According to BBC News researchers have discovered that people have loyalty to specific computers because of a tendancy to associate "human attributes to them" - and I thought it was just me that speaks to my PC...."

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lye sucks balls (1)

penis fish (671987) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965365)

[12:23:15] * anna_ was kicked by zac (#13193-13196)
[12:23:15] * Bupunsu was kicked by zac (#13193-13196)
[12:23:15] * Guest70212 was kicked by zac (#13193-13196)
[12:23:15] * hiram was kicked by zac (#13193-13196)
[12:23:15] * prettybabe was kicked by zac (#13197-13198)
[12:23:15] * ZZAIB was kicked by zac (#13197-13198)

Voice Synth (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8965368)

Wait until they perfect voice synth. Then we are really going to hear it!

This is a suprise? (-1, Troll)

xeeno (313431) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965433)

People feel irrational loyalty to operating systems too.

what rush? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8965371)

In soviet russia, first post posts YOU!

First - this explains mac users - post (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8965372)

How else could you have so many zealots preaching about a closed underperforming platform with limited choices?

I know what they mean (2, Funny)

Erect Horsecock (655858) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965376)

My iBook loves me. No, really! My iPod told me so, it said the iBook was just shy and didn't think I felt the same way.

But I do....

<3

Re:I know what they mean (4, Funny)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965420)

Just be careful... I've seen some Macintoshes go into a state of suicidial depression. First they start being sad all of the time, and when they're sad they're demanding attention before they'll work again. Then they start pulling bombs out of nowhere...

Uhhhhhh (4, Funny)

ev1lcanuck (718766) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965378)

What I feel towards my Windows box is something other than loyalty....

Unrequited love (5, Funny)

rueger (210566) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965379)

Sadly our computers seem less inclined to share that love...

"Open the pod bay door HAL...."

no no no no no.... (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965527)

you're merely too SCSI for your computer to want to mate with you!!

I have trouble myself... according to my internet personals i'm not 'IBM Compatible' :-(

But they're all supposed to be equal... (5, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965380)

In a college computer lab, all of the terminals in a group are supposed to be identical and interchangable. However, it seems like users are building up a trust relationship with the computer they've used sucessfully before rather than wanting to take the chance with a computer they haven't met yet. It's almost as if users are presuming that most unfamiliar computers will fail on them...

Re:But they're all supposed to be equal... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8965402)

Not reliability...

They go where they've already got their P0rn/Games stashed.

Re:But they're all supposed to be equal... (4, Interesting)

value_added (719364) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965489)

In Vegas you can witness the the same behaviour around slot machines. Maybe they know something the rest of don't?

Re:But they're all supposed to be equal... (1)

Tiberius_Fel (770739) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965515)

Well, you might take into consideration what sort of users you have. In my school's computer lab I often work on one particular computer (it's the one in the corner), and that's because it has all the stuff I really use loaded on it (i.e. IRC / AIM), as well as I keep it clean from spyware, defrag the HD, et cetera, et cetera. That's pretty much why I'm always at that one - you might get that a lot with computer types.

Loyalty to machines (5, Insightful)

wkitchen (581276) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965382)

If people can feel loyalty to something as unintelligent as an automobile, then it is not at all unexpected that they feel that way towards their computers.

false findings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8965383)

i use the same computer cause i don't feel like setting up my damn windows desktop, bookmarks, window sizes.

but admittedly i talk to my computer. swear it, even threaten it. i wish it could hear me.

Re:false findings (1)

kasperd (592156) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965470)

i use the same computer cause i don't feel like setting up my damn windows desktop, bookmarks, window sizes.

Mount your home directory with NFS, and it will be the same no matter which computer you log onto. And when the NFS server needs to be replaced, just copy the whole directory to a new server. User settings and machine settings where meant to be kept seperate. Typically home directories live longer than the machines. My home directory on the department network is now on the fifth NFS server since I got my account (unless I forgot one: scandium, amigo, harald, atlantis, gorm). On my home network, /home is now on the third NFS server since I started using Linux (eddie, marvin, hactar). If you cannot replace a computer without affecting users, or replace a user without affecting the computers, something is wrong with your setup.

Re:false findings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8965533)

Read more closely: he said "my damn windows desktop". He probably doesn't even know what an NFS server is.

The principle is the same though, except that all the Windows user settings are stored in a collection of files and registry entries known as a 'profile', and the home directory would be mounted using an SMB file share.

Personality, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8965386)

I don't know about talking, but I do flip off my computer a awful lot and cus it out.

As far as I am conserned all computers are stupid SOBs.

Does that count as giving my computer human attributes?

Re:Personality, eh? (1)

qorkfiend (550713) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965408)

Certainly. Stupidity is a human attribute. Remember, computers only do what humans tell them.

I yell at mine and tell it to speak to me like Boris from Goldeneye.

Wow (5, Funny)

sydb (176695) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965387)

This could lead to an over dependence on electronically-generated news and information.

Ground breaking stuff for slashdot.

next! <hits CTRL-R>

The real secret (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8965392)

People given the option of a range of PCs tended to have favourites, with some even prepared to wait in line to use a particular machine.

Now we know which one had the hidden stash of pr0n!

Computers and Fashion (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8965395)

All I know is, my computer has a much better fashion sense than this guy from Penn State...

(plaid on plaid! I mean einstein could do it, but that ain't exactly the same!)

porn stored locally (0, Redundant)

vandelais (164490) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965397)

That's it. Award karma accordingly.

People like sitting in the same place (4, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965398)

In most college classrooms, professors don't particularly care to assign seats to anybody, yet students for the most part tend to seat themselves in more-or-less the same positions anyway. I wonder if this is related to want to have a favorite seat in the computer room.

Re:People like sitting in the same place (1)

sydb (176695) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965448)

Of course, you're absolutely right. It was a few years ago, but I was doing a block release college course as a trainee with a load of other trainees from the same workplace and we all did the same classes; for each class, we adopted different seating patterns, for I-don't-know-what subtle reasons, and stuck to them!

The human does this, naturally.

Re:People like sitting in the same place (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8965458)

I wonder if this is related to want to have a favorite seat in the computer room.

Heck, if people develop strong emotional relationships with computers, why not with chairs, too? That's OK and healthy, as long as sexual abuse isn't involved.

Don't piss them off.... (5, Funny)

ThrudTheBarbarian (670936) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965401)

Don't anthropomorphize computers. They hate it when you do that.

Re:Don't piss them off.... (2, Funny)

spektr (466069) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965567)

Don't anthropomorphize computers. They hate it when you do that.

Mine takes it easy. It's just a running gag between us: he inhumans me, I anthopomorphize him, and so we have fun all the work day long...

It's even better... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8965403)

...When your computer has an AI program installed.

Not all computers in a lab are the same (2, Informative)

c_oflynn (649487) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965406)

There could be other reasons for this. At my school we have a computer lab - and some computers ARE better than others, even though they are all the "same" computer.

One for example freezes every 95 seconds after you login - so you have to save what you are doing and reboot.

Some of them seem prone to accidently give you administrator priviliges as well. So there are other reasons...

Ha! (2, Interesting)

Gangis (310282) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965407)

I go much further than that! I name ALL my computers [uct2.net] , even the XT in the closet.

I know, I'm a nerd.

Re:Ha! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8965435)

Look man, just shut up will you? No-one gives a flying fuck about your computers.

The Internet will be a better place when all these hordes of stupid geeks get rid of their "these are my computers" web pages.

Re:Ha! (3, Funny)

Gangis (310282) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965471)

That didn't last long... Ten minutes and two trolls already. Experiment successful.

Re:Ha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8965509)

Ha, nice try. But you know and we know that you made your post in all seriousness. Idiot.

Re:Ha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8965460)

For someone who is such a "nerd" you sure don't know your own computer specs...

Your main PC only has 768 Megabites of RAM, NOT 786. Common man, it's a simple power of 2, get with it!

Nerd? Pfft... your just a wanna be.

Re:Ha! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8965464)

That's "megabytes" not "megabites", you hypocritical turd.

Re:Ha! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8965514)

Who is this common man you are speaking to? Oh wait, in trying to sound smart, you sounded like a Down's when you wrote "common" instead of "come on"! Moron! Oh, I meant moran!
And "megabites" in French means huge cocks. Really.

Re:Ha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8965501)

I named all of my computers too, even the 47 buried around the house.

Re:Ha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8965545)

a life.
get one.

Words Fail Me... (1)

Bravo_Two_Zero (516479) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965409)

No really. I want to make a joke... badly! But I... I... I... pah!

Besides, I *know* all my systems hate me! Except for the old DG3704 in the corner.. it's different... not like the other machines.

Computers have loyalty to people, too (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8965410)

My computer loves me! It never breaks down, and well it feels sick, it lets me know.

But, actually, I think some people may produce more... harmonious fields... that computers may pick up/interact with. I can't count the number of times I've "fixed" a computer by just being around it.

Re:Computers have loyalty to people, too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8965511)

I thought that was going to be another [NO CARRIER] joke at first ;-)

" My computer loves me! It never breaks do *((!$&!!@*!(& [NO CARRIER]"

Re:Computers have loyalty to people, too (1)

daniel_mcl (77919) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965549)

I've seen the same thing -- perhaps the fact that you're there means that you're preventing anyone from actively breaking the computer. =D

Mum's a conservative when it comes to technology (1)

Curly-Locks (772578) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965413)

We can't get my mum off the 386 laptop, since she loves WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS so much, and she likes the layout of the keys.

She does have trouble with the internet sometimes, but she takes that as the price worth paying to stick with her beloved laptop.

university computers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8965416)

Yeah, well when I was at university I only used certain computers because they were the only ones with the screen facing a wall, so people couldn't see the naughty things I was getting up to.

Also these were the computers with stuff I had already installed on them, so I went back to those so I didn't have to install the programs again.

That's probably a more likely explanation.

More Information Is Required (5, Insightful)

ZPO (465615) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965421)

I don't think we have enough information to draw conclusions based on the article.

- Do the computers that folks were willing to wait for have additional applications loaded?

- Are they perhaps known to be the most stable ones out of a given set?

- Did different machines have different monitors, keyboards, and mice?

- Are they in a location that makes them more desireable (lighting, temperature, lack of people, etc)

There are plenty of factors that influence choices such as this. Unless they took steps to ensure that the computers were 100pct identical in every way, the conclusions they have reached are suspect. The extrapolations they make about people blindingly trusting computers even more so.

A computer is a tool. Just like an artisan may have a favorite tool for a task a user may have a favorite computer for a task. I don't see anything too earth-shattering here.

Re:More Information Is Required (5, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965437)

I'd also like to see what would happen if one night the computer room was rearraged quietly. Would people go looking for their "favorite" machine, or just use the one that had inherited the favorite's location?

Sure, whatever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8965424)

If I'm going to be sitting at someone else's computer for more than a few minutes at work, I'd like that computer to have editors, compilers, putty, etc. installed. I like using my computer more because it has my work on it. Does that conut as loyalty?

Ulysses Ship... err Computer (4, Funny)

WombatControl (74685) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965428)

Of course, this also presents an interesting conundrum. My current computer has had every single part replaced since I bought the first iteration way back in 1998. Of course, not everything was replaced at the same time, but rather a gradual process of upgrades over the years.

So, is it really the same computer I started with? Or is it really some kind of sinister imposter only pretending to be my computer?

1998? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8965538)

n00b! My computer's been evolving since 1987.

Current oldest component: USR Courier modem, circa 1994. Rarely used.

I also have a 5.25" floppy drive.

Re:Ulysses Ship... err Computer (3, Interesting)

.com b4 .storm (581701) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965564)

Of course, not everything was replaced at the same time, but rather a gradual process of upgrades over the years. So, is it really the same computer I started with?

Your computer is not the only one that has undergone a "gradual process of upgrades" over time. Your body is not the same one you had a few years ago, or even a few hours ago for that matter... And don't forget the rather fickle and ever-changing mind, too.

the world as they know it (4, Insightful)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965430)

Prof Sundar said there computer manufacturers and advertisers could learn from the results of the study. In general, computers are marketed as things that can easily be phased out and replaced.

"A better advertising strategy might be to portray computers as something durable and reliable, something that grows with you," Prof Sundar told BBC News Online.

they can't do that. No, seriously.

This means that the industry would have to get off the treadmill of constant upgrades. It is no secret that MS is upset with the slow rate of people upgrading to XP. Most people now only upgrade when there is a definite need for it.

This would be the end of the world as they know it, and I feel fine.

Maybe not just the computer (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965432)

Sometimes people also show a preference for a particular location in a room (near the exit, by a window, close to the printer, next to the machine that the cute chick likes to use). Other times, one machine will have objectively determinable capabilities that others lack (good in-focus monitor, fastest processor, mouse that works properly). Pure observation will not always reveal these other factors.

Durable and reliable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8965434)

A better advertising strategy might be to portray computers as something durable and reliable, something that grows with you, Prof Sundar told BBC News Online.

Sounds like a hard act when the dam thing is obsolete in 3 years and even the most reliable PCs would be near the bottom compared to the average household appliance.

Names? (4, Funny)

QEDog (610238) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965440)

How many people name their computers? I do, and it takes me a bit to figure out names for them. I refer to them by their name usually, which causes my non-geeky friends to stare at me. Any one else does this compulsively? What is the name of your computer?

Re:Names? (1)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965476)

Mine are after nuclear test names (Trinity, Able, Baker etc), that means i get double the weird stares and sometimes a slight shuffle in the other direction. I figured the US tested more than enough nukes to last me a life-time ;)

Re:Names? (4, Funny)

thelenm (213782) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965508)

Yep, currently I'm typing on Gandalf the laptop and dinking around on Pippin the Pocket PC, accessing the Internet through Sauron the wireless access point and Aragorn the firewall, while my wife plays games on Eowyn the PC, my daughter plays games on Gimli the other PC, and Samwise the web server silently does his job in the background. Legolas the old web server lies disemboweled on the floor after an unfortunate shield-sledding accident.

Re:Names? (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965528)

I name my computers, but that's largely because I find it easier to access them on the network as CLARK, BRUCE, DIANA, HAL, BARRY, OLIVER, ARTHUR, etc. rather than as 192.168.13.1, 192.168.13.2, 192.168.13.3, 192.168.13.4, etc.

Re:Names? (2, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965558)

How many people name their computers?

Anyone in any way connecting to a network... I mean, you don't really have a choice, right?


What is the name of your computer?

Currently sitting at Teleute, my primary machine (which slowly sucks away my life, thus the name). Across the room I have Lucien the file-server, and downstairs I have Virago (my SO's machine) and Bimbo (my masq'ing gateway).

Re:Names? (2, Funny)

DissidentHere (750394) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965575)

We do (did) were I work (which is a small company so we get away with lots of stuff). We've go Vinny, Bubba, SonOfBubba, a few more. We found a old baseball card of some guy named Bubba something with a HUGE plug of chew, and taped him to our server.

Its good to laugh a little when you connect to a network share. And you don't have to remember if that folder is on MN04523 or MN04526. Granted, in a large enough institution you will run out of names and/or offend somebody by naming a server butmunch.

Ahh (1)

jabbadabbadoo (599681) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965441)

My computer has a huge female connector. I'm more than emotionally attached to it.

Oh my god, I HAVE A PARALLELL PORT FETISH.

There's more than the computer... (2, Insightful)

0xC0FFEE (763100) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965443)

At my place of work, there's a pool of computers and its first come first serve. There are various factors for choosing a computer for the day in the pool... There's the flat-screen VS CRT issue, there's the near-the-door VS corner VS window issue, there's the where's the nice-chick-gonna-sit-today issue. So I can see that you make preferences toward a particular computer, but is it because of the computer? hardly.

"My Computer" (1)

The Creator (4611) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965447)

Bah I whould _never_ insult Maria by calling her that!

Re:"My Computer" (1)

tobechar (678914) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965523)

Just like on the Hackers Movie, where we all found out that naming your computer and refering to it with a human name was very cool.

While having difficulty configuring a samba share between boxes 'emily' and 'joseph'....Mom, joseph and emily are fighting again, can you please do something?

Expandability (2, Insightful)

wkitchen (581276) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965449)

"A better advertising strategy might be to portray computers as something durable and reliable, something that grows with you," Prof Sundar told BBC News Online.
Back in the days of 8-bit home computers, many were promoted that way. "Expandability" was a major selling point, even if it only meant having a variety of external peripherals that you could plug into it. Now that we have an almost overwhelming variety of add-ons for every mainstream platform, you don't hear much about that any more.

Nope (1)

cybermace5 (446439) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965451)

I have zero attachment to my computers. I don't talk to them, I don't feel anything more for them than I would a hammer or a drill. They're equipment to maintain. If it breaks, I will either fix it or throw it out.

Re:Nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8965483)

windows 98 user, on a pentium1 120mHz huh?

Re:Nope (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965519)

You brute!

Computer lab seating (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8965452)

Rather than seen as a preference for a particular computer, maybe the selection is being made based on the seating location in the room and the computer just happens to be there. Sounds like we need some controls.

This is no surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8965453)

In a lab full of identical machines, the crappiness of Windows and the hardware vendors using the cheapest parts they can find means some of those computers will run problem-free, and some will be incurably flaky and crashy.

When someone who just wants to get their God damned work done with a minimum of hassle needs to use a lab computer, which computer do you think they'll choose:

1) One that has on a previous occasion eaten some of their unsaved work due to a crash,

or

2) one where everything went fine and they didn't have to obsessively hit "Save" every minute out of fear, or redo what they were working on from scratch because the computer shit the bed?

Re:This is no surprise (1)

daniel_mcl (77919) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965490)

Some of the "identical" computers in the lab here seem to die a lot more often than others. After further examination, our ITS guy determined people were screwing them up somehow (I never heard exactly why), but it was always the same two machines or so. Maybe the people who preferred those computers preferred installing spyware/porn dialers/etc. ?

Of course, now everyone just uses the new one with the enormous monitor to play UT2004...

Speak? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8965457)

and I thought it was just me that speaks to my PC

http://www.fu-fme.com/ [fu-fme.com]

Loyalty? (1)

tobechar (678914) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965463)

Your computer is a tool, nothing more. Does anyone feel loyal to a spoon?

While people do grow fond of their machines, many people just hate them. Obviously the real meaning of this post is that the tools around us can be given human emotions. Some people hate their cars for instance, while other people just love them. Many more people will just tell you its a car, who cares?

Perhaps if we spend a lot of time using a perticular tool, human nature helps us treat the tool like we would another person.

Or, perhaps I just woke up and can't form intelligent thoughts?

Re:Loyalty? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8965484)

Actually when I was a little kid I did have a favourite spoon. I wouldn't eat if I couldn't have my spoon. Thankfully I grew out of that rather obsessive behaviour quite quickly.

Re:Loyalty? (1)

tobechar (678914) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965539)

You were a kid then, but imagine people fighting about a spoon in their mid-twenties... Now THAT is scary. :)

Re:Loyalty? (2, Insightful)

toasted_calamari (670180) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965569)

I don't feel loyalty to my computers, and I don't personify them. However, I feel far more comfertable using my computers than someone elses. The only reason I can think is that I have my computers set up exactly the way I want them, and have been fine tuning hardware and software layout over the life of the device. When I use someone else's computer, I have to get used to there layout.

is it the PC or its position relative to the room? (2, Insightful)

ancyent_marinere (673696) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965465)

It'd be interesting to see how they actually conducted the tests, because I know people tend to sit in the same places in class over the course of a semester and that they seem to find analogous places to sit even for different classes when they're in different rooms (and this in the absence of any computers whatsoever). Maybe they're not as much attached to that one particular computer as they are to a certain "comfort zone" within the computer lab? Perhaps as a control study, they should make individual computers easily recognizable and then move the computers around to see whether the users move accordingly to stay with the computer or whether they would stay with the location and use the new computer there. I'd also be interested in seeing whether there is a difference in the level of attachment between Mac and PC users. Anyways, there are lots of variations with the parameters one can play with to tease apart this problem, and I'd love to see the researchers delve more indepth into them.

Shitty Logic (0, Troll)

NineNine (235196) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965468)

Did this stupid fucking guy ever think that people wanted to use particular computers just because they worked better than others in the lab, or had different programs installed, or weren't infected with viruses, etc? That's a shitty "study" if he jumps to the conclusion that this happens because people anthromorphise computers. All he can conclude from this study is that students using computer lab computers tend to prefer specific ones.

i'm more specific (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8965472)

i feel different levels of affection and attachment to different parts of my computer. i sit here looking at the insides of my tower which i never put the side on, and i feel differently about each piece of equipment in there.
i hate it when people blame the whole computer for something that is the fault of a specific part, or operating system.

Other explanations (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965474)

People don't use the same computer necessarily out of "loyalty". Observe students selecting seats in a classroom (i.e. no computers), and you'll see them go to the same ones every time. Even if the friends that they originally chose to sit with aren't there, they'll usually continue sitting in the same place. It's more a matter of habit and the comfort of familiarity with one's environment, than an emotional attachment to the things themselves.

Of course when you introduce computers (or any kind of equipment) into the equation, something resembling "loyalty" can come into it, but even then it's often simply a matter of "I know this machine works"/"I like the theme that's installed on this one"/"I saved my files on this hard drive".

Or, it could be due to other reasons. (1)

gotr00t (563828) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965477)

Perhaps there is a force stronger than sentiment dictating what computer terminals a person is "loyal" to. This is becuase even in public terminals, there will be stuff that is saved after a session. For example, I always use computer S59 at a local lab not only becase of sentiment, but also because of the fact that someone took the security software off of it, allowing me to change the keyboard to Dvorak. Others might have documents saved on the hard disk, or pages bookmarked on a certain computer.

Computer Labs (1)

Sardak (773761) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965479)

When I was is school still, I didn't choose a particular computer, but one where I had someone to talk to while I ignored the lecture.

I love my computer. (1)

clifgriffin (676199) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965481)

Long before its fans spun to life and its circuits surged with electricity, I was there picking out the components with love and great care.

Later I assembled it oh so carefully, trying to set things up for maximum efficiency.

It's fast, it's stable. It entertains me, it enlightens me, it serves as a window to the rest of the world. I can trust my computer (it even runs Windows XP Pro!). I have everything just the way I like it, when I use my computer I'm highly efficient. Its like an extension of my body.

And when things break or stop working just right, I lovingly nurture them back to health.

I love my computer. I hope my computer loves me.

*raises glass of milk* This one's for you, my love.

Apple Gets It (3, Insightful)

frohike (32045) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965482)

Spend a few minutes talking to any user of an Apple product and you'll understand that Apple Gets It on this topic. Macs, iPods, etc, are all very personable computers, with interfaces designed to feel very organic (like the pulsing, heartbeat-like glow on sleeping monitors / iBooks, rounded edges on windows, shadows, etc).

Dodge also Got It in a big way back with the Neon, though unrelated to cars. Anyone remember the ads that had the Neons bouncing up and down and saying "Hi!"? Anyone who owned a Neon knows that everything down to the horn's sound reinforces that image :) (Yes, I owned one of those too...)

It's that tough love ! (1)

bushboy (112290) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965494)

My computer knows when I'm angry at it, it's tough love - you have to show the beast who the boss really is !

really isa really iss eally his deally iss reay is bzzt bzz t bzzzzt

I'm attached to my puter (1)

blackholepcs (773728) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965495)

But not because I associate human qualities to it. It's because I love using it. I gain knowledge, entertainment, and mindless relaxation time from it.

I play games on a daily basis, listen to or burn music at least twice a week, and I watch .avi's from my neighbors IRC server whenever he gets something new.

But, I do get POSESSIVE of my system. My wife hates my computer because she thinks that she has to compete with it. Now, before anyone starts spewing crap about women and computers and competing and all that, let me clarify by stating that my wife is very insecure from a previous marriage. I spend two hours a day max on my puter when she is home. When she is not home, I have my fill. When she is home, I spend a cumulative 2 hours checking emails, reading /., or playing a game for a few minutes to test a hex edit or something. The possesiveness comes in when she starts trying to hold the computer over my head (not literrally) and saying she is going to sell it or smash it. Then, as anyone else would with any item they own, I get possessive and protective. Then she turns around and accuses me of liking the computer more than I like her. Well, no, I am just trying to protect a several thousand dollar investment from senseless destruction by a crazed raging woman! BTW, she DID smash my last puter. Dell P4 2.0Ghz, 100Gb 7200 RPM, Geforce 4 4200 64Mb OC'd, 512Mb RDRAM, all useless after she smashed it on the floor and stomped on it. Luckily the 21" Trinitron monitor only suffered a crack in the corner of the case. Wheww!

Anyway, if pressed, I guess I would say that the only human attribute I give to my puter is mischief. But I don't beleive that is attributable soley to my system. I think the OS has more than a little to do with that. (Read: Windows XP Pro still has some issues under heavy usage, ie. running Sacred while downloading 400Mb zip file AND leeching files from neighbors server)

Re:I'm attached to my puter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8965529)

Wow.

Seriously.

You both need some counseling.

not what I expected (2)

DissidentHere (750394) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965499)

I sort of expected an article about people preffering to use thier own PCs and going to lengths to not have to use someone elses or a public terminal.

But, after I RTFA, there seem to more questions than answers. For example, were they Windows PCs? I don't ask just because this is /., but I can see some psych major wanting to use a specific PC because it had never crashed on her/him before, but the one over there _always_ crashes when trying to save a Word doc. There may be a bit of truth to this midnset, I have Windows boxes that crash once in a blue moon, and I some that crash daily, mostly due to what is loaded/running. Or, maybe that psych major just happens to go to the copmuter lab when the sun and moon are aligned just so, and the PCs birthday and the users birthday happens to correspond with the orbit of Jupiter and it IS the magic PC that never crashes.

Or were some people willing to wait so they could use a Mac? I do this all the time. Sure I could write up that documentation at work, but I'd rather go home and do it on my Mac. OK, maybe I'm crazy if I specifically bring work home so I can do it on Mac. Yes, certianly a bit crazy....

As my economics professor explained (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8965506)

Habits are simply economically efficiently ways of doing things. For example, taking a certain route to work everyday means you don't have to figure out how to get to work each day. You save time and brain power.

I'm sure I'm not the only one that has certain places I prefer to sit. I'm comfortable with the view, etc, that they provide. Computers are simply an extension of that.

But mine talks back (1)

Trailwalker (648636) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965513)

We attribute social characteristics and treat them as autonomous


This is nothing new. It is in the nature of humans to anthropomorphize unpredictable objects. Men have done this with ships for millenia. And cars, and etc.

My server cackles and sneers when I try to run a newly written script. As does my wife. Only the cat shows any sympathy.

Tendencies.... (1)

Lord Haha (753617) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965516)

"The tendency to treat computers as human could lead to people favouring or even blindly accepting computer-generated information, to the point of depending on it over superior alternatives, warned Prof Sundar. "

It is very true, I goto university and I still (after 2 years, and being on dean's list for both) not used the library for any research; google (my favorite cluster of pcs) can dish up information quicker then any libarian could and quite frankly more accurate if you know how to search properly.

particularly computers associated with victories (2, Interesting)

gevmage (213603) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965525)

I have my 486-66 on my network as my CD burner. It's certainly not the most efficient machine to do that on, and in fact compared to everything else I own is horribly slow.

However, I am loathe to give it up because that's the machine that I played and beat Dark Forces on when I was in graduate school. (After my qualifying exams, I went home and played DF for about 4 days straight. Ah--those were the days!)

Dunno about talking to... (1)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965531)

I don't really talk to my computers per say (Except, of course, the occasional expletive if something goes wrong) But certainly I attribute human characteristics to them.

For example, one of the machines at work has a tendency to go into "sleep" mode and can't be revived without shutting them off. I tell my boss it has narcolepsy. Another won't connect to the network drive (where the data is kept) until you manually access it, even though it says the drive is mounted and ready. That one just doesn't like to get up in the morning. :)

People have been anthropomorphizing animals and machines for as long as they've been a part of society. I'm sure everyone knows at least one person who refers to their car/boat as if it was a person (usually female?). I think it's just a way to express personal attachment and to rationalize behavior in a way we're naturally comfortable with.

The car isn't broken down, it just "isn't feeling good". If you can't get the drivers to work with your new sound card, it's "being stubborn", or "it doesn't like it".

Once you've made that kind of attachment to something, of course you're going to integrate it more fully into your life. It becomse your "favorite" machine. It's definately a step above mere habit.

Oh, I'd also like to be the first to make a Ghost in the Shell reference! Batou and the Tachikoma. Each Tachikoma is exactly identical, even sharing the same experiences thanks to syncronizing their data every night, but Batou always chooses one specific one to help him with stuff, and only gives that particular unit the natural oil. (Much to the confusion of the other Tachikoma)
=Smidge=

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8965546)

...this would explane why people use Linux. ;)

naming (1)

Apreche (239272) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965554)

my friends like to give weird names to their computers. Then they call their computers by the names. I mean sure, you have to name computers for dns purposes. Or if you have a lot of boxen you have to be able differentiate between them. I have two computers, bedroom server and desktop machine. The one in the bedroom is protoman and the desktop machine is apreche. I dont' ever actually call them by their names though. I say "the bedroom server" or "my computer". Other people actually call their main machines by the names they give them. It's freaky, geeky and weird. Polly shouldn't be as we like to say (see the simpsons episode where homer has a crayon in his nose). Don't be a freak. Your computer is not a person, it is a machine/tool. Treat it as such.

What superior alternatives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8965560)

The tendency to treat computers as human could lead to people favouring or even blindly accepting computer-generated information, to the point of depending on it over superior alternatives, warned Prof Sundar.

When my neighbors dog started barking orders at me I told him to shut up. I only listen to Clippy and MS Bob!

Signed,
Grandson of Sam

OBLIG Simpsons Quote! (1)

Cruxus (657818) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965561)

My computer is my friend, confident, secret lover!

Based on the Filthy Keyboard Alone (1)

the0ther (720331) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965571)

Come on people! Is there any surprise here really? Look at the keyboard you are typing on. It is filthy. I think it's obviously in my best interest to keep my filthy little button pressers on one and only one set of buttons. Monogamy!

Familiarity == Trust with many prodcuts (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 10 years ago | (#8965574)

I know and trust my computers. They have their quriks but I know how to work around them. It is the same with my Yukon (like a Suburban, but 18" shorter). Hell, it can be the same with people, too. I know my priest and I trust him. I won't automagically have the same amount of trust for another priest just because he has the same office.
My iBook G4 has some sort of trackpad issue. I know how to work around it. My father tried to use it and he hates it. I hate the computer that I have to use at school, but always use the same one rather than a different one even though they are all "exactly the same" just out familiarity. This machine runs Windows 2000 Pro jsut now. I bought it from eRacks running FreeBSD. I built the computer I had before that (started out as an AMD K6 400Mhz and then moved to Dual Celeron 366Mhz). I loved that machine because I knew EVERYTHING about it. I knew exactly what all the hardware was. I hated having to install Linux or BSD on a machine "back in the day" if it wasn't my box because I didn't know the hardware and configuring X or the network card was a real bitch.
Once you become familiar with a product, person, or dog, you can work around the flaws. I don't think that it's really that people "love" a specific machine (except Macintoshes), rather than they know what to expect and the get comfort out of that. I know this is the case for me.
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