Talk:1229: Screensaver

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Jump to: navigation, search

This is my first time contributing to the site and my first time posting a comic up. If I've missed something, then please let me know. Thanks. --James Chin (talk) 07:02, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for your contribution. You did forget to add the comic at the [List of all comics] and the redirect for the title was missing. I've done this right now.--Dgbrt (talk) 10:18, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, thanks a lot! Everything is always perfectible (as is my rewording of your explanation), but your explanation was quite complete on the first shot, and that's the main added value here. So you got the essentials right Face-smile.svg (and you're welcome to do it again on new comics or incomplete ones). - Cos (talk) 12:50, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

I can't stop thinking that the last panel is not "noise" but a binary coded message/file. It seems just enough compressed/unsharp to make it possible to read out every pixel as a bit, and perhaps there is some kind of "datafile" with error correction? Anybody tought about that? --217.253.152.222 07:22, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

In all likelihood, it's a message from an alien race that roughly translates into 'lorum ipsum dolor' 173.209.116.233 19:42, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

How do you know it is Cueball who tries to shoot the flying toasters? 87.238.84.65 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Why StarTrek? In my experience, in StarTrek the stars are lines instead of dots, therefore the look is different. -- Hkmaly (talk) 08:43, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

The Buck Rogers TV series of the late 70s/early 80s had a star field zoom for the closing credits -- the thing about it was that the "stars" would actually hit the screen and get stuck there, rendering it more of a zooming-through-a-snow-storm effect than a naive-traveling-through-space effect. It always bothered me at the time as showing how cheap the show was. I think later I actually came to find the effect rather pretty...

It's probably quite unlikely to collide with a star like that, wouldn't it be much more likely to pass near enough to enter an orbit?--62.20.90.206 14:25, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

Anything travelling fast enough for the stars to be moving by like that would have way too much energy to be captured into an orbit around the star. Trajectory altered, yes, but not captured.24.114.255.99 15:23, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

Technically, the Zapper gun would end up detecting a target, because the gun itself was just a light/darkness binary detector. When you triggered the gun, the videogame displayed for a split second a black/white pattern in the screen so the gun would detect if you were pointing at the target. So eventually the gun would detect the white of the flying toaster (if well aimed) or the black background (if bad aimed) and respond that a duck was hit. -- lvps1000vm 81.34.5.5 15:20, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

My take was that one of the "stars" went supernova, which you might see if you watched the sky every night for 20 year, and the final panel would be the result of overwhelming radiation. 38.125.13.10 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Someone is probably writing a program to make the zapper actually usable to shoot down the toasters as we speak. Also, it's somewhat unrelated as I really see no hint of it in the comic, but a screen similar to this screensaver appears at the end of Final Fantasy VII. 93.144.221.197 17:38, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

A Zapper that work with the toasters would be good, but what we really need is a starfield screensaver that does what the comic does, ending in a collision with a flaming fireball of awesome. Hippyjim (talk) 22:06, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

I would have to assume that the impetus for this comic came from the recent supermoon on June 23. I would have added that to the explanation, but I'm not sure if speculation (even when it's highly likely) belongs. -- imvintage 25 June 2013 (UTC)

This comic reminds me of a recent post at http://what-if.xkcd.com/47/ (signed: 38.112.155.163 21:57, 25 June 2013 (UTC))
Oh, that SUPERMOON... It's just a gap filler for the press at science sections (even NASA did), but nobody would recognize when looking at the sky. The Moon is always "big" when it's close to the horizon, but this is just a human imagination. My 13% cents. --Dgbrt (talk) 22:42, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Hi there, I would guess instead of the star hitting, the monitor just crashed and that's why the signal was lost. Regards, Roy. 62.206.211.29 06:51, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

Twenty years? That would mean he starting staring at the screen in the 1980s. I would really doubt the starfield screensaver existed then. Xyz (talk) 14:35, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

Please check your calender. The current year is 2013, which makes 1993 20 years ago. --Chtz (talk) 14:39, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
Makes you feel old, doesn't it? 98.20.249.108 14:17, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
The fact that this comic came out more than two years ago, makes me feel old. --Chtz (talk) 14:49, 19 July 2013 (UTC)


Supernova? Supermoon? Monitor crashed? A signal in the noise? No, No, No and Apophenia. You are viewing the Microsoft Starfield screensaver, apparently flying through a dense field of stars at immense speed. In the screensaver, the idea of colliding with a star is not modeled. In this comic, it is. The star that we are heading towards appears to get larger and larger, and the presence of sunspots makes it clear what we are seeing, and that the star is not itself changing. The final panel depicts what would appear if the screensaver image was not computer-generated, but was actually being transmitted by a camera. When the ship carrying the camera hits the star, the transmission of video will most likely end, hence 'signal lost'. Now, was that so hard? 108.162.219.223 18:21, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

Personal tools
Namespaces

Variants
Actions
Navigation
Tools

It seems you are using noscript, which is stopping our project wonderful ads from working. Explain xkcd uses ads to pay for bandwidth, and we manually approve all our advertisers, and our ads are restricted to unobtrusive images and slow animated GIFs. If you found this site helpful, please consider whitelisting us.

Want to advertise with us, or donate to us with Paypal or Bitcoin?