I make a practice of scanning the names of people who follow me on Twitter, just to get a sense of who reads what I write. So I was amused to see among them a blast from the past: the Talking Moose.
For those whose Macintosh experience doesn’t extend back to the mid-1980s, the Talking Moose was a bit of background software that would periodically pop up, in the form of an animated moose reminiscent of Bullwinkle, and offer witticisms via the MacinTalk speech synthesis software. Created by Steven Halls in 1986, the Talking Moose became popular for a few years, thanks in part to being distributed with Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus’s “Stupid Mac Tricks” book in 1989 before fading into obscurity. It was resurrected in 1992 by Uli Kusterer and later brought forward to Mac OS X.
If the concept of a wisecracking moose constantly interrupting you seems, well, hokey, keep in mind that this was before most computer users had access to anything resembling today’s Internet and were thus in dire need of constant distraction from the existential angst of everyday life. The question is, will the Talking Moose’s oddball sayings stand out from what normally flows through Twitter?