Try Catch Finally

Technical Humor – No Exceptions

Monthly Archives: August 2011

Go Speed Coder, Go!

034 - Go Speed Coder Go

Movie Inspiration: Speed Racer

You can never be too careful at those programming competitions these days.  They’re getting brutal.

CJ came up with the basic idea for this one while we were traveling on vacation earlier this summer.  We bounced a couple of ideas around, but settled on the scene where Speed is getting briefed on all of the tweaks being made to his machine.  We thought it would be funny for our Dude to be entering a programming competition, and having a similar need for defenses against cheaters.

Part of the fun for this one – ok, a LOT of the fun for this one – was coming up with the list of modifications.  Jump jacks were left in, mostly because they were the most recognizable feature of the Mach 5, but also because it’s just plain funny to think of a laptop having them.  They give a whole new meaning to “booting up”.  One of CJ’s original ones was having the cutting blades in the DVD-ROM drive, which was also awesome – don’t even THINK of trying to peek at Speed’s screen.  I came up with most of the others, but got stuck with how to twist the homing robot.  The movie described this as being able to transmit video footage from wherever the car was, so we converted this to a “Remote 3-D web cam”.  I’m not sure what exactly this means, but it sounded cool.

When I had it mostly finished, CJ remarked at how visually different this one is from most of the others, specifically the blue.  She pointed out that since a lot of TCF end up being in the office, and since the most recognizable feature of an office tends to be the rows and rows of cubes, the color scheme tends to be very neutral.  The technician’s glasses were also a bit of a challenge.  It took me four or five attempts to arrange them on her face without making her look cross-eyed.




Network Reloaded

033 - Network Reloaded

Movie Inspiration: The Matrix Reloaded

Sometimes you just gotta do the insane to get the job done.  And Trinity and Morpheus can certainly bring the insane.

Three out of the last four Try Catch Finally comics have involved mobile devices (today’s, as well as Can you hear me now? and Fire beacons are SO last age).  I certainly didn’t plan to go through a “mobile” phase.  I don’t even own an iPhone, Android, or anything else in that class.

When I was brainstorming amusing wifi names, I did a quick search online.  I’ve seen amusing network names in the past like “BuyAnotherCupYouCheapskate”, “SkyNet”, and “UseThisOneMom”, but most of the ones I turned up weren’t appropriate.  Huh, go figure?  There’s smut on the internets.  My original thought for the name of the public wifi was something like “Information Superhighway”, which would have had some punny charm to it, but it was a bit unwieldy.  I settled on “HighwayOfDoooom” because, well, most things sound funnier when you add “OfDoooom” to the end.  The trick is you have to stretch out the “Doooom” for maximum comedic effect.

Go ahead, you know you want to try it.  Here’s a few to get you started:

Corn Flakes
Legal Pad

When I started today’s comic, I had a good idea for what the screen would look like, but not what should be in the background.  CJ suggested putting Morpheus there.  That was a good idea, but it took us another hour to actually fit him in.  I think he turned out great, especially his trench coat.  The collar turned out to be the most interesting piece.  CJ kept telling me to “just draw a line from the center, going off to the right”.  I couldn’t figure out why until I did it.  His collar has a piece of material that folds across the front, and attaches to his left, to keep it in place.  As soon as I drew it, it all clicked.


Fire beacons are SO last age

032 - Fire beacons are SO last age

Movie Inspiration: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

If the Internet had existed in Middle Earth, the real beacons would have been totally superfluous.  Tweeting and updating your Facebook status would have been all you needed to do to get the word out.

I wanted to come up with tweets that would have logically preceded the lighting of the beacon in the movie, but because I haven’t watched “Return of the King” in over a year, I had some trouble remembering the exact order of events with all of the various story lines.  At CJ’s prodding, I threw it in and watched about 20 minutes leading up to it.

Other than coming up with tweets for everyone, it was fun trying to decide what some random Rohan guard, Pippen, Gandalf, and Gollum, respectively, would have used for their profile pic.


French Roast. Very Dangerous. You go first.

031 - French Roast Very Dangerous You Go First

Movie Inspiration: Raiders of the Lost Ark

Indiana simply doesn’t have any patience.  Of course, I really don’t picture Indy being a morning person either, so perhaps it can be forgiven.  At least once he extracts his cup-of-joe he won’t have a room full of poison darts to dodge, a chasm to jump, a stone door to dive under, a boulder to escape, or a mad tribe of natives shooting after him.

Or at least if he does he’s doin’ it wrong.