A Collection of Imaginary Software

by @edent | # # # | 8 comments | Read ~6,848 times.

I’ve built myself a framed set of imaginary software.
Colourful floppy disks in a frame.
This is not available to buy in the shops. Mostly because some of the artwork is not my copyright. All the parts are listed if you want to build it yourself.

Parts

Background

As part of my Floppy Disk Walkman project, I asked my friends to send me a couple of floppies. Alistair and @gas_liverpool both sent me loads. So I needed something to do with them!

Close Ups

Note!

  • What a “classic” floppy label looks like, and what you remember it looking like, can be two different things.
  • I also can’t afford a colour printer – so I stuck with black & white on colourful floppies.
  • I’m not a graphic designer. Thankfully, neither were most of the people who designed floppy labels back in the day. If graphic design is your passion, feel free to improve these!
  • The labels don’t have the rounded corners of proper labels.

GLaDOS – from Portal

GLaDOS v1.1 Master copy do not erase.
Are you still there?

Bandersnatch – from Netflix’s Bandersnatch

Bandersnatch disk.
I used an open source Teletext Font called Bedstead rather than the more corporate Courier.

Holly – from Red Dwarf

Introducing Hool. Disk 1 of 6000.
I thought a dot-matrix style vision of Holly would be a nice touch.

A Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer – from The Diamond Age

Fancy illustration.
Using the Reenie Beanie font and a bit of groovy clipart.

Janet – from The Good Place

Not a girl. Not a robot. Everything is fine. You've got JAnet.
The font is close enough

Polybius – from the arcade

Internal demo disk for Polybius.
I spent so much money on this arcade game back when I was a kid. Not so easy to find nowadays.

Mother – from Alien

Mother Disk. Special order 937.
I made great use of this excellent article about the typography of Alien.

WOTAN – from Doctor Who

Wotan in a groovy 1960s font.
This was a difficult one to get right. The font is not Westminster!

I grabbed the title card and manually recreated the font.

WOPR – from War Games

List of all the games on Falken's WOPR.
A slightly modified copy of the games list from WOPR. Using a reconstructed font

Rejected Ideas

Originally, I thought about making disks of Vapourware. Things like “Commander Keen: The Universe Is Toast!” and “Half-Life 2: Episode Three” – but I really couldn’t find enough good titles.

So, I asked on Twitter:

Some of the suggestion were brilliant, but a bit hard to implement. What does the software disk for Blade Runner’s Zoom Enhance look like?

Famous Movie Floppies

There are only a few popular movies which feature floppies prominently. And none looked particularly cool. Besides, there’s nothing interesting about just copying someone else’s artwork.

Here are some that I considered.

Hackers

The floppies on display don’t have anything interesting written on them.
Jonny Lee Miller in the film Hackers. He is holding a floppy disk.

Similarly, what does The Gibson look like?

Alien

The floppy disk props were never actually used.
A floppy disk with Ripley's file on it.

The Net

We all love Sandra Bullock, and The Net is a fine movie. But this is hardly an iconic shot.
A green disk with a post-it note.

Red Dwarf

I lol’d, but I wanted something a bit more like real software disk.


Better Than Life is an brilliant bit of software, but there are no product shots.

Star Trek

LCARS was a popular request. But it is so colourful, that it’s hard to show on a black and white printer.
A colourful Star Trek interface.

What’s next?

Not sure. I’m painfully aware that most of these are AI systems, rather than discrete software. I have no need for a colour printer – so I don’t think I’ll upgrade these. And I don’t think I’m a good enough designer to make many more. So this will just sit as a curio on my wall.

8 thoughts on “A Collection of Imaginary Software

  1. The Wotan has got to be my favourite, but I must ask, did you store anything on the floppy drives before you framed them?


  2. JH says:

    What no HAL 9000 [ Sorry I cant do that Dave}

    1. @edent says:

      OK, just for you! HAL 9000 disk.

      1. JH says:

        Good man though I think the warranty expired on that version after several terminal deaths lol

  3. @Edent love these! Especially the Holly disk 1 of 6000.

  4. Scott Zuris says:

    All thats missing here is giant red letters on the cover reading:

    IN CASE OF SINGULARITY
    BREAK GLASS

    And a little hammer chained to it.

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