The Aardvark Speaks : essence, effervescence, obscurity. Established 2002. A weblog by Horst Prillinger. ISSN 1726-5320

November 21, 2008

System requirements

77 million paintingsThe "home version" of Brian Eno's 77 Million Paintings (previously mentioned here) is something of a disappointment. Of course I hadn't really expected it to be something like the huge 12-segment presentation that I had seen at the exhibition in Brussels, but I must admit that I had had some kind of small hope, and getting just one segment at a time takes much of the majesty out of the visual experience.

The realization that I'd need not just a big exhibition space, but also at least 4 PowerMacs and 12 huge flat-screen monitors to reproduce something of the experience is slightly disillusioning.

Even worse is that it's not just any PowerMacs that I'd need, but very specifically G5 PowerMacs. That's because the system requirements for the software are such that the "generative music", which creates an endless soundtrack of something like 77 million different combinations of ambient sounds to go with the 77 million paintings, only works on G5 PowerMacs. PowerMacs with G4 processors and even PowerMacs with Intel processors don't get the "generative" continuous soundtrack, but instead have to play a very ungenerative 33-minute MP3 file over iTunes to get any kind of soundtrack at all.

Considering that the G5 PowerMacs weren't exactly the widest-selling computer hardware and considering that Intel PowerMacs even have better processing power, these system requirements are among the most pointless and most frustrating I've ever seen, especially for a product that was released when Intel PowerMacs have been very widely available for quite some time now.

I'll try and install the Windows version on VMware on my Intel PowerMac. If this works, then the software isn't just an exercise in frustration; in that case it's Software of the Absurd in the best Beckett-ian manner.

Posted by Horst on November 21, 2008 03:56 PM to reviews | Tell-a-friend
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