'I'm on my 424th game of Civilisation Two'

my tech; Richard Herring, one half of the Lee and Herring comedy duo, talks to Jennifer Rodger about his favourite gadget: a Digital HiNote Ultra Two laptop
Click to follow
The Independent Culture
I like, as men do, the gadgets part, you can really play with it. It's cool the way the lid clicks down, then with a press of a button it goes up again! This is the best thing, which is a shame as it is a greatly sophisticated computer and I just play with the buttons. I don't really understand it, so I can't do any of the hi-tech stuff, except Civilisation Two and Scrabble. Anything to stop me working. I am on my 424th game of Civilisation Two.

I do use it when I am not in the office. No, OK, I rarely do, but I can pretend. I use the Internet, partly for pleasure and messing around on, but have had big problems with CompuServe. I have even found myself laughing about them on television. So you can say it's rubbish.

E-mail is useful for responding to fan mail because I can copy out the same letter 500 times when people are unimaginative enough to ask you the same question. I warn people, though, that it is more useful to write during the day rather than in the evening because then you are too drunk.

Occasionally, we make mistakes and lose things, but they are probably there and we can't find them. There is a bloke in our management company who knows quite a lot, and a fan who does our Web site who talks in a language we don't understand. He tries to keep it simple, but when he starts saying what kind of file we want to download, then I glaze over and tell him just to do it.

We just wanted a portable computer, this was one that was the best at the time, but that was two years ago and now it seems crappily out of date. You see something else and want to get a new one. It's detachable CD-Rom isn't good. It's rubbish, I hate it. You have to take off the disc drive to put it on the CD-Rom, and I broke the disc drive because I didn't line it up properly. That is really my fault, though I think it is a slight design error that you have to take it on and off.

I knocked the monitor when it was in my bag, now it's pink, which means that you can't understand everything that is going on in the games. With my playing habits, that is probably a good thing.

I am slightly of the wrong generation as an O-Level kid. I understand how to use computers, but not how to take them apart. I use it as a very expensive word processor.

I have a Playstation, which I use a bit, but am rather disappointed with it. I sound like an old man, but games these days are quite complicated and you have to really understand them first.

I like the mindlessness of Pac Man, and find it useful for coming up with ideas because it relaxes your mind. When you play it for 7 or 8 hours everything slows down, and you find that the real world seems very fast after that.

I mostly put phone numbers in a Psion organiser, but sometimes leave them on bits and pieces of paper which is my other filing system. It isn't as efficient. I started writing down half of them just in case it got stolen, but got so bored that if that happens I can only contact people from A-F. There is a certain lack of intelligence here, like when I lost my pager I didn't think to ring up and ask "where's my pager".

I would quite like to have a mobile phone - half of me thinks that when I am stuck on a train. But in a way it is a good thing with pagers that people can contact you and not necessarily get through. People look silly, but I guess I will have to fall down on that one soon.

I am a slight Luddite, and slight future-gazer, looking forward to what computers will look like in the next 20 years. Once everyone is literate and can use it, it'll be a good thing. I quite enjoy the spotty nerdiness of it at the moment and will miss that when it's gone. I would count myself as a nerd. It is all for obsessives.

Lee and Herring start a 30-date UK tour 0n 14 April. Tour hotline 0891 887766.

Comments