If Your Car Were Emacs

If your car were emacs, it would have...

This page was born of my frustration at once again having to monitor my power windows to make sure they were open just enough and no more (guess how far that is). Feel free to add your own.

They seem to fall into three categories: actual useful things cars could do, ridiculous flexibility that parodies emacs, and things which it's impossible for cars to do with existing technology. I find it interesting that the first two are closely related. Any are on-topic.

My 1999 model car reminds me with a bell and display, when I have 50 miles to go before running out of gas, and when I have 25 miles left. I don't know what warnings it gives at lower more critical levels; I've never gotten that far. ;->

My 2001 model car takes over the stereo speakers to beep at me in full stereo. Beginning 100 miles from out of gas. If only I could hook that for a better sound, or set the variable for something more useful than 1/4 tank...

Cars are getting smarter.

A truly smart car would be able to make up for its driver. -- AnonymousMotorist?

Yes, cars are getting smarter, but if the manufacturers would just open up the architecture, they'd be getting smarter faster. Even a simple interfacing with a Palm for things like stereo presets and seat-and-mirror settings would help.

Indeed, all of the above would be available from third parties if only cars could be programmed in EmacsLisp.

Why is the following funny? Trick question?

Well, imagine being able to take your steering wheel from where it is and put it where it isn't. So much for the serious part.

Why would you want to do this? For countries that drive on the other side of the road. Like Canada. But, oops: they drive on the same side of the road, not the other side, so we see humorous bit #1: feigned American ignorance of Canada. But oops, again: assuming a left-side steering wheel is an AmericanCulturalAssumption - you might really want to change the side it's on if you're British and you're driving to Canada. That's humorous bit #2: we've caught the picky people in an unwarranted assumption (and a USAian one, at that!). Humorous bit #3 is the sheer unlikelihood of a British (or Japanese/Australian/Indian) person driving to Canada, after all.

That's the explanation. But it doesn't make the joke any funnier.

(I'd probably disconnect the steering wheel and hand it to the back seat driver. Let them drive for a while. ;-)

Japanese Engineers had a functional prototype of a wireless steering wheel. Everyone in the car took turns.

It would take an Emacs car to drive from Britain or Japan to Canada... -- RobMandeville

How to drive from Britain to Canada (4WD Recommended): Take the channel tunnel (it has drive-on car transporters) from Merrie Olde to France. Drive east until you hit Proivdeniya, Russia. Wait until Winter... Drive across the Bering Strait to Alaska. Keep driving east till you hit Canada.

I know someone who has done this, although on a motorcycle.

I suppose you can do the same thing with a Ferry from Fukuoka, Japan to Pusan, Korea, but it might be difficult to drive from Seoul to Pyongyang, so I'd recommend the Niigata, Japan-Vladivostok ferry (takes about 2 days!).

assuming a left-side steering-wheel. In fact the original is not culturally biased, as it explicitly does not state which side the wheel was on to start with. And, surely, the point is to share the driving, not adjust to foreign driving requirements; again, there was no statement that the wheel position should be switched at the border...

Perhaps I've been interpreting specifications too long: I seem to be getting very literal, and perhaps somewhat in need of a sense of humo(u)r transplant. -- SteveHolden

Ah, but the original original was culturally biased: I typed "right side" initially, before semi-instinctively caving in to pressure from foreigners M-- M-d non-Americans M-- M-d non-USAians M-- M-d foreigners and replacing it with "passenger side". My subconscious then compelled me to vengefully poke fun at some foreigners, but nobody too foreign - hence Canada (heck, they'd like it if we called them foreigners). Capisce?

Bah. Enough with the M-- M-d. M-BS! *fistshake!*

Anyway, I like the idea of using the movable wheel to implement PairDriving. But then why not just have multiple steering wheels? You could select the active one by editing an .Xresources file, pulling over, disconnecting your battery, and starting up again from the new one. Oh, wait, we're supposed to be lampooning Emacs here, not X.
Mwahahaha! Anyway, they're not really for PairDriving, but of course there are cars used by driving instructors, which have a second brake pedal on the passenger side. PairBraking?? Actually, PairDriving would be two people trading positions from time to time on a trip and cooperating in their plans for the route (with driving, it's impractical for them to cooperate on the low-level details like shifting lanes); you don't necessarily need two instances of TheSeat to do it. -- DanielKnapp

PairDriving: One person operates the controls, and the other reads the map and gives directions. From time to time, they may pull over, stop, and switch places.

Who says this has never happened before?

I read today that a high-end car has close to 50 microprocessors, and that the total cost of silicon exceeds that of steel. What a world, eh?

My low-end motorcycle has a solid-state regulator down-stream from the battery, and that's it.

If my car were Emacs, This isn't due to your emacs car. It is due to the crack you've been smoking.

Congratulations for having the bravery to make these two fundamental points, and don't mind the flack you'll pick up for it.

I wouldn't be able to drive it off the lot. I'd have to take it home and tinker with it for a few days before it would run.

No. If your car were emacs you would be able to press a button and have it revert to stock configuration. ($emacs -q). And if your car were emacs you would have the ability to hit a few buttons, and evaluate a lisp buffer you grabbed off your home server (.emacs), and have the new car become instantly configured the way your old car was.
Can't you your customizations in ~/.emacs and start emacs on somebody else's terminal using your own configuration file? I'm not an emacs user, but I vaguely remember that...

Of course you can. You could even load your .emacs from an FTP site on the net or (starting from Emacs 21.4) from your computer at home or elsewhere using SSH or telnet.

Can I set fuel level here?
Quite a few cars have something like this now: The driver can disable the rear door lock/unlock buttons - as a child safety feature.
(with Mayan unit support in the next release)

Emacs has Mayan support in the current release ...

And now the most obvious joke in the world:

If AndreasFuchs?'s car were Emacs, he'd not dare evaluate the cdr for the sheer size of it!
And of course there is the old bumper sticker: "My other car is a cdr."

See: IfYourCarWereVim, MyMotorcycleIsEmacs


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