8 May 2012
— Gordon McDonald
The Syntax Error Fairy has caused innumerable cries of frustration from weary coders over the years. Initial sighting date right back to the 1960’s, although there was talk of strange glitches generated by the machines a Bletchley Park.
There are many programmers that would say a well written piece of code is a thing of beauty and the Syntax Error fairy would be the first to agree with you.
Unfortunately, it can’t code and instead views the code purely for its aesthetic value.
Seeing the effort that has gone into the stunning artwork, these fairies feel an overwhelming urge to contribute in their own small way. Whether it’s the addition of an apparently random character or the removal of a particular semicolon from the code, the fairy is driven to add their own little flourish.
Coders have long realised the problems created by the infamous Syntax Error, so have created debuggers and other methods for locating problems. The best way to avoid problems is to ensure you don’t leave your code loaded an unattended.
The syntax error is closer to a parasite than a hunter gatherer. Normally it will latch onto a coder and follow them around until they next working on a piece of code.
The distinctive enlarged head and single Cyclopes like eye makes this fairy relatively easy to identify. Although they come in a range of colours you can usually tell by the location whether the spotted fairy is a Syntax Error.
Apr 20, 05:21 PM
— Gordon McDonald
Probably the most pervasive fairy breed in the western world. This fairy is seen by most as nothing other than a minor annoyance. Some however quickly become irate at constantly having to untangle their headphone every day.
It’s not known where these little pests evolved from, but the largest category of fairies (both technological and biological) seems to be linked to knots in some way. Whether it’s a Shoelace Fairy or a Tangle Sprite, there seems to be no end of interest in the tying or untying knots.
Despite best efforts there are few folk protections that work for driving off any knot related fairy. People that frequently work with cables have found that wrapping and tying the cable is the only solution that helps.
This is one of the few truly nomadic fairies, rarely staying in one place for very long. However, they seem to have recognised that people that use public transport often also wear headphone. It’s not uncommon to find several Headphone Fairies skulking on a bus waiting to follow an unsuspecting person to their home or office.
This winged fairy is best recognised through it’s actions rather than through it’s physical appearance. Generally, it’ll be quite persistent about attempting to explore your pockets as soon as it sees you.
Apr 20, 05:20 PM
— Gordon McDonald
The Auto-Correct fairy is probably the newest of the known breeds, first being spotted around the time of the iPhone launch. It’s a direct descendant of the Predictive Hexed fairy that was the bane of the previous phones.
The Auto-Correct Fairy loves to embarrass humans, and is one of the few that seems to be able to actually read. Where it’s ancestor could only attempt to scroll through the predictive options for a message, this fairy can actually intercept and edit the message within the ether it’s self.
Although it is able to read, it has trouble with longer words, so it’s usual target are abbreviations and text speak. To limit your exposure it’s always best to text in correct English with punctuation.
Although they love to interfere directly with phones, they do not need to be near the phone in order to intercept the message. Because of this, it’s rare to find an Autocorrect fairy inside a building. More often they will ride about on the roofs of busses or sit on streetlights near a collection of bars.
These fairies are very fast moving and hard to spot, but the green wings that are so dark they appear black combined with the polished copper skin makes them very distinctive.
Jul 10, 01:10 PM
— Gordon McDonald
The feedback fairy is one of the rarer breeds I have managed to capture. I currently have only one in my collection and he is very much staying there for now.
Much like the Penny Pincher, it is actually one of the less objectionable kinds to encounter. Unless of course you happy to be a compare or musician of course.
The all consuming desire of these noisy little creatures is to sing and be heard by as many people as possible. To this end they are attracted to microphones and guitar pickups live the proverbial moth to the flame.
Their song can actually be quite pleasant. However, it’s often amplified to painful levels and contains complex harmonics that can create further feedback loops in a badly positioned microphone.
Outside of capturing the little blighters (my patented trapping circle works just fine) the trick is to make sure that unattended microphones have the gain turned right down. If a microphone in use attracts one, a quick twist or shake of the microphone will often throw the fairy to the ground and send them off in a huff.
Although they are most often complained about when they stumble across live music performances, the Feedback Fairy is actually much more commonly found in places that make very regular use of public announcement systems. Most malls and supermarkets will host a small family while a train station may house up to a dozen of the little blighters.
The Feedback Fairy is substantially larger than the majority of breeds. In a biological creature this would have evolved to contain the larger lungs required for the loud screeches and whines they can create. Of course being a techno-thaumaturgical creature this instead allows a greater bioelectric charge to be generated by the double coiled outer winding structure.
All of this energy is then of course channelled in bursts to the speaker system mounted in the head of the fairy.
Mar 20, 09:53 PM
— Gordon McDonald
Unlike the more mainstream magical species, there are very few bloodthirsty breeds of techno-fairy. The Paper Cut Fairy represents a rare exception to that rule.
It’s difficult to determine the evolutionary path that led to the Paper Cut Fairy and its peculiar bloodlust. The most popular theory is that it evolved from a flower fairy of the Rosa genus that was entranced by the first printed words, spreading as books became commonplace.
Regardless of its origin, this fairy is keen to draw blood, but usually will hide amongst documents or piles of paper to allay suspicion.
It’s thankfully rare to find these vicious fairies in the home, as who knows what they would do to a sleeping individual. It’s much more common to find them in an office environment as they seem to be attracted to large printers and photocopier, often lurking around the extra paper or on the feed tray.
Although normally solitary, marking out territory around a print room or area of an office. They have been observed going through extended slow motion combats with other individuals or small groups. It’s unknown whether this is a way of establishing dominance within groups or something similar to the kata of Japanese martial arts.
The most distinctive feature of this fairy is the sharp metallic shard that they all carry. Although the shape and style is almost always unique to the particular fairy, they are often styled after or inspired by medieval weaponry.