Thursday, July 20, 2006

Computers in the movies

Hollywood movies are well known among geeks for the usually poor (as in, unrealistic) representation of computers and computing. Obviously, one has to suspend a certain amount of disbelief in the name of entertainment, but it really bugs me when movies screw up technical details that almost any techie would spot.

I was watching one movie recently (alas, I can't remember the name), and the heros were looking at a list of IP addresses. However, some idiot thought that something like 456.23.75.749 was a realistic IP address! There are countless other examples (password overide, anyone?), but I think you get the point.

So I was pleasantly surprised last night when I watched Antitrust. Apart from one or two belief suspension moments, I thought the portrayal of computers was fairly accurate. The satellites in the movie are supposedly on a private network, and indeed they all have IP addrsses like The OS the geeks use is obviously UNIX or UNIX-like, and the source code shown is real source code for real open source apps.

But as a fan, perhaps the coolest scene (apart from when the CEO of NURV, Gary Winston, says "Bill who?" when Bill Gates was mentioned) for me was when one of the Good Guys is shown receiving an award from none other than Sun Chairman and ex-CEO, Scott McNealy! I wonder if the computers in the movie were running ?


At 20/7/06 11:36, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They were surely running GNOME, as one of GNOME's founders, Miguel de Icaza, played in this movie.

At 20/7/06 12:46, Anonymous Bill Bradford said...

No Pain, No Gain features an E10K as a major "Character", Sun LCDs, and a SunRay. Most of the computer-screen graphics were produced with a Blade 100.

(The movie's writer/director was a Sun employee and I was the technical consultant/computer guy)

At 20/7/06 14:35, Anonymous tim said...

"like 456.23.75.749 was a realistic IP"

You don't recognize IP version 7? Shame on you.

At 21/7/06 05:37, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My favorite is 'Password Swordfish' ...
While 'blowjobbed' ;-) the hero is wild typing on a notebook and in less than 60 seconds intruding into CIA, Pentagon, The White House and may be into some more :-)


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