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"Halt and Catch Fire"... Anyone planning on watching?

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by Peter000, May 11, 2014.

  1. AeneaGames

    AeneaGames Member

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    I've often wondered what if Atari and Commodore had merged instead of fighting each other...

    Always found it funny that the people who designed the Atari 8-bit (400/800/XL/etc.) machine also designed the Amiga and the people who did the Commodore 64 also did the Atari ST :)
     
  2. Johncv

    Johncv Active Member

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    Not only that, Microsoft BASIC ended up on the Amiga because Jack Trimmilli (not sure of the spelling) CEO of Atari broke his contract with Bill Gates to install the "new" Windows OS on the Atari ST, would have been the first computer to have it. Also, Word, later to become Microsoft Word was an Amiga word processor.
     
  3. AeneaGames

    AeneaGames Member

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    The reason Jack Tramiel (founder of Commodore and later CEO of Atari) didn't want to have Windows on the Atari ST is because MS had said it would take them 3 years to do so and they couldn't wait that long.

    Am glad they went with GEM from Digital Research though...

    As for Word being on the Amiga: I had never heard of it and can't find any evidence of it ever existing for the Amiga. The first version of MS Word was released in 1983 for Xenix. Later versions were released for MS DOS, Mac OS, Windows and even Atari ST...
     
  4. Aug 3, 2014 #304 of 383
    jautor

    jautor Also wants a pony

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    Not with a (however-big-it-is) LCD screen in those days... :D
     
  5. Aug 3, 2014 #305 of 383
    dswallow

    dswallow Save the ModeratŠ¾r TCF Club

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    The Tandy/Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 100 had a 240x64 addressable pixel LCD screen, was introduced in 1983, and started around $1,000.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRS-80_Model_100


    The TRS-80 Model 200 was introduced in 1984, had a 240x128 addressable pixel LCD display, and was priced at $999.

    http://oldcomputers.net/trs200.html
     
  6. Aug 3, 2014 #306 of 383
    jautor

    jautor Also wants a pony

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    I really wasn't trying to get into an argument about a fictional design in a fictional show... But comparing a PC-compatible (portable, even) real world unit of those days, which retailed ~$3500 (so let's give it a wholesale cost half that), and adding the cost of of large-ish, backlit LCD (not the calculator-style displays), and I don't think you get there...

    But obviously technical / historical accuracy was lost long ago on the show - and I'm sorry I brought any of those topics up. And I wouldn't have if there hadn't been so much chatter about "how accurate" the show was at the open.

    I mean, if their writers don't catch even simple things like the pronunciation of
    DEC (twice!), fact-checking anything else is pointless. :D
     
  7. Aug 4, 2014 #307 of 383
    Worf

    Worf Active Member

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    Well, the Toshiba T1100 (pretty much the first laptop, not luggable) cost $1900 at launch.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toshiba_T1100

    No, it's not a Giant. It's just an IBM PC XT clone with the same speed. And also released 3 years later in 1986. (Giant was "released" in 1983 since it was NOvember 1983 for Comdex).
     
  8. Aug 4, 2014 #308 of 383
    jautor

    jautor Also wants a pony

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    Well, it's too bad the last two episodes were the best of the bunch - unless the ratings picked up it doesn't sound promising for another season.

    I wonder if enough viewers were able to make the leap that they were talking about the Macintosh ad during the Super Bowl? They mentioned it as a game (Redskins vs. Raiders), but not as the Super Bowl(tm) - probably for the same reason! I guess the assumption is that the viewers all know that bit of history...

    And I figured something bad was going to happen to that first shipment - but I rolled my eyes at Joe burning it - really? At least that wasn't the final scene (it made me check the clock as I kinda expected that given the writing...)
     
  9. Aug 4, 2014 #309 of 383
    DevdogAZ

    DevdogAZ Give em Hell, Devils

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    I found it very odd that the burned shipment was never mentioned. No dealing with the fallout. No irate ComputerLand. No insurance claim. Just Gordon continuing to lead what appears to be a successful company.

    And I wonder if the writers had a good idea that renewal was unlikely before they wrote the finale. Because if they were planning on a second season, I don't think they'd have Gordon, Joe, and Cameron all doing completely different things. Because if there is a S2 and they're not all back together a at Cardiff, that would be pretty lame.
     
  10. Aug 4, 2014 #310 of 383
    DeDondeEs

    DeDondeEs Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    I enjoyed this show. I hope it comes back next season, or perhaps Netflix could pick it up. That is funny how Cameron looks like the lady who throws the hammer at the video screen in the Mac commercial. I wondering that was planned or if someone just made that observation later while filming the show.

    One nitpick. Joe kept using the term "Killer App". I didn't think that term existed back then. According to Merriam Webster online it wasn't first used until 1988.
     
  11. Aug 4, 2014 #311 of 383
    SeanC

    SeanC ECT

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    I'm a bit annoyed that the idea of a next machine wouldn't be mention to Joe. Ultimately there has to be a feature freeze or your product will never ship, so take all those great ideas burning a hole in your pocket and put them into your next design, which you are working on, right.... RIGHT?
     
  12. Aug 4, 2014 #312 of 383
    dswallow

    dswallow Save the ModeratŠ¾r TCF Club

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    I'm pretty sure the extent of the advance thought put into development for this show was akin to "hey, wouldn't it be neat to have a show about the startup of the compatible PC market?" Then someone else decided it needed intrigue and hacking and sex and backroom dealing so they fired everyone and hired the latest television writers coming out of DeVry.
     
  13. Aug 4, 2014 #313 of 383
    DevdogAZ

    DevdogAZ Give em Hell, Devils

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    Or they just read their reviews. Joe Poniewozik, the TV critic for Time, has been pointing out yesterday and today on Twitter that his review of the pilot episode pointed out that Cameron looked like the girl from the Apple ad.

    It didn't bother me so much that he used that term, but that nobody seemed to have any concept of what it meant, including Joe. It was like Joe wanted to include a more engaging OS rather than a "killer app." But he'd already killed the OS created by Cameron (no idea why he couldn't keep that around for a future release), and he wanted a GUI like the Mac, but like Cameron's OS, that would likely require much more expensive hardware.

    What Joe and the developers really should have been thinking about is that the vast majority of their customers would be businesses, so what application would be most beneficial to business people. And the obvious answer is a word processor. I don't know what the status of the various other word processing programs (WordPerfect, WordStar, Word, etc.) was in early 1984, but I'd think that if Joe really wanted to bundle an app that would make his PC indispensable, that's what they should have been working on.

    I thought Gordon should have mentioned that as well. Once they already ordered the spec machines, it was too late to be thinking of adding features to that release. Joe should have been focused on Giant 2.0, and Gordon should have been guiding Joe's energies in that direction.
     
  14. Aug 4, 2014 #314 of 383
    ellinj

    ellinj Seems Very Friendly TCF Club

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    I think Gordon summed it up well, they already had a killer app, and that was Lotus123, since they were building an IBM compatible. Their killer app was the ability to run apps that ran on IBM at a lower cost.
     
  15. Aug 4, 2014 #315 of 383
    DevdogAZ

    DevdogAZ Give em Hell, Devils

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    In Gordon's mind, that was their killer app. He understood that they were competing in a market where price is the only real differentiator. But Joe was trying to differentiate the Giant from every other PC compatible, and make the Giant somehow more preferable than other compatibles on a factor other than price. This is why he wanted to sell it with an integrated screen. This is why he wanted it to be lighter than the competition. This is why he wanted it faster than the competition. This is why he wanted Cameron's proprietary OS. But ultimately, what he was able to sell was just a "soulless" compatible that happened to be slightly cheaper than the competition. So Joe is feeling very unfulfilled and wants to figure out a way to still sneak something into the deal that will keep Giant on top, even when some other competitor comes along and undercuts their price.
     
  16. Aug 4, 2014 #316 of 383
    mattack

    mattack Active Member

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    Someone else mentioned it, so I won't spoiler it.

    I totally don't get why Joe burned the truck..

    and I presume it was his _mother_ he was going to hike up to see? It was an hour drive, but he was going to hike? Even though they said it was on dirt roads & fire trails, something like that.. that seems like it would be an AWFULLY long hike, even if he were able to walk a more direct route there.

    I think there were TWO technical nitpicks I saw in this episode. (Remember, I realize it's fiction... but my take is they've been _reasonably_ consistent with real history except for their new machine/OS.)

    I don't think 2400 bits/second modems were common in the timeframe of this show (1984). In my very simplistic searching of wikipedia, I couldn't find ratification dates of the standards.. But I did find this:
    I think it was a 2400 bits/second modem that I got as a high school graduation present in 1987.. and that was after they had become somewhat cheaper.. So MAYBE they were available before that, but I don't think so.

    You did hear modem sounds in the episode, and they ALSO talked about "9600 baud" and such. I won't nitpick the bits/s vs baud technical correctness issue, but they COULD have been talking about serial port bandwidth or somesuch. (I think not, since they were basically talking about CompuServe, etc..)

    That's the only one that I remember that stuck out..
     
  17. Aug 5, 2014 #317 of 383
    randian

    randian Member

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    Was anybody doing massively multi-player online games in 1984, like Cameron wants to do? She specifically said "game", not "chat" or "meet" like AOL and CompuServe did.
     
  18. Aug 5, 2014 #318 of 383
    Johncv

    Johncv Active Member

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    No, I think so, but Cameron want to build a "game machine", this is why she hire Gordon's wife. Would love to see this show renew just to see where this plot line go.
     
  19. Aug 5, 2014 #319 of 383
    randian

    randian Member

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    Cameron said "order modem by mail", so I assume she meant an MMO of some sort, which I don't believe existed then.
     
  20. Aug 5, 2014 #320 of 383
    Johncv

    Johncv Active Member

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    I understand what you're saying, but I think the real reason she hire Gordon wife it to build a "game machine"
     

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