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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. Jun 3, 2014 #61 of 383

    Gerryex Member

    Apr 24, 2004
    Land O...
    Actually, if you look at where the sine wave was when they called out +5 volts vs. where it was when they called out 0 volts, the amplitude of the sine wave was about 1 volt. That's a lot of noise for a 5 volt signal!!!

    But I'm just nit picking. Overall I liked it and really didn't expect them to represent all the technical details correctly.

  2. Jun 3, 2014 #62 of 383

    jautor Also wants a pony

    Jul 1, 2001
    Houston, TX
    If they simply avoid showing two people frantically typing on the same keyboard they'll be doing much better than average TV! :D

  3. Jun 3, 2014 #63 of 383

    billboard_NE North Shore MA

    May 18, 2005
    This is how I feel. All shows have errors, just watch and enjoy.
  4. Jun 3, 2014 #64 of 383

    jsmeeker Notable Member TCF Club

    Apr 2, 2001
    Making it look like it is hard and tedious to copy the BIOS helps the story. It does this in a few ways. For one, it helps establish the difficulty of overall task of cloning a PC and taking on IBM. It also helps to bolster the character of the sales engineer. You need to show he is hot sh*t and knows that he is doing. Prior to that point, it seemed like the guy was just phoning it in.
  5. Jun 3, 2014 #65 of 383

    DevdogAZ Give em Hell, Devils

    Apr 16, 2003
    Prior to that point, he was phoning it in. It was clear he was in a massive funk due to depression. He'd failed in the area he was passionate about (building a computer called Symphonic) and now was stuck as a nobody at a company that was boring and old fashioned and wouldn't know innovation or take a risk if it bit them on the ass. And then at home, you see his kids bring their broken electronics to mom to fix, so basically, he's become a complete nobody at work and at home. And even when presented with an opportunity to do exactly what he wants to do, he almost pissed it away because he's too scared of losing his family, going deeper into debt, etc.
  6. Jun 4, 2014 #66 of 383

    cheesesteak Meh. TCF Club

    Jul 24, 2003
    15 mins...
    The only thing that bothered me about the first episode was that the director obviously thought it would help ratings if they put a sex scene towards the beginning of the episode.

    I would have bought just about anything they did to portray the cloning process short of having a guy with a pointy hat tossing eye of newt and chicken entrails into a boiling cauldron.
  7. Jun 5, 2014 #67 of 383

    markymark_ctown Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2004
    Yes, that scene was cringe worthy. I hope they don't pair those two as a couple going forward.
  8. Jun 7, 2014 #68 of 383

    Johncv Active Member

    Jun 11, 2002
    Chula Vista, CA
    I like this show regardless of it technical flaws. Unlike Gang Related which I deleted the season pass less than 30 min into the show because I could not understand one word anyone was saying. :rolleyes:
  9. Jun 7, 2014 #69 of 383

    betts4 I am Spartacus!

    Dec 26, 2005
    A Galaxy...
    I watched last night and enjoyed it. Not a computer engineer or anything - so actually the way they portrayed stuff was interesting, not so much how 100% accurate it was, because, well, I wouldn't know.

    I liked that his wife was in T.I. and she took the speak and say apart to repair it. I really liked the idea behind a frustrated genius stuck in a low job and finding a way to finally make his 'dream'.

    The one lead guy reminded me of the movie Glengarry Glen Ross - "A-B-C. A-Always, B-Be, C-Closing. Always be closing, always be closing."
  10. Jun 7, 2014 #70 of 383

    mr.unnatural Active Member

    Feb 2, 2006
    I liked the show, but the technical accuracies are anything but realistic. Looking at voltage levels on an o-scope should give you a straight line, not a sine wave. As for the voltage level indicated, it all depends on what scale you set the scope to (e.g., 5V/div, 1V/div, etc.).

    Using a breadboard with LEDs to read 64K of hex addresses is about the dumbest thing I've ever seen. The number of errors induced using this method would invalidate whatever they thought they were trying to copy. I couldn't understand why they wrote down the numbers on a pad of paper and then later produced a computer printout of the data dump. This would have required that they key in the addresses manually to another PC or word processor, so why go through the process of writing it down in the first place? I thought these guys were supposed to be geniuses.

    The gratuitus sex scene at the beginning was enough to drive my wife out of the room.

    Other than that, I enjoyed the show as I found it to be entertaining, but most definitely fiction.
  11. Jun 7, 2014 #71 of 383
    Bob Coxner

    Bob Coxner Active Member

    Dec 1, 2004
    Setting aside any tech errors, I really enjoyed it. Even the opening credits on the green monitor brought back memories.
  12. Jun 7, 2014 #72 of 383

    Mikeyis4dcats Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2003
    a straight line on an o-scope isn't very visually interesting. I understand why they made the choice.
  13. Jun 7, 2014 #73 of 383

    astrohip Well-Known Member TCF Club

    Jan 6, 2003
    Houston &...
    The universe of people who care or know is limited. I'm fairly computer literate, enough to know the phrase "reverse engineering", but couldn't tell you anything about sine waves. It was fun to watch, more so than I would have thought. The reviews weren't flattering, mostly "meh", but I enjoyed it.

    I don't think the technical inaccuracies will matter to any but the 1%.

    Absolutely agree. It had no place in this story, and contributed nothing to the plot. Had this been HBO, at least we could joke it was the required "HBO gratuitous sex scene". But for AMC... an absolute waste, and as you point out, it may have even driven potential viewers away.

    I truly don't understand the reasoning of TV execs these days.
  14. Jun 7, 2014 #74 of 383

    DevdogAZ Give em Hell, Devils

    Apr 16, 2003
    I'm sure their reasoning was to create some dramatic tension between the characters when they meet up later in the show. If he just talks to her and tells her it's a quasi job interview, and then later he shows up and offers her a job, there's no animosity between them and no reason for her to potentially turn him down.

    But it just wasn't very well executed. I read a couple reviews where it was speculated that the writers/directors probably thought they were going to be able to make a 90-minute pilot, and then the network required them to cut it down to fit the 60-minute slot. A little more time fleshing out some of this stuff could have really helped.
  15. Jun 7, 2014 #75 of 383

    mr.unnatural Active Member

    Feb 2, 2006
    IIRC, the sine wave shown on the scope was identical to the one used in the opening credits for the show "The Outer Limits" (original series).
  16. Jun 7, 2014 #76 of 383

    unitron Active Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    So, they're having to pay copyright royalties, then?


    (you know, I wonder if anyone's patented the sine wave yet? They're issuing patents for all sorts of other stuff you wouldn't think could be patented.)
  17. Jun 7, 2014 #77 of 383

    kdmorse Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 2001
    Germantown, MD
    I haven't watched the show, so this is only based on the comments I see here... (And thus may be off base..)

    But the original IBM PC came with a Technical Reference Manual, which contained a printout of the entire BIOS source in assembly..... So, what exactly were they having to reverse engineer?
  18. Jun 7, 2014 #78 of 383
    Numb And Number2

    Numb And Number2 New Member

    Jan 13, 2009
    Gratuitous is for amateurs. "In your face" is the new energizer.
  19. Jun 7, 2014 #79 of 383

    MPSAN Active Member

    Jun 20, 2009
    Yeah...a sine wave on a chip!! This is digital and you better have pure DC levels!
  20. Jun 7, 2014 #80 of 383

    Bierboy Seasoned gas passer

    Jun 12, 2004
    Quad Sillies

    What was gratuitous about it? It established a (perhaps) intimate (albeit, brief) relationship between the two which becomes a bit uncomfortable when he recruits her to work with him.


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