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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 8, 2014 #81 of 383
    Mr. Soze

    Mr. Soze GGMU!

    Nov 1, 2002
    La Cheeserie
    I am usually the first to stand up and defend gratuitous sex scenes, but even I was a bit put off. But I did like her "You mean we're not in love?" line.
  2. Jun 8, 2014 #82 of 383

    Bierboy Seasoned gas passer

    Jun 12, 2004
    Quad Sillies
    Plus it's later referenced by the third person in their little workgroup, so it was definitely put there for a reason (maybe not a good one)....thus not gratuitious...
  3. Jun 8, 2014 #83 of 383

    mr.unnatural Active Member

    Feb 2, 2006
    Unfortunately, it was explained too late for my wife to hear. She had already left at that point. In her mind, it was completely gratuitous. I was put off because it immediately set the tone for the show as something that should have been broadcast on Skinemax and not AMC. This was supposed to be a show about computer geeks and not people screwing in the broom closet, regardless of the bearing on the plot.

    The writers took the easy way out to set up the relationship rather than think it through and write something more intelligent. Then again, they didn't put a lot of thought into the technical accuracy of the rest of the story so I shouldn't be all that surprised.

    In any case, I hope they got that out of their system and can now concentrate on developing a story with some semblance of intelligent forethought.
  4. Jun 9, 2014 #84 of 383

    AeneaGames Member

    May 2, 2009
    Hmmm, "like Columbia Data and Compaq"... That was weird, in the pilot ep they said they would be the first to clone the IBM PC and now they aren't the 1st, huh?
  5. Jun 9, 2014 #85 of 383

    jautor Also wants a pony

    Jul 1, 2001
    Houston, TX
    Which also made the "with a handle!" comment even more comical. But I was glad they firmly placed themselves in a truly fictional company with a different path than 'reality'. I thought this was a better episode, too.
  6. Jun 9, 2014 #86 of 383

    sharkster Well-Known Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    When I found E01 on my TiVo I was trying to remember why I chose this show. Then I saw that it stars Lee Pace. I've been a huge fan since he did 'Soldier's Girl'. He is very compelling. In Soldier's Girl he was brilliant.

    Most of the computer talk is way above my pay grade, but am still deciding if I want to keep watching. I've only watched E01 so far, but I think I'm going to hang in there.
  7. Jun 9, 2014 #87 of 383

    DeDondeEs Well-Known Member TCF Club

    Feb 20, 2004
    Las Vegas, NV
    Steve Gibson said the same thing on his Security Now podcast that he had that TRM. Then they write it all down in a notebook, but then later you see them printing the assembly code from a computer.

    The aspect of the show that is getting old for me is that most of the show is filmed with that fluorescent lighting look since they are in an office building for 90% of the show. I think the lack of any change of scenery is going to get old for me. Although I do like that Orange is the new Black and they are in a prison all of the time.
  8. Jun 9, 2014 #88 of 383

    vman41 Omega Consumer

    Jun 18, 2002
    They mention using an 80186 CPU, but the flags register map that Cameron wrote on the white board included fields introduced with 80286. Either chip would be in the correct time frame.

    So apparently it's not just computers that halt and catch fire.
  9. Jun 9, 2014 #89 of 383

    tivoboyjr Unregistered User

    Apr 28, 2003
    That didn't make sense to me, either. Seems like they were a mash-up of Columbia Data and Compaq, but now they exist in a world with those companies who have already done what Cardiff is trying to do.

    But the show is still interesting to me. It's kind of a lesser version of Mad Men but about computers instead of the ad game.
  10. Jun 9, 2014 #90 of 383

    mattack Active Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Haven't read the whole thread.. The girl did seem to be doing some reasonable reverse engineering -- trying to rewrite the code without seeing the original code.

    Though of course that's another cliche of this show -- hot(shot) female programmer.

    Don't read anything extra into what I said. It's nothing negative, it just seems unrealistic, ESPECIALLY given the year.
  11. Jun 10, 2014 #91 of 383

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey

    Mar 10, 2003
    New Jersey
    This exactly. It reminds me of the people who rip apart a sci-fi show because the "sci fi" doesn't make sense. Only those die hards are going to be upset by it, or even care. The idea is to make it dramatic enough for the layman to continue to watch. They figure, they probably GOT that 1% watching anyway.

    That said, after watching episode 2, I really don't think the layman is going to be all that interested in this show. There's just very little compelling about it. I think they are trying to do Mad Men, 1980s style using the industry du jour. I just don't think IT techies are as compelling as characters as the Ad guys in Mad Men. I guess with better writing, perhaps they could be, but not in this case.
  12. Jun 10, 2014 #92 of 383

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey

    Mar 10, 2003
    New Jersey
    Skinemax, really? it was pretty tame for Skinemax. Actually it wasn't all that hot. I've seen much hotter sex scenes on other basic cable shows. What bummed me about it, was that I just didn't think there was chemistry between the characters, at least THAT fast to warrant a sex scene at that point. They took for a couple of minutes and boom!! Broom closet.
  13. Jun 10, 2014 #93 of 383

    Bierboy Seasoned gas passer

    Jun 12, 2004
    Quad Sillies
    Exactly...I posted something similar in the episode thread...
  14. Jun 10, 2014 #94 of 383
    Dago Red

    Dago Red Member TCF Club

    Oct 22, 2002
    Parsippany, NJ
    Not only that, but it also included schematic and logic diagrams of all the boards and interfaces in the computer.

    For those who are interested, here is a link to the original IBM PC Technical Reference Manual from 1981. This plus the DOS Technical Reference Manual were must haves for any programming PCs back in the day.
  15. Jun 10, 2014 #95 of 383

    mattack Active Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    I thought this was explained in other posts.. but maybe not.

    The reverse engineering part is making a copy of the BIOS _without_ literally copying it. Reverse engineering, as in from a "black box" perspective (you don't look inside), so the inputs/outputs of the original and the copy work the same.

    A way to make a new BIOS that is binary compatible (as much as possible) with the original BIOS, without actually copying it and thus committing copyright infringement.

    This show is (my term) "inspired" by real world events that lead to the proliferation of IBM PC clones.
  16. Jun 10, 2014 #96 of 383

    Unbeliever Random Nobody

    Feb 3, 2001
    Altadena, CA
    But when the stuff you're "disassembling" is available already, you don't need to do the rigamarole they did on the show. You have one team study that code in the IBM technical reference manual to an inch of its life. That team writes a spec that describes how it works. Then the team throws only that spec over the "Chinese wall", AKA the "clean room", and another team writes a functionally identical program based only on that spec.

    It is neither necessary or sufficient to do any of that, but if you do, it makes defense against copyright infringement much much easier if you can say your actual code writers never looked at the original code.

    --Carlos V.
  17. Jun 12, 2014 #97 of 383

    MikeAndrews Registered abuser

    Jan 17, 2002
    The biggest LOL to me was that in the 1980s we had RED LEDs. That's all. No White, No Blue. IIRC, Green LEDs came early on. When I once asked about a white LED I was looked at like I was total maroon, "And it gives off WHITE light?" HAW!"

    And they were relatively expensive, too.
  18. Jun 12, 2014 #98 of 383

    kaszeta Ceci n'est pas une conserve TCF Club

    Jun 11, 2004
    Grantham, NH
    We've had the cheap low-power green and amber ones for a long time. I have some early 1960s equipment with green LEDs.

    Blue was the major breakthrough.
  19. Jun 13, 2014 #99 of 383

    MikeAndrews Registered abuser

    Jan 17, 2002
    The first IBM PC used the 8086. The 286 IBM PC was the IBM PC AT.
    ...and I can't believe that I remember this stuff.

    Trivia: There was never an IBM PC with the 80386 chip. Dell, Compaq and others made 386 PC Compatibles, but IBM didn't. IBM Computers with 386 and later had the EISA bus and were called Model 25, Model 35(?) etc.
  20. ej42137

    ej42137 Well-Known Member

    Feb 15, 2014
    Los Angeles
    The first IBM PC used the 8088 chip, not the 8086. The 8088 had essentially the same instruction set but had an eight bit data path while the 8086 chip had a sixteen bit data path. This made the system slower but cheaper to manufacture and more compatible with existing eight bit interface hardware.

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