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Old 06-03-2014, 12:55 PM   #61
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The sine wave on the oscilliscope had a small amplitiude relative to the 5 volts they were measuring and could have been noise.
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.

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Old 06-03-2014, 01:24 PM   #62
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If they simply avoid showing two people frantically typing on the same keyboard they'll be doing much better than average TV!

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Old 06-03-2014, 03:01 PM   #63
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Overall I liked it and really didn't expect them to represent all the technical details correctly.

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Old 06-03-2014, 03:56 PM   #64
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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.
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Old 06-03-2014, 04:11 PM   #65
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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.
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.
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Old 06-04-2014, 01:31 PM   #66
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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.
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Old 06-05-2014, 08:02 AM   #67
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Yes, that scene was cringe worthy. I hope they don't pair those two as a couple going forward.

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Old 06-07-2014, 01:57 AM   #68
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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.
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Old 06-07-2014, 07:37 AM   #69
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Yes and no. If you're not really any type of "computer person" and you saw that this show is about the beginning of cloning the original PC, you're probably saying "huh"? Thirty years down the road, only those of us who were interested at the time even know that it happened. So the story is going to interest first those who are familiar with it happening....but how do you make the topic interesting to the layman? This is a difficult topic to do that with.
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."
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Old 06-07-2014, 08:23 AM   #70
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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.
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Old 06-07-2014, 08:27 AM   #71
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Setting aside any tech errors, I really enjoyed it. Even the opening credits on the green monitor brought back memories.
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Old 06-07-2014, 09:09 AM   #72
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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.
a straight line on an o-scope isn't very visually interesting. I understand why they made the choice.
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Old 06-07-2014, 09:43 AM   #73
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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. <snip><snip><snip>
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%.




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The gratuitous sex scene at the beginning was enough to drive my wife out of the room.
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.
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Old 06-07-2014, 11:34 AM   #74
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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.
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.
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Old 06-07-2014, 03:28 PM   #75
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a straight line on an o-scope isn't very visually interesting. I understand why they made the choice.
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).
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Old 06-07-2014, 04:23 PM   #76
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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).
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.)
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Old 06-07-2014, 05:43 PM   #77
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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?
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Old 06-07-2014, 06:49 PM   #78
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The gratuitus sex scene at the beginning was enough to drive my wife out of the room.
Gratuitous is for amateurs. "In your face" is the new energizer.
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Old 06-07-2014, 08:03 PM   #79
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Yeah...a sine wave on a chip!! This is digital and you better have pure DC levels!
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Old 06-07-2014, 10:31 PM   #80
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....The gratuitus sex scene at the beginning was enough to drive my wife out of the room...

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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Old 06-08-2014, 05:18 AM   #81
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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.
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Old 06-08-2014, 07:41 AM   #82
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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...
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Old 06-08-2014, 06:48 PM   #83
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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...
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.
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Old 06-09-2014, 02:13 AM   #84
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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?
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Old 06-09-2014, 09:33 AM   #85
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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?
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.
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Old 06-09-2014, 10:30 AM   #86
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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.
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Old 06-09-2014, 12:09 PM   #87
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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?
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.
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Old 06-09-2014, 03:12 PM   #88
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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.
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Old 06-09-2014, 04:17 PM   #89
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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?
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.
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Old 06-09-2014, 09:08 PM   #90
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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.
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