Halt and Catch Fire S02E03 - 6/14/15 "The Way In"

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by jsmeeker, Jun 15, 2015.

  1. jsmeeker

    jsmeeker Notable Member TCF Club

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    Go Joe go!

    Realizes the machines just sit idle all that time.

    Sell that time!!

    :up:
     
  2. Sheffield Steve

    Sheffield Steve Member

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    CompuServe?
     
  3. jsmeeker

    jsmeeker Notable Member TCF Club

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    I'm thinking more like "EDS". Though by that time, that already existed.
     
  4. DevdogAZ

    DevdogAZ Give 'em Hell, Devils

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    I don't think he's going to sell the time. I think he's going to figure out some way to use it himself. He'll try to start a data processing company.

    I was a little confused about the meeting between Joe and Eugene in the mainframe room. I got the sense that this was just the next day after Joe's meeting with the big boss, so Eugene is still Joe's boss. So I thought it was odd the way Joe ordered Eugene into the room for a meeting and the way Eugene asked if he could go back to work.

    How did Gordon have access to overwrite stuff on Mutiny's computers by simply running a program off a disk? It couldn't be simply because he had dial-up access to their modems, or else every one of their customers could also do that. Did Donna give him some kind of back door?
     
  5. jsmeeker

    jsmeeker Notable Member TCF Club

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    Yeah.. well, I guess to me that's bascially the same thing. Sell the time/services of that idle mainframe to a company that needs computing power but doesn't have or can't afford to buy and run their own mainframe system,.
     
  6. jsmeeker

    jsmeeker Notable Member TCF Club

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    I think he asked Eugene in there to "fire" him. Or at least, tell him he was gonna get fired. But as he waited, the mainframes fired up and came alive. At that point Joe realized that the machines sat idle when data entry and data processing weren't working. He had his "Eureka" moment and decided to change his plans. And that meant he probably would still want Eugene. And really, I don't think he actually wanted to get rid of Eugene anyway. That was the big boss's idea.
     
  7. Philosofy

    Philosofy Super Duper Member

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    Do we know of any other companies in this show that could use some computing power?
     
  8. jsmeeker

    jsmeeker Notable Member TCF Club

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    Yes :)


    But really, in the early days of data processing services, this is how those companies started. Find a big company with excess compute time/power. Buy the time from them. Resell to some other company. Maybe not an on line service company like an on-line gaming company. But someone who needed traditional data processing. Running batch jobs and stuff.
     
  9. leswar

    leswar leswar

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    It's what GE did with GEnie more so than CompuServe.
     
  10. Malcontent

    Malcontent Ancient Astronaut Theorist

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    Was there any significance to Gordon having trouble opening the can of soda and trouble disconnecting the computer cables in the garage? It looked like some weakness in his hands?
     
  11. DevdogAZ

    DevdogAZ Give 'em Hell, Devils

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    I wondered if Mutiny could use it, but I think Mutiny's bigger issue is getting access for as many users simultaneously as possible. I could be wrong, but I don't think processing power is really where their need lies.

    I wondered that as well. When he first had trouble with the soda, I figured they were just winking at those of us who remember what a pain the early pop tops were to open. But then when he couldn't unplug the drives, I wondered if he's got some arthritis or if he'll be diagnosed with some illness like MS.
     
  12. dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

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    The Source was specifically started using mini computer system time that was going unused. But then there's other pieces that seem to be pulled from CompuServe history, like the CB Simulator being developed over a weekend.

    Anyway, I suspect in general it's a mish-mash of tidbits from both (and more).

    And you can tell there's idiot writers involved too, since the storyline in the show about "sharing telephone lines" is likely the development of multiplexing over leased lines between network sites and the concepts of a switched data network that allows you to route your data to different destinations, which is generally how those dial-up networks were structured, so that the infrastructure could be utilized by several different otherwise unrelated online services. And it got "shortened" into something the "audience can understand" -- yeah.


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Source_(online_service)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CompuServe
     
  13. jsmeeker

    jsmeeker Notable Member TCF Club

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    I'm wondering if they will connect it to his cocaine use. Dunno if that's REALLY possible, but this is TV after all.
     
  14. vman41

    vman41 Omega Consumer

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    How long did it take to boot a 4300 class machine? If they waited until 9:00 to turn it on, I imagine all the workers started the day with a good long coffee break.
     
  15. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

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    Not really nitpicking since as I've said I consider this a parallel universe show..

    Wasn't the soda can top anachronistic? Weren't they still pull-all-the-way-off in the early/mid 80s?
     
  16. Hank

    Hank AC•FTW TCF Club

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    I got that same thought too.. but I suspect it's just a minor, minor thing that we won't see much of again, if at all.
     
  17. Hank

    Hank AC•FTW TCF Club

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    Exactly. That's how the other guy got in as well to hack their "software PBX". There really wasn't much in the space of computer security back in those days, especially for an ad-hoc company like Mutiny.

    Just watch what happened to Cliff Stoll in 1986: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcKxaq1FTac or see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cuckoo's_Egg
     
  18. vman41

    vman41 Omega Consumer

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    In college, my roommate's department ran a VAX and the grad student they had acting as sysadmin wasn't up to the task. The professor in charge was so proud of his toy that he gave me an account. I then showed my roommate numerous ways to defeat the access restrictions they had tried to put in place.
     
  19. Hank

    Hank AC•FTW TCF Club

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    Yeah, those were the days. In our CS department, we had a UNIVAC 1100 which had swiss cheese for security. A "friend" once wrote a program to spoof the login screen and captured logins and passwords, even of the admins.

    This "friend" also wrote a script that called a system function to beautify PASCAL source code. Worked great. My "friend" made it public, so all the other students could use it. But by calling the script with their source code, my "friend" started collecting everyone else's homework assignments in his private directory. ;) Not that it mattered because my "friend" was usually done with the assignments long before the deadlines when everyone else was online, and he wrote much better code that actually worked.

    Later, when everyone started using the PASCAL beautifier script, the faculty found out about it and announced that students weren't allowed to use it,and they had to just write good clean code themselves. They threatened that anyone using it (or even just the system call the script was calling), they would get a failing grade for their project. I don't know how they could tell the difference between someone just being really good at formatting versus using the system program. But whatever. My "friend" took his public script down, but still used the system call for the rest of the year for himself and told his friends how to access it.

    And before you chime in, it was HIGHLY customizable, so you could pass in all kinds of options to change how it worked, so the same program run through it twice with different options could look completely different.

    My "friend" also hacked into the math department's IBM mainframe and taunted the operators with jokes and funny messages. He almost got caught on that one. Almost. Good times, good times.
     
  20. scooterboy

    scooterboy Coney Island Small

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    And did that "friend" store the serial numbers of those homework assignments in a giant database?
     

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