movie computers (The List! )

From: Sam Ismail <>
Date: Wed May 7 00:57:34 1997

On Tue, 6 May 1997, Tim Shoppa wrote:

> A voice-activated IMSAI? The horrible corruption of the term "hacker"
> to mean "cracker", all due to the cluelessness of the screenplay
> writers? War Games is/was an incredible insult to the true
> switch-flipping hacker community.

Look at it relative to the other hacker drivel that's made its way to the
theaters since War Games. Okay, yeah, aside from the speech-recognition
(forgot about that) and a couple other things, there were many instances
of realism in the movie, eg. when what's-his-face (Borderick's character)
shorts out the microphone on the old payphone to get a dialtone (factual,
back then one had to insert a coin which shorted the tip to ground and
signalled the CO to provide dialtone).

Now switch to something like Sneakers. The most appalling thing about
Sneakers was that they supposedly had actual computer security consultants
providing the computer tech. So yeah, its real fucken believable that
some guy creates a chip that breaks every conceivable encryption
scheme...and oh yeah, when it decodes the info, it happens to come out as
a hi-res graphic showing detailed plans/schematics/maps/etc on your
screen. Sure, ok.

Anyway, I don't know why I'm getting so worked up about this. Who
cares. Movies with computer plots are invariably lame and an insult to
techie intelligence. Probably the most realistic hacking/phreaking
scenes overall was in Three Days of the Condor (or was it five days?)
Anyway, never saw the whole movie but of the parts I did see I was
impressed, especially when Redford was using a butt-set to tap into phone
calls and all that stuff. Very real.

Of course, I digress (again).

Computer Historian, Programmer, Musician, Philosopher, Athlete, Writer, Jackass
Received on Wed May 07 1997 - 00:57:34 BST

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