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Member Since 29 Oct 2004
Offline Last Active Aug 29 2007 04:15 PM

#2845224 Movies about programming?

Posted by on 03 January 2005 - 12:58 PM

Original post by nx02nx02
I just thought it would be kind of neat to watch a couple movies about programmers lives, their jobs, careers, etc. How they got there, what college they went to.

Hmmm, let's see. What has Hollywood taught us about programmers and computers?

-- Programmers either have super-high-tech and exciting jobs because they work at undisclosed locations in Nevada or an orbital space station; or they have mind-numbing slave-wage labor, on a par with telemarketing.

-- Programming requires only as much skill as typing on a keyboard. All computers have built-in natural language parsers and advanced Bayesian heuristic systems to deduce exactly what you mean. Thus, there is no ambiguity about which files you want when typing "recover files" to retrieve clandestinely deleted files, or "override system" to ignore those pesky "ACCESS DENIED" security warnings.

-- Some monitors are sufficiently bright to project an image of the screen onto your face.

-- All laptops have incredible three-dimensional graphics capabilities rivaling that of supercomputers, and no fewer than five or six GPS/satellite imaging uplinks that are able to pinpoint any location in the world and zoom in on it with a resolution on the order of centimeters per pixel. Some laptops also have phone-tracing capabilities and (built-in) powerful wireless antennas, to boot.

-- All computers display photorealistic 3D simulations without batting an eye, and typically have CPU speeds on the order of several petahertz.

-- Even the most outdated modems and disk drives are capable of data transmission exceeding several gigabytes per second. Exception: If time is of the essence, the rate of transmission will invariably slow down to pre-1970s download speeds.

-- All passwords take three guesses or fewer to crack by brute force. Failing that, the protagonist will be carrying a device which conveniently plugs into any port imaginable and "auto-cracks" the password. This latter solution is more commonly used on devices whose explicit purpose is authorization (e.g. security keypads or retinal scanners).

-- Important or sensitive information is always stored on a desktop. Such information is typically labeled in a prominent manner, by naming the folder or file something like "SECRET DOCUMENTS" or "ICARUS PROJECT FILES" or "EMPLOYEE RECORDS". This is always done in inch-high capital letters with a bold font.

-- All computers are connected to all other computers in the world, regardless of their location. Thus it is possible, from an isolated outpost in the Siberia wastelands, to "hack" into a nuclear power plant's coolant control pipes and cause a meltdown, even if the plant is halfway across the globe.