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38 interesting things that you learn about computers in the movies....
  • Word processors never display a cursor.

  • You never have to use the space-bar when typing long sentences.

  • All monitors display 2 inch high letters.

  • High-tech computers, such as those used by NASA, the CIA, or some such governmental institution, have easy-to-understand graphical interfaces.

  • Those that don't will have incredibly powerful text-based command shells that can correctly understand and execute commands typed in plain English.

  • Corollary: You can gain access to any information you want by simply typing "ACCESS ALL OF THE SECRET FILES" on any keyboard.

  • Likewise, you can infect a computer with a destructive virus by simply typing "UPLOAD VIRUS." Viruses cause temperatures in computers, just like they do in humans. After a while, smoke billows out of disk drives and monitors.

  • All computers are connected. You can access the information on the villain's desktop computer, even if it's turned off.

  • Powerful computers beep whenever you press a key or whenever the screen changes. Some computers also slow down the output on the screen so that it doesn't go faster than you can read. The *really* advanced ones also emulate the sound of a dot-matrix printer as the characters come across the screen.

  • All computer panels have thousands of volts and flash pots just underneath the surface. Malfunctions are indicated by a bright flash, a puff of smoke, a shower of sparks, and an explosion that forces you backward.

  • People typing away on a computer will turn it off without saving the data.

  • A hacker can get into the most sensitive computer in the world before intermission and guess the secret password in two tries.

  • Any PERMISSION DENIED has an OVERRIDE function.

  • Complex calculations and loading of huge amounts of data will be accomplished in under three seconds. In the movies, modems transmit data at two gigabytes per second.

  • When the power plant - missile site - whatever - overheats, all the control panels will explode, as will the entire building.

  • The more high-tech the equipment, the more buttons it has. However, everyone must have been highly trained, because the buttons aren't labelled.

  • Whenever a character looks at a monitor, the image is so bright that it projects itself onto his/her face.

  • High tech equipment is often driven by a computer with a DOS prompt. (re: RoboCop)

  • High tech companies don't do offsite backups of the data (re: Terminator 2)

  • All media devices are readily available - ie If someone hands you a DAT tape with important data on it your PC will have a DAT drive.

  • No matter what you ask a computer to do it will respond with a percentage complete bargraph - especially when searching for data it can accurately give you the time remaining until it finds that data.

  • Data searching will always involve displaying all the searched data on the screen until a match is found - this is true of text and graphics such as fingerprints.

  • Telephone calls can be easily redirected through places all over the world, and upon a trace a globe will be displayed complete with lines travelling between each place.

  • Deleting of data always takes just a little less time than it takes the bad guys to knock down the door.

  • All technology is plug and play - every computer can have any piece of technology attached.

  • High tech graphical interfaces are often driven by hundreds of keystrokes which do not appear anywhere on the screen.

  • IP addresses automatically supply the feds (FBI) with the physical address (ie log on and they know where you are!)

  • You never have to use the spacebar when typing long sentences. Just keep hitting the keys without stopping

  • Those that don't will have incredibly powerful text-based command shells that can correctly understand and execute commands typed in plain English.

  • If you display a file on the screen and someone deletes the file, it also disappears from the screen. There are no ways to copy a backup file -- and there are no undelete utilities.

  • If a disk has encrypted files, you are automatically asked for a password when you try to access it.

  • No matter what kind of computer disk it is, it'll be readable by any system you put it into. All application software is usable by all computer platforms.

  • Most computers, no matter how small, have reality-defying three-dimensional, real-time, photo-realistic animated graphics capability.

  • Laptops, for some strange reason, always seem to have amazing real-time video phone capabilities and the performance of a CRAY-MP. (supercomputer)

  • Whenever a character looks at a VDU, the image is so bright that it projects itself onto his/her face.

  • Computers never crash during key, high-intensity activities. Humans operating computers never make mistakes under stress.

  • Programs are fiendishly perfect and never have bugs that slow down users.

  • Any photograph can have minute details pulled out of it. You can zoom into any picture as far as you want to.


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