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A quantum leap in computer games from Protovision.
July 24, 2014 9:40 AM   Subscribe

1980s computer hacking supercut.

Via the great FoundItemClothing.com
posted by Chrysostom (49 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
Whenever I SSH into a new AWS EC2 instance for the first time, I invariably mutter to myself, "Protovision, I have you now."

Yes, I'm single, why do you ask?

;-]
posted by zuhl at 9:46 AM on July 24 [10 favorites]


There was always something haunting and creepy about the image of someone's reflection in old television screens and computer monitors.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:50 AM on July 24


That's weird. Some of these don't involve computer hacking at all. Like the voight-kampff test from Blade Runner or the video game scene from Never Say Never Again.
posted by I-baLL at 9:54 AM on July 24 [1 favorite]


Give Wargames credit; it managed to have a believable script and design for hacking and yet still be entertaining. Even helped us coin the term "wardialing" (and indirectly, "wardriving").. And man Tron is still incredibly beautiful.

I don't recognize some of these other films; the list is on the source site. Prince of Darkness? Huh.

Lawnmower Man misses the 80s cut by being from 1992, but I think it had the first interesting believable presentation of virtual reality.
posted by Nelson at 9:54 AM on July 24 [2 favorites]


Not sure whether it's sadder that I recognized nearly every clip or that I was mentally building a list of their omissions by the time they had finished.
posted by Nerd of the North at 9:54 AM on July 24 [1 favorite]


Wow. I haven't thought about light pens in decades (although apparently that's what they use in Final Jeopardy?)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:55 AM on July 24


Related: Source Code in Films and TV
posted by rebent at 9:56 AM on July 24 [1 favorite]


The best part about Wargames is that it led to Sneakers.
posted by I-baLL at 9:56 AM on July 24 [4 favorites]


This made me re-watch parts of Electric Dreams and consequently made me realize that is is not a very good movie at all. :(
posted by grumpybear69 at 9:57 AM on July 24 [1 favorite]


I-baLL: "The best part about Wargames is that it led to Sneakers."

YOU TAKE THAT BACK
posted by Chrysostom at 10:02 AM on July 24 [4 favorites]


Chrysostom: Hm? Not sure why you'd say that. The guys who wrote Wargames made Sneakers because of all the info they discovered while researching the world of hackers in preparation for writing Wargames.
posted by I-baLL at 10:07 AM on July 24


I-ball: Good point. Sneakers was an awesome flick. Good soundtrack, too.
posted by zuhl at 10:10 AM on July 24 [1 favorite]


Well, because that's not "the best part" of Wargames. Sneakers is fine, I have nothing against it. But Wargames is a much better movie.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:10 AM on July 24 [4 favorites]


Chrysostom: I challenge you to a game of tic-tac-toe to decide which is the better movie!
posted by I-baLL at 10:13 AM on July 24 [2 favorites]


Please, the only winning move is not to play.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:17 AM on July 24 [9 favorites]


Kinda makes you wonder what would've happened if WOPR played poker.

Strangely enough, I just tried to find the list of games that WOPR had on its system and stumbled upon this fact:

http://www.funtrivia.com/en/Movies/WarGames-19963.html

"During David's quest to find library material related to Stephen Falken, he comes across an article (on microfiche!) that Falken wrote with John McKittrick. David later uses a word from this article's title on his computer in the hopes that it will be the password required to open the "back door" to Falken's system. What is the word?"


armageddon. The name of the article is "Poker and Armageddon: The Role of Bluffing in a Nuclear Standoff." The article appeared in "Atlantic Monthly", and was co-authored by Falken and McKittrick.

Which kinda makes you wonder...
posted by I-baLL at 10:23 AM on July 24


Not sure whether it's sadder that I recognized nearly every clip or that I was mentally building a list of their omissions by the time they had finished.
posted by Nerd of the North



Oh, so very eponysterical. :)
posted by blurker at 10:30 AM on July 24 [1 favorite]


I just saw Wargames for the first time in, eh, 3 decades? and it stands up pretty well.

The Net — not so much.
posted by axoplasm at 10:30 AM on July 24


What, no Jumpin’ Jack Flash?
posted by axoplasm at 10:31 AM on July 24 [4 favorites]


I've watched the Net again a few weeks ago. It's now much better than when it came out because it seems very casual nowadays. Oh, she's ordering pizza online? That's normal now.
posted by I-baLL at 10:32 AM on July 24


The first rule of Supercuts is to never announce your supercut.

I mean, it's in the title, dude.
posted by CynicalKnight at 10:32 AM on July 24


I challenge you to a game of tic-tac-toe to decide which is the better movie!

Let's compare casts:
Sneakers has Robert Redford, Sidney Poitier, and River Phoenix.
Wargames has Dabney Coleman, Barry Corbin, and Eddie Deezen.

Winner:
Wargames by a landslide!
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:32 AM on July 24 [1 favorite]


axoplasm: "What, no Jumpin’ Jack Flash?"

It's in there.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:33 AM on July 24 [1 favorite]


Another unique thing about Wargames is that it depicted two actual hacks in a way the audience could understand and try at home. You could write a wardialer in BASIC, and the paper clip hack was spelled out on the screen for you.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:33 AM on July 24 [1 favorite]


Chrysostom: OMG where? How did I miss it?
posted by axoplasm at 10:35 AM on July 24


I'm sure everyone else knew about it, but I just learned that Tron had Pacman in it. What else have I missed from my favorite 80's movies?
posted by klausman at 10:44 AM on July 24


Prince of Darkness?

AJ from Simon and Simon and Alice Cooper were in that John Carpenter movie. We are sending a transmission...
posted by Chuffy at 10:58 AM on July 24 [3 favorites]


The best thing about Sneakers was that it led to Hackers.
posted by Chuffy at 10:59 AM on July 24 [2 favorites]


This is not a dream... not a dream. We are using your brain's electrical system as a receiver. We are unable to transmit through conscious neural interference. You are receiving this broadcast as a dream. We are transmitting from the year one, nine, nine, nine. You are receiving this broadcast in order to alter the events you are seeing. Our technology has not developed a transmitter strong enough to reach your conscious state of awareness, but this is not a dream. You are seeing what is actually occurring for the purpose of causality violation.
posted by Chuffy at 11:03 AM on July 24 [8 favorites]


"Another unique thing about Wargames is that it depicted two actual hacks in a way the audience could understand and try at home. You could write a wardialer in BASIC, and the paper clip hack was spelled out on the screen for you."

The payphone trick wasn't "spelled out". It also wouldn't have worked for what he was using it for. The tip-ring ground coin signalling mechanism would've worked only when calling within the local switch area. Anything else would've required ACTS tones. Also he doesn't do the full thing.

Also, "you could write a wardialer" in BASIC but then you can also say that almost everything shown in Sneakers is possible. Like when they break into the bank, etc.
posted by I-baLL at 11:08 AM on July 24


"The best thing about Sneakers was that it led to Hackers."

Oh, man, a lot of people miss a lot of the references and such in Hackers.

Here are a few that I mentioned in a different thread:

https://www.metafilter.com/141188/An-illustrated-guide-to-the-worst-computer-viruses-in-history#5650650
posted by I-baLL at 11:09 AM on July 24


I violate causality quite casually.
posted by I-baLL at 11:17 AM on July 24 [1 favorite]


klausman: "I'm sure everyone else knew about it, but I just learned that Tron had Pacman in it. What else have I missed from my favorite 80's movies?"

Mickey Mouse?
posted by zamboni at 11:28 AM on July 24 [6 favorites]


axoplasm, not sure, but it's specifically listed as one of the included films.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:41 AM on July 24


grumpybear69: This made me re-watch parts of Electric Dreams and consequently made me realize that is is not a very good movie at all. :(

This is the wrongest wrong thing that has ever been said. It is wronger than a very very very wrong thing.
posted by hanov3r at 11:49 AM on July 24


Oh, man, a lot of people miss a lot of the references and such in Hackers.

Hackers was filled with very knowledgeable nods to the community and personalities of '80s NYC black-hat hacker culture that was needlessly glamorized, probably to deliberately irritate pedantic nerds. This is why I love it so.
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:55 AM on July 24 [4 favorites]


to deliberately irritate pedantic nerds

Well, that's not exactly a difficult thing todo.
posted by Celsius1414 at 12:09 PM on July 24 [2 favorites]


I had a wave of nostalgia and looked up Anthony Michael Hall to see what he'd been up to and HOLY SHIT he looks different. I mean. We all do, but I was not prepared.

(Here's his wiki; looks like he's a producer now, good for him.)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 12:54 PM on July 24


klausman: "I'm sure everyone else knew about it, but I just learned that Tron had Pacman in it. "

You are not alone. I only noticed it now because of your comment. I feel thoroughly shamed.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 5:05 PM on July 24


Some of these don't involve computer hacking at all. Like the voight-kampff test from Blade Runner

I'd say the Voight-Kampff test is computer hacking by other means.
posted by kagredon at 5:59 PM on July 24 [3 favorites]


Also, "you could write a wardialer" in BASIC

Yes, I did
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:02 PM on July 24 [1 favorite]


joseph conrad is fully awesome, yeah, Anthony Michael Hall played a jock bully on Community a couple of seasons ago. He was *amazingly* unrecognizable.
posted by Pronoiac at 8:23 PM on July 24


All of these led to Johnny Mnemonic. That happened and we let it happen.
posted by zippy at 11:37 PM on July 24 [2 favorites]


No Prime Risk? Shame.
posted by gryftir at 2:39 AM on July 25 [1 favorite]


All of these led to Johnny Mnemonic. That happened and we let it happen.

Me (to IT guy giving me a new laptop): I want to get online. I NEED a COMPUTER.

IT guy: If you reference Johnny Mnemonic again, I'm taking this back.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:16 AM on July 25 [6 favorites]


IT guy: If you reference Johnny Mnemonic again, I'm taking this back.

The only reply is of course, "Jones is that guy who FUCKS your MOTHER!"

In the director's cut in my head, there's a 10-minute "They-Live" style brawl between Henry Rollins and Dolph Lundgren. It's pretty awesome.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:33 AM on July 25 [2 favorites]


This is not a dream... not a dream [...] We are transmitting from the year one, nine, nine, nine. [...]

If only the rest of the film had been better... that was easily the creepiest, best, part.
posted by smidgen at 8:56 AM on July 25


Needs more Max Headroom.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to get back to work on figuring out just how I'm going to glue all this EL Wire to a Power Glove.
posted by radwolf76 at 1:16 AM on July 26




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