Halt and Catch Fire “1984”

In last week’s episode of Halt and Catch Fire, Joe saw the future of PCs–the Macintosh. And since this week’s episode is titled “1984,” it wasn’t to much of a leap to assume that the infamous Super Bowl ad directed by Ridley Scott would play a part. So now it seems that the whole wide world knows what the future of computing looks like.

Or, at least we thought that is what it would look like. A lot of people championed the underdog Macintosh, and I was one of them. But then again, at the time I didn’t know all that much about computers, and I know even less now. The only experience I had with PCs was messing around on a TRS 80 in middle school. I wasn’t able to take any computer classes in high school since I hadn’t taken typing–I never could fit it into my schedule. About twenty years ago I attempted to learn how to type by using Mavis Beacon software, but I didn’t really have the patience–I never was a very good student. Once I sort of figured out the “home row,” I just took it from there. However, none of that really matters since I do most of my typing with my thumbs; I am lost when I have to type on an actual keyboard.

The thing is, computer class would not have done me a hell of a lot of good anyway, since the classroom was filled with Apple IIc’s . Yeah, there were some that complained because the “Real World” used PCs, but what can you do about it?

I remember the “1984” commercial vividly. It ushered in the era of the big Super Bowl ad that continues to this day, and so many companies have spent so many millions trying and failing to top it. So, in a sense, Apple succeeded… But not in the way they intended.

It took a couple of decades, but Apple more or less became “Big Brother,” at least in terms of the way we buy music, and in the way we listen to it. They have the mp3 player market all to themselves–remember the Zune? Apple also has a large share of the smartphone and tablet markets. If not for Samsung, Apple would have that on lockdown as well.

As for Cardiff and their Giant; it finally shipped. Sort of. For a while there, it seemed to have a bug, but it turned out to be one faulty unit.

(Insert “That’s what she said!” here.)

Joe wanted to delay shipment in order to add a “killer app.” His words, not mine. In fact he kept pushing the app so hard, I was starting to think he was a waiter working the lunch shift at Bennigan’s.

I’m here all week, try the potato skins. They’re killer!

Cameron had a gig at the phone company, and while there she figured out that phone lines can handle a lot more data, and at higher speeds, than they let on. She then starts her own company, “Mutiny,” that will offer an online gaming subscription service. It’s an idea that is so far ahead of its time that it’s probably doomed. Oh, and Donna is the newest hire. Someone has to keep the Code Monkeys in line. Hopefully there will be a second season, because I really want to see where the Donna/Cameron relationship goes.

Not there, you perv! I was thinking more in terms of Donna becoming a mentor to Cameron. Cameron has a lot of great ideas, and Donna has a lot of technical knowledge and business sense, so I want to see them make a go of it.

Before Donna left TI she had to endure an evaluation. I hate those things, but at least her’s was multiple choice. Sometimes the only honest answer is: “None of the above.”

Thankfully she didn’t get the, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” question. The answer is almost always; “Behind your desk,” “Being your boss,” or “I hope to God I’m not still working here in five years time! If so, please kill me.” And you wonder why I am not the CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

And then Joe set the truck carrying the computers on fire. Why? Why does Joe do anything? I guess he was pissed about the whole killer app debacle. Or maybe he is just a petulent man-child. Then again maybe he got the result he was looking for but he didn’t acheive it in exactly the way he wanted. Who knows? Hopefully he will find whatever it is he’s looking for up on the mountain.

And hopefully we will get a second season.


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