Monday, August 4, 2008

Last night on Sci-Fi

[Compubabble] I was watching an episode of the 1980s/'90s version of The Outer Limits last night--which was often quite good, I think. Unfortunately, last night's was not one of the better episodes, except for the fact that it was a goldmine of fake compubabble, which is always entertaining. (Also the fist-head woman in the opening credits is a personal favorite. I mean, a woman with a head that's a fist? She is the limit!)

At one point, the Evil Administrator decides to lock the Good Science Guy out of his laboratory so he won't be messing around with the "neural net" (which comprises some neon tubes enclosed in a Plexiglas cylinder). So of course, when GSG tries to use his key card, a disembodied female voice keeps saying, "Access denied." (I'm going to imagine that the source of this serenely imperious voice is fist-head woman, just because it's fun.)

GSG tells his girlfriend he has to "hack into the network and lay down a virus." Unfortunately, when he types his password in, the screen on his i386 machine lights up with big, red letters saying "Access denied."

There was nothing else he could do: He informs his girlfriend that he's going to "drop down to machine-code level." The next screen shot is of shed or hexedit or something; GSG types 8 characters, hits "Enter," and the happy green letters appear saying, "Access granted." (Obviously, no network is safe from "machine-code level!") Apparently, this was all that was needed to "lay down a virus," because now his key card works again, and he has unfettered access to the neural net glowing serenely on its chrome pedestal.

Later, Evil Administrator alerts the Burly Security Guard that there's something amiss. BSG knows what to do: he "drops down to machine-code level" and does a little o' that security-guard-style hex editing. BSG types in 8 characters; when he hits "enter," all the red lights in the building turn on and a klaxon alarm sounds, indicating he was able to do whatever it is you do to un-lay-down a virus. (Stand it up?)

I kept waiting for GSG to say he was going to "tighten up the graphics on level 3," but alas, he obviously wasn't Westwood-accredited:

(Brandon Burt)

1 comment:

  1. Well, there's 3 minutes of life I won't see again.


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