Why Doesn't My Computer Work Like The Ones I See On TV Or At The Movies ?

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m just a little angry that none of my computers work like the ones I see on TV or at the movies. Why is that?

How come some actor can walk up to any computer, any where in the world, even in a foreign country and immediately start using the computer? I couldn’t do that. Heck, I am just happy when my computer starts up in the morning. And why is it that the computers we see on the screen always start so fast? Mine don’t. Even my Vista machine takes at least 45 seconds to kick in and a few more seconds trying to make a wireless connection so my sidebar can come on.

Why are the computer monitor screens on TV and in the movies so bright? Wouldn’t using a screen like that burn out your eye sockets? On NCIS when Abby and McGee are trying to access some type of super secret data base, why is the ‘ACCESS DENIED” box so big in giant red letters? But when they guess the secret password, bang, up pops another big box with “ACCESS GRANTED”. On my computer my boxes are never that big. Plus no one ever gets a BSOD – Blue Screen Of Death? Why is that?

Another thing. When they show us those computer screens I never see a cursor when they type. Speaking of typing, how come Garcia on Criminal Minds never uses a mouse? All she does is type and receives more information in 5 seconds than I can get off of the Internet in a days time. Take my mouse away from me and I would be DOA. CSI Vegas, Miami & NY at least use the mouse once in awhile. They must all be using Windows I guess. :-)

Dell must pay all of the TV companies and movie producers some big bucks to get the back of their monitors shown all of the time. I don’t recall ever seeing another brand of computer advertised like this. Have you? Does this mean I need to buy a Dell before I can have a smok’in hot computer system that can track down a criminal by his fingerprint that was taken off of a booger? Or like I saw on Jordan the other night in which Nigel had written a computer program that would auto search every known bullet sample from all 50 states. Isn’t that what the FBI is for? Don’t they keep all of this information available for use?

I bet Garcia would of made the match in milliseconds. :-)

PS I watched a movie Saturday evening called Covert One – The Hades Factor. Its the first name I saw a computer screen with a C:/ prompt in a long time. LOL
Comments welcome.

[tags]computers, tv, movies, criminal, [/tags]

Article Written by

I have been writing for LockerGnome since relocating to Missouri seven years ago, where I continue to be a technology enthusiast who enjoys playing with the newest and latest gadgets.

  • http://fractalbeanstalk.blogspot.com/ Tim Hodkinson

    How about on CSI when they take a grainy security camera still and then type a few keys and from out of nowhere the image becomes clear, taking on a resolution that must be a thousand times more than it could possibly ever have.

    What I find so ridiculous about it is that today the average TV viewer is familiar enough with digital photos to know that it’s utterly impossible to make any meaningful inference from a tiny clump of pixels. It’s like taking a fingerprint from a pinhead.

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hi Tim,
    It is comical at times.

    I wonder if Grisom is going to be able to solve who the serial killer is who leaves behind or sends him the miniatures of the crime scene. Why can’t he just punch all the info into the computer and get a quick answer! LOL

    Maybe he should call Abby from NCIS! :-)

  • marc klink

    I just want to know if all those tattoos on Abby are real.

    Seriously, most of those machines would be running Unix or some variant, and lots of government machines shown appear to be terminals, so they could be running off of a mini, like Sytem 390, or AS400. When not running a strictly graphics environment, like Windows, programs tend to look different. I remember running DesqView X on top of DOS with QEMM. I could switch to lots of different looking programs, with different color schemes, and screen metrics. I really liked it, and was not really happy with Windows when everything started moving that way. Just like there’ll never be a car as great for me as my ’69 428 CobraJet Cougar Eliminator, there’ll never be another file manager as great as XTree Gold.

    Oooops, sorry for the rant. Actually I do wish that we were using something with the graphics capabilities we see on tv. Do you remember the movie ‘Hackers’, not there was some totally hokey, and yet at the same time really cool graphics [especially the part where Penn Jillette was sitting at the console of the 'supercomputer'].

  • http://scott2096.blogspot.com/ seaeagle

    One storyline that amazed me was Jeff Goldblum in the movie Independence Day being able to write a computer virus for an intergalactic alien species in very quick time, upload it to their mothership without any problems, and have it do exactly what he wanted it to do – first time.

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hi Marc,
    Good points. I just find it hard to believe that the feds aren’t using Windows. After all, doesn’t everyone. LOL

    ’69 – 428 Cougar. It probably wouldn’t run very well on todays low octane gas. :-) Of course you could convert it over to a hybrid.

    Heh seaeagle,
    I forgot about that. Amazing. Even on a alien system he was able to plant a bug. These guys are good! Or maybe the invaders bought their system from Alienware! I mean Dell. :-)

    Thanks for the comments guys. Ron

  • glaston

    The reason why computers look and work so well in movies is the same reason why everything else follows the same pattern in movies and TV.
    Much of the time when you see a computer do something, it’s staged, and the the interactivity is just an illusion. What you’re seeing is either a video stream or an animation setup to do exactly what you see it do. It’s not a real terminal prompt, it’s an animation of a terminal, and the sounds of the keyboard being typed on are added in post.
    To the directors of said works, the scenes of computers in action are just small FX shots.
    Have you ever seen a computer screen shot through a run of the mill HD camcorder? It still has the scanlines running through it if it’s a CRT monitor, or chromatic abberations if it’s an LCD monitor (which looks like bloom, as in ghosting which occurs when the TV doesn’t have the same resolution or refresh rate as the monitor being shown).
    Which is why most shots with monitors in it aren’t actually shot with anything on the monitor. The images on the monitors are composited in during post.
    Also, Hollywood is big on Apple computers. Most film editors use an Apple computer to edit the video footage that makes up the final cut that you see.
    So, that means that for that particular production they have a contract with Apple, so it makes perfect sense that they would use an Apple in any shots of the film where a computer screen is shown. Why buy seperate systems unless the script specifies it?
    The movie Hackers used Apples, since they were what many people used in the early 90′s.
    The Gibson supercomputer was really a wall of blue screens . Computers simply don’t work in that manner, EVER.
    The Dell systems seen in shows like CSI make more sense than you might think.
    Such laboratories like they use even in real CSI labs will have contracts with some computer vendor such as Dell. So if something goes wrong, they just get new hardware sent in and installed by in house techs.
    It’s easy to see how a government agency would have large service contracts with Dell. Dell might be the winner of those contracts based on the lowest bid for the services needed.
    I see businesses with nothing but Dell systems all over the offices unless it’s something artistic and in that case most would go with Apple.
    So the administration and daily business is run on Dell systems, but any kind of artistic process or design would happen on Apple Macintosh systems in specific offices or floors depending on the size of said business.

    I’m an Apple man myself. Mainly for Photoshop and Final Cut Pro, plus Macs just work better!!

    Cheers….

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    glaston,
    Thanks for sharing your experience with us and for the comments.
    Ron