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Favorite electronics movies

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Richard Henry, Jan 22, 2006.

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  1. One of my favorites was on tv tonight - Enemy of the State.

    Does anyone here think it was subversive of ABC to schedule this movie
    during this time of arguments pitting national security against human
  2. Pooh Bear

    Pooh Bear Guest

    Is it ever *subversive* to simply show a movie ! Maybe Jim would like to
    report ABC to the comittee for unAmerican activities ?

    I'll vote for The Conversation btw.

  3. Bob Monsen

    Bob Monsen Guest

    Yes. One of my all time favorites. The final scene is simply a classic.

    Bob Monsen

    "doing what little one can to increase the general stock of knowledge
    is as respectable an object of life, as one can in any likelihood
    -- Charles Darwin
  4. Ian Stirling

    Ian Stirling Guest

  5. Fred Bloggs

    Fred Bloggs Guest

    One of my favorites was on tv tonight - Enemy of the State.
    I don't know what the proper word is for that kind of "film" but to me
    it is childish garbage. While channel roaming I caught the scene with
    Will Smith and Gene Hackman on the roof of a building, some idiotic
    dialogue, and the flash and dazzle of helicopters and control rooms- not
    one of Hackman's better roles. A waste of time watching that crap so I
    time multiplexed between 2x Law and Order's and a PBS special about
    endurance limit measurement of mountain climbers. That pos has nothing
    to do with electronics.
  6. Mac

    Mac Guest

    I don't think I have ever seen an electronics movie, Per Se. Or maybe I'm
    just forgetting?

    Enemy of the State is more of a political/action comedy. The electronics
    and so forth is just a plot device.

  7. Unfortunately, any kind of electronics content in movies is usually
    most notable for the hilarity it invokes. Such as the movie that cut
    to a quick take of a computer screen- a PCB autorouter was operating.
    The dialog: "Amazing! A computer searching for a bomb!".

    Or, take this dialog (please) from the original "sci-fi" Star Trek
    ("Court Martial"):

    Ready, Mr. Spock?
    Affirmative, Captain.
    Gentlemen, this computer
    has an auditory sensor.
    It can, in effect, hear sounds.
    By installing a booster,
    we can increase that capability
    on the order of 1 to the 4th power.
    The computer should bring us every sound
    occurring on the ship.
    All personnel have left the ship as ordered, sir.
    Dr. McCoy?
    All right, Mr. Spock.
    [Loud Beating]
    Turn it down a little.
    [Volume Decreases]
    Gentlemen, that sound is caused by the heartbeats
    of all the people on board the ship.
    Dr. McCoy will use this white sound device
    to mask out each person's heartbeat

    How do you design a booster with a gain of 1 to the 4th power anyway?

    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
  8. Doesn't sound so hard. And it will run on very little power. ;-)
  9. Rich Webb

    Rich Webb Guest

    Uh uh. Gotta be "YOUNG Frankenstein." Woof!

    WRT the OP's question. Hadn't seen the flick before, just happened to
    surf by it and watched the rest (so I never did figure out what Will
    Smith's character did that started the whole mess).

    I was rocking along with it okay until the part where (paraphrasing):

    [team is looking at satellite images]
    agent 1: Dang, I wish we could see his face.
    agent 2: Dude! These are satellite photos from 150 miles up. They can
    only look straight down.
    agent 1: D'oh!

    Ooooookay ...

    WRT the OP's question: not subversive at all. And besides, it's already
    too late. King George has (i) a "war" on an emotion that will last as
    long as he wants it to last, and (ii) claimed "authority as Commander In
    Chief" during time of "war" to ignore any laws that he chooses,
    irrespective of the legislature or the courts.
  10. PaulCsouls

    PaulCsouls Guest

    The best electronics bit in Star Trek is in the one with the evil
    alternate universe (Spock with the beard). They need to take some
    files from the computer and they put it on an orange 3.5" floppy disk.
    Where did the prop department get one of those in 1967? They were
    using punch cards back then.

    Paul C
  11. --Spoiler--

    The Jon Voigt character arranged the murder of a Congressman who was opposed
    toa bill giving more power to NSA. The murder was captured on a
    motion-sensitive wildlife study camera. The biologist saw the tape, and
    then called a friend who published a left-wing paper. The NSA intercepted
    the call, and agents (on a Standard Training Op) chased him down. He
    dropped a copy of the tape on a flash card, hidden in a hand-held game, into
    Will Smith's shopping bag. The NSA then started chasing Smith, but he
    didn't know what they were after.
    Well, earlier they were able to take the film from a store security camera
    and turn the image of a shopping back through 360° looking for suspicious
  12. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    I thought it was a fun movie, something that could get the leftist
    weenie's panties all in a knot. Can't you just see Teddy (or Hillary)
    screaming, "See what they're doing?" ;-)

    ...Jim Thompson
  13. I mean, it's not as if the US intel services would do anything illegal to their
    own citizens, is it?


    The Consensus:-
    The political party for the new millenium
  14. Bob

    Bob Guest

    I don't think that many people have seen this one, but my favorite is:

    Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey

    Here's the plot summary, from IMDB --

    "A documentary about the amazing life of Leon Theremin, inventor of the
    theremin, the electronic musical instrument so beloved of 50s sci-fi movie
    music. Theremin amazed America with his instrument until his kidnapping by
    Soviet agents in the mid-30s. Upon his release from a labor camp, he worked
    on surveillance devices for the KGB. Almost 60 years later , he is brought
    back to America for a touching reunion with his friends and colleagues."

    I love this movie. It also shows the talents of thereminist Clara Rockmore
    (Theremin's long-time girlfriend). She is amazing. As I recall, she was
    trained as a violinist. What an amazing talent. Leon's reunion with Clara
    may bring tears to your eyes.

  15. Tim Shoppa

    Tim Shoppa Guest

    My favorite Trek electronics: The City on the Edge of Forever, where
    Spock (back in 1930's era US) constructs a "crude mnemonic memory
    device" using "stone knives and bearskins" (actually a bunch of octal
    tubes on metal chassis and breadboards, and a Jacob's Ladder on the end
    too). I think this is also the episode where he and Kirk are working as
    janitors, and Spock makes some comment about only needing a cubic foot
    of platinum to complete his device :)

    Otherwise, like you note, the electronics tends to be random colored
    and shaped plastic blocks.

    Dr. Strangelove has some realistic looking shots of mil-spec looking
    radio and encryption equipment. (Legend is that Kubrick's original
    props looked too much like the real thing, and the military made him
    change them.)

    2001 has some electronics circuitry in the plot (the antenna module)
    and of course the innards of HAL.

    A Clockwork Orange (made in early 70's) has some CD-like music media
    (not quite, but close).

    There was a Gene Hackman movie from the early 70's where he played a
    suveillance electronics expert. The electronics aren't really in touch
    with reality but the convention he goes to and some of his moral
    dilemnas still ring true.

    Its kind of funny to watch the Bond movies from the early 70's and the
    electronics there. Ooh, 007 has a digital watch!

    Three Days of the Condor has a PDP-8 doing literature analysis and some
    telephone switching equipment.

  16. I'd like to see someone interface to a USB port using 1930s tech.
    Would it be possible?
    Electronics is getting more like that every day.
  17. John B

    John B Guest

    My favourite is "Dark Star". The story of a spaceship which is destroying dead planets with
    'intelligent' bombs. Unfortunately for the crew, the last bomb develops a conscience and decides it
    doesn't want to self-destruct.

    One in the eye for AI methinks.
  18. Low-speed, maybe, if they can get enough tubes together to do the logic and
  19. Rich Webb

    Rich Webb Guest

    Ahhh... got it. Thanks!
  20. I suppose it cost about a cubic foot of platinum


    The Consensus:-
    The political party for the new millenium
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