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Sorta-OT: Movies and Electronic Design

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Spehro Pefhany, Feb 25, 2013.

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  1. Interesting, what with the Oscars and all, I've been asked to review a
    screenplay that has some (somewhat far-fetched) technical content so
    the movie maker can avoid any really bad eye-rolling technical

    What's the worst error(s) you've seen or heard in a movie? You know,
    the kind where it's just impossible to suspend disbelief and enjoy the

    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
  2. The ones where they fly through the core of a planet spring to mind...

    Or flying through an "asteroid belt" with the asteroids bouncing off the

    Seem to recall a thunderbirds episode where they landed on the sun. Was
    a bit hot I expect.
  3. As the joke goes, the trick is to go at night.

    I remember a movie where they showed a shot of a PCB EDA program
    (Mentor, maybe) at work routing a board with the actor exclaiming
    "Amazing, a computer searching for a bomb!".

    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
  4. Yes, and every computer screen in a movie before 2000 had some faked-up
    huge-text dialog instead of a normal actual program.

    Too many people know what typical GUIs look like now, so they don't do
    it so much. Instead they are always apple macs, even though ~90% are PCs
    in real life.
  5. Oh, and the "7-segment" font was always some Mac (?) segment-style
    font that had more than 7 segments (like a tail on the top of the
    In the good old days, I think they shopped a lot for props at C&H
    Surplus in Pasadena.

    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
  6. Syd Rumpo

    Syd Rumpo Guest

    On 25/02/2013 11:18, Bruce Varley wrote:

    All bombs must have red seven-segment LED down-counters which never get
    to zero.

    But anything James Bond is usually absurd - the wristwatch on which you
    can twist a dial and turn it into a magnet which will pick up a handgun
    from a few metres away.

  7. Nico Coesel

    Nico Coesel Guest

    Whenever wires come into play they always screw up like Jan Panteltje
    already more or less pointed out.
  8. Blarp

    Blarp Guest

    The content on a monitor picture projected on the operators face
  9. Jeroen

    Jeroen Guest

    Indeed. I'd be the first to notice all the inconsistencies and
    errors against physics in movies, but at least I have the decency
    not to point them out aloud. People go to movies to be entertained;
    Not to learn physics.

    I agree that some of the grossest blunders spoil the fun for me,
    but I'd hate to be in the same theatre with some wise crack pointing
    out the errors. Not that I ever go to movies anymore: I can't stand
    the popcorn crunchers either.

    Sigh. I suppose one's stock of patience with such things runs out
    on getting older.

    Jeroen Belleman
  10. Guest

    How about racks of Tek TM5000s on Battle Star Galactica(?).
  11. Guest

    The bottom of the well, obviously.
    I would guess that in a movie theater that a physics lesson wouldn't
    be appropriate anymore than watching "Twister" would be in a college
    physics lecture.
    This, of course, is dependant on the writer's need for the characters
    to communicate. A blackout is often more useful.
    It seems Joerg doesn't share your calm life.
    Mistakes are different than suspension of disbelief. If the writer
    was bound by the known physics it would make for some pretty boring
    stories; hardly science fiction.
  12. Guest

    One early example I recall was a real [0] Dr. Who episode where some
    device was screwing up and the solution was to "reverse the polarity of
    the neutron flow". I didn't notice it in context but it was pointed out
    to me later.

    For an extensive compendium of examples, go to TV Tropes. Some good
    technology-related tropes on that site include...

    CAUTION: TV Tropes can be a huge (if entertaining) time sink.

    Matt Roberds

    [0] In a real Dr. Who episode, if one of the actors leans on the wall,
    the wall moves.
  13. Pimpom

    Pimpom Guest

    And they usually have audio.
  14. amdx

    amdx Guest

    About 16 years ago I made I trip to Caltech (from Fl.) to do a demo,
    While there I took a walk in Pasadena, I couldn't believe it when I
    wondered upon C&H, I was like a kid in a candy store!
    Oh and to name drop, I had lunch in the same lunchroom with Stephen
    Hawking, he was giving a talk on string theory.
  15. Guest

    Or Scotty's (Start Trek) "zero to the hundredth power". It severely
    grated on me the first time. I mean. come on!
  16. Guest

    You haven't seen a Die Hard movie. ;-)
    "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to *DIE*". ...and then he leaves.
    So are the plots, with tens of people involved.
    Don't forget the media. Need bait, too.
  17. Guest

    ....or Flesh Gordon. Oh, wait...
  18. Guest

    Nah, it's from my midnight movie days at the Auditorium in college.
    Friday night was Russ Meyer night.
  19. Artemus

    Artemus Guest

    Enhancing crappy surveillance camera images from Kilopixels to Gigapixels.
    Cell phones, GPS devices, etc working far underground.
    Car tires squealing on dirt roads.
    Lissajous figures on o'scopes.
    The list is always growing with each new movie/episode.
  20. Guest

    Never heard of a repeater, huh? ;-) It took me a while to figure out
    why my cell phone's GPS worked so well at work (it's a metal building,
    after all). It suddenly dawned on me that there are people designing
    the stuff. Of *course* there's a repeater. *D'oh*

    Explosions in space. "Woosh" from the space ship.
    Haven't seen that for a while.
    I saw a new one last night. ...and ME putting a bullet that hit bone,
    back together to match ballistics.
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