back to article If MR ROBOT was realistic, he’d be in an Iron Maiden t-shirt and SMELL of WEE

I have an urge to dress up in unconventional clothing, don a wig and parade myself around east London. You may be relieved to learn, without indicating prejudice, that this will not involve women’s clothing. I am neither a master potter nor am I on the game. Sorry to disappoint. I had better explain. MCM London Comic Con …

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: Movie OS

            To wrap up, this exhaustive website 'does what it says on the tin':

            http://www.scifiinterfaces.com/

            My apologies for veering off the topic of 'the appearance of fictional vs real computer operators', to 'sci-fi GUIs' via 'Hollywood contemporary GUIs'.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Movie OS

              I shall contribute to the OS subthread:

              Shinohara Labor Operating System bootup (yep, this is a movie from the 90s when computers were MEANT to sound tinny)

              Further afield, in Japan weak godlike entities have a digital interface and 255 TB of real memory (i don't even know how this is possible, but the immersive interface sure is worth it)

          2. Bsquared

            Re: Movie OS

            "Strange to think that these days mocking up a fiction GUI is fairly easy."

            I'll throw in a personal favourite - the smooth 3D wireframe green-on-black cockpit screens when Snake Plissken night-flies his glider into New York absolutely blew me away back in 1981. Nothing special now, of course, but at the time? It would have taken weeks of render time and $$$$$.

            Achieved by making a scale model of Manhattan, painting the edges with fluoro paint and flying a camera through it under UV light.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Movie OS

          I take those cartoons are not intriguing to you and you would not like to subscribe to his newsletter?

          http://www.userfriendly.org/illiad/

        2. Irongut

          Re: Movie OS @Destroy All Monsters

          "Who writes code with a headset on?"

          Me. On the rare occasion I'm in an office I need the headset so I can still listen to music without annoying the hell out of everyone else with my choice in thrash, industrial and jazz, and when I'm working from home I need it to speak to my colleagues.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Movie OS

          User Friendly was always a mediocre, overrated strip whose popularity more likely stemmed from flattering its geek target audience at a time when neither webcomics nor mainstream acceptance of "geek" culture were as widespread as they are today (i.e. the mid-to-late 90s).

          As I once said elsewhere...

          "Aside from its "moderately-promising 14-year-old still showing too much influence from the Teach-Yourself-Cartooning book" drawing style, User Friendly has always relied on its geek-friendly subject matter and viewpoints to flatter the audience and obscure the fact that it's neither creative nor funny.

          Here's a good example:-

          http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=20080528&mode=classic

          There's nothing creative about this. The "news" was a real-life item reported in many tech outlets about a year back. [At the time I made this comment]. The strip itself is just a lazy excuse to let the audience laugh again at that story- it adds nothing to it except an audience-pandering but uncreative aside."

          1. Montreal Sean

            Re: Movie OS

            Userfriendly was/is popular with many people due to its active message board/forum.

            I will admit it has been several years since I last visited so I may be wrong and it may have died out.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Movie OS

          @Destroy All Monsters; To play devil's advocate (#); re: the "stupid metrosexual beard look". Beards were resolutely unfashionable at the time that comic was dated- 2001. (The early-2000s metrosexuals never had beards, that's more the recent "thick-rimmed glasses" type). So it's simply a badly-drawn example of the type of beard an uncool sysadmin would have had back then and reflective of the outsider geek target audience it got popular by pandering to.

          (#) I'm the AC who just slagged off User Friendly in the previous comment.

      1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

        Re: That comic is bad

        Am thinkink it has its moments, da?

        ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=20010904

  1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    Nice Video, Shame About the Song

    Nice performance, but Dabbsy on the Computer Channel in 1997 is even better!!!

    And the cat video! This could be a regular thing!

  2. hardboiledphil

    That was you yeh Dabbsy?

    In the big Pikachu onesie I just passed by Royal Dock?

    I live 5 mins away from the exhibition centre and just been out for a bike ride - it's like a fancy dress zombie apocalypse as all the cos-players walk from the cheap(er) local hotels to Excel. :D

  3. jake Silver badge

    "Babycham[tm]"

    That's called "Perry", and is really quite tasty, at least when done right. ("Babycham[tm]", maybe not so much ...).

    You are not a "sad bastard". You are a good Dad. I'm terribly sorry, but welcome to adult-hood ;-)

  4. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Odessey had a hacker who was unemployed and living in his mother's apartment.

  5. 404 Silver badge

    Slight cast change

    'John Lettice will be played by Keira Knightley'

    Shouldn't Keira Knightley play Lester Haines? Since he actually is a twat?*

    *This goes back to the late 90's and a particular El Reg pin... John is one of the good guys.

  6. GitMeMyShootinIrons

    I've not watched it yet...

    ..but will it ever beat the accuracy and acting talent of the BBC classic 'Bugs'?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bugs_(TV_series)

    1. Kiwi Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: I've not watched it yet...

      ..but will it ever beat the accuracy and acting talent of the BBC classic 'Bugs'?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bugs_(TV_series)

      Ah yes. I believe I recall that one. Got to the episode where they had something that could remote-control (and crash) airliners...

      ...the entire device in a package that looked remarkably like the composite-VHF module from a Sinclair ZX Spectrum.. So much like it they didnt't even bother to change the label sticker on the top of the metal case. They did plug what looked like a modern WIFI antenna into the RF-out port on the thing but that was about it.

      With props like those, who needs an audience?

  7. Teiwaz Silver badge

    “blip blip blip”

    I came across a program in the later 80's early 90's that played 'popcorn' as you typed each key,

    Fun for the first minutes, and increasingly irritating after that...

    ..."bip bip bip bup bup bep bep, bip bip bip bup bup bep bep"....

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: “blip blip blip”

      It's as if they had a dialogue coach for the key presses. Cab Calloway, perhaps.

  8. razorfishsl

    When I saw they used a raspberry pi to hack a 'climate control system' I knew the consultants were ass holes...

    That thing is so big it will not fit inside a standard back box...., but hay with a load of sweaty wannabe 16 year old hackers using Pi's it cuts down on police time.

    But their portrayals of female hackers as muslims or S&M lesbians was a bit much.

    1. Steven Roper

      "But their portrayals of female hackers as muslims or S&M lesbians was a bit much."

      That was so overdone that it passed beyond the bounds of social-justice intrusiveness into pure, concentrated hilarity.

      It was as if someone played "let's see how many token minorities we can compress into a single character!" So we end up with the ultimate political-correctness singularity: a female Muslim ethnic-Arab transsexual lesbian mute computer whiz, which just about covers every possible base - sex, religion, race, gender identity, sexuality, disability, and profession.

      It was so far over the top that when this character first appeared and was introduced as such to Elliot, my friend and I were folded over on the floor in stitches!

      Whoever came up with this character wasn't pandering to political correctness. They were taking the absolute piss out of it. And they pulled it off in such a way that the usual horde of habitual offence-takers didn't utter a bloody word of complaint. In this day and age, that was an undisputed masterstroke of genius!

  9. Your alien overlord - fear me

    "in the company of 100 young women dressed up in Gothic Lolita lingerie." - and you use that picture on the top of the article?

  10. Franco Silver badge

    My favourite Hollywood hacking trope is the 3D model of travelling down a network cable as you hack in, as opposed to the reality of staring at lines of code for days at a time. That and opening folders that make every file in them open in sequence on the screen but always stopping at the exact file needed.

    NCIS is possibly the worst culprit of all though. McGee, hack in to the CIA for me. (14 seconds later) Done Boss.

    1. itzman
      Happy

      re: NCIS is possibly the worst culprit

      "McGee, hack in to the CIA for me". (14 seconds later) "Done Boss."

      That's because McGee is such a keen nerd he already has backdoors installed into the entire US administration security and crime prevention networks ;)

      1. Franco Silver badge

        Re: re: NCIS is possibly the worst culprit

        Mildly more realistic than NCIS: LA I suppose. I once saw an episode of that where they claimed to have shut down "the internet" to prevent a video going online. Sadly "the internet" wasn't the black box from The IT Crowd.

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      NCIS is possibly the worst culprit of all though

      Depends on your criteria, I suppose. NCIS does regard computers as magical boxes that can accomplish all sorts of impossible features in almost no time, and of course includes the infamous "Two Nerds One Computer" scene that others have already linked to in this forum. (Though that's so extreme I can't help but wonder if it was meant to be tongue-in-cheek.)

      On the other hand, NCIS does feature normal user-facing hardware - computers with monitors (still CRTs on some desks!) and keyboards. Contrast that with Hollywood's love of ridiculous giant see-through glass projection displays and other idiocy, as featured in, say, CSI:Miami. I find that irks me more, because it's so visually prominent.

      1. Franco Silver badge

        Hawaii Five-0 bugs me quite a lot for that with their touchscreen table thing, and the constant use of Microsoft Surfaces out in the middle of nowhere when they don't have cellular connections. Oh, and the constant Windows Phone product placement. I have a Windows Phone BTW, product placement just tends to get on my nerves.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        NCIS is possibly the worst culprit of all though

        TV shows in general distort reality.

        When I was working on fingerprint-matching software (not AFIS-linked, just local), I was told to flash fingerprint graphics on the screen as it's matching to make it look like TV. Well, ok, I can waste another thread displaying useless graphic elements every 1/10 of a second, but it's still going to slow down my processing as I can't max out all cores anymore on JUST fingerprint matching.

  11. Teiwaz Silver badge

    The worst hacking trope of all

    Calling it 'hacking' rather than 'cracking'

    Or have we given up that 'lost cause'?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: The worst hacking trope of all

      "Or have we given up that 'lost cause'?"

      Yes. It's over.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: The worst hacking trope of all

        No, it's not over. It's actually a pretty good indicator if the author groks the situation.

        1. Naselus

          Re: The worst hacking trope of all

          "No, it's not over. It's actually a pretty good indicator if the author groks the situation."

          Dude, it's more over than the TMRC, Shub-Internets, Beast of a Thousand Processes and Usenet combined. We lost. Just be glad that we managed to get them to realize that 'hardware engineer', 'sysadmin' and 'script kiddie' canot all be combined until the title 'computery stuff'. In ten years, maybe even recruitment consultants might recognize it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The worst hacking trope of all

            Dude, it's more over than the TMRC, Shub-Internets, Beast of a Thousand Processes and Usenet combined.

            First Rule of Usenet: Don't talk about Usenet.

    2. Spanners Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: The worst hacking trope of all

      Or have we given up that 'lost cause'?

      On that one probably but I'm still arguing that a Kilobyte is 2^10 and a megabyte is 2^20 and so on.

  12. Bota

    3 points

    1 - Neo in the matrix doesn't hack from his workplace. He just works as a software engineer, and it's enforced even further in the interrogation scene that "by night youre a hacker" and as he works days (late after going to the club) we know he's not working nights.

    2 - the best programmer / cracker that I know is a Muslim female. From Bahrain as it happens.

    3 - you obviously didn't see die hard 4.0 where the most "leet" hacker was portrayed as a fat, single loner who lived with his mother in the family basement (Kevin Smith).

    I'd say the focus should of been how unrealistic the hacking is, but Mr robot shows a few things which are relevant, such as social engineering.

    1. Novex

      Re: 3 points

      "1 - Neo in the matrix doesn't hack from his workplace. He just works as a software engineer, and it's enforced even further in the interrogation scene that "by night youre a hacker" and as he works days (late after going to the club) we know he's not working nights."

      I was thinking the same thing...

    2. itzman

      Re: 3 points

      "the most "leet" hacker was portrayed as a fat, single loner who lived with his mother in the family basement (Kevin Smith)."

      Check out the guy in 'Girl with a dragon tattoo' series - apart from Lisbet of course.

      1. Bota

        Re: 3 points

        Never seen, but I'll check it out, thanks!

    3. Richard 81

      Re: 3 points

      "you obviously didn't see die hard 4.0"

      For which he should be commended.

      1. Bota

        Re: 3 points

        Come on, it's not THAT bad. TBH I think it's one of the better "Die Hard" offerings.

        1. Richard 81

          Re: 3 points

          "TBH I think it's one of the better "Die Hard" offerings."

          Get. Out.

          Now.

    4. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: 3, I mean 4, 4 points

      4. The "this is UNIX!" line in Jurassic Park is correct. The screen in that scene is showing an X11-based GUI file manager ("Filespace", maybe?) that SGI included with IRIX. IRIX was a UNIX flavor.

      Where Lex1 had previously seen IRIX and that file manager is obviously not addressed. Maybe she found an old Indigo2 in a skip. Maybe, like Woody Allen's character in Take the Money and Run, her aunt had one. Perhaps she attended an extremely well-funded school.

      But yeah, it was UNIX. Presumably as soon as the camera shifted away she opened an xterm and worked from the shell like any sane person.

      1Nerd joke left as an exercise for the reader.

      2But probably not. Exercise for the reader.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      you obviously didn't see die hard 4.0 where the most "leet" hacker was portrayed...

      ... as a fat, single loner who lived with his mother in the family basement (Kevin Smith).

      Yes, but he wasn't acting -- does it counts?

  13. ecofeco Silver badge

    You're weird...

    ...you know that?

    Thumbs up!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    y prediction is Mr Robot (Fight Club nerd edition) will be cancelled... it's target demographic are of the type more inclined to source the content elsewhere, free from advertising. Heck, hasn't even aired in NZ yet but everyone I know has already seen the first season!

    1. amanfromarse

      They've already commissioned a second series because of the success of the first.

      There is so much wrong with this article.

      Iron maiden t-shirts? Wtf?

      The tech stuff is vetted and all technically possible, if unfeasable. But it's drama, it's OK. It's still a million miles from what's gone before.

      Elliott articulate? What? Only in his head. I guess Alastair watched a couple of episodes max.

      They acknowledged the fight club influences and twisted and played with them, switching unreliable narrator to narrator taking to himself to narrator talking to the audience.

      I'm obviously a fan, but I hated it at first as I thought it was just a fight club rip-off, then I got it.

      Too much of the criticism reeks of watched a couple of episodes, Alistair and commentards.

    2. Kiwi Silver badge

      Heck, hasn't even aired in NZ yet but everyone I know has already seen the first season!

      I hadn't even heard of it until I read the article.

      As to things being commonly seen before they air it here... That's because the scumbag channels want to have 30 versions of Xfactor on at the same time while they sit on decent content, not airing it but not letting anyone else either in case they want to do so later. Something that Sky did quite often, as I believe did Prime (ICBW, and probably am!). The few things we do get "same week as the states" often are crap, and sometimes repeats despite that damned annoying "ALL NEW" most channels stick in front of program names these days...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Exactly spot on. I heard about the show from a "Leo Spoiler" on TotalDrama.net and thought that I should check it out considering that I knew it was going to be a hacker version of Fight Club. I was hoping for more redeeming values from the show but in the end, I was left disappointed while also hoping for a second season. At least Silicon Valley did not seem as crazily outlandish like Mr. Robot.

    4. gr00001000

      episode names

      Kudos to the makers to name each episode as a filename and format: eps1.43xplo0its.wmv eps1.9zer0-daY.avi must give the downloaders some fun. Although they can rename the files easy enough.

      The series has much depth and intregue to follow, including the Kali screenshots.

  15. MatsSvensson

    Poop writers

    Is it true that all article writers work from home in a pile of their own waste?

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: Poop writers

      Yes!!!

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