Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Friday, November 07, 2003

Nerdywood...
Computing Magazine are running a competition to find the top ten best IT-related films. Here are the 30 nominees.

01 Jurassic Park (1993)
Plot: Mad billionaire recreates dinosaurs from prehistoric mosquito. They repay the favour by eating the IT director
IT theme: If you have a monster business idea, don't share it with the IT guy

02 Minority Report (2002)
Plot: In a database-dominated world, the police prevent crime before it happens. One cop becomes victim of the system and fights for freedom etc etc
IT theme: Accept RFID tags today and you'll spend tomorrow hiding in a cold bath avoiding electronic spiders

03 War Games (1983)
Plot: Teenager accidentally breaks into the Pentagon computer and nearly starts World War III
IT theme: If you have computers that can wipe out humanity, make sure you're password isn't "password"

04 Carry on Loving (1970)
Plot: Seminal arthouse technology movie in which Sid James et al start a computer dating agency with hilarious consequences
IT theme: Computers were made for the double entendre: hard drives, floppy discs (ooh, matron)

05 The Lawnmower Man (1992)
Plot: Scientist experiments with virtual reality and some dodgy Es, turning a dim gardener into megalomaniac egghead
IT theme: Computer game junkies need regular screen breaks

06 The Net (1995)
Plot: Hacker Sandra Bullock stumbles on a plot to take over the world through computers and finds her Blockbuster card has mysteriously been wiped
IT theme: Computer obsessives are really quite beautiful and dynamic. Yeah, right

07 The Italian Job (1969)
Plot: Computer specialist and lover of the larger lady Benny Hill helps a group of patriotic criminals to bring Turin to a halt and steal gold bullion
IT theme: Don't trust traffic systems to a centralised datacentre. Are you listening, Mr Livingstone?

08 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Plot: God knows. But a computer definitely turns psycho and something significant happens to monkeys
IT theme: Don't give your computer a name or it'll think it owns the place

09 Weird Science (1985)
Plot: Nerdy students program their computer to create a woman
IT theme: Try not to think about what your brother might be doing with the PC in his bedroom

10 The Terminator (1984)
Plot: A computer system with ideas above its workstation sends a cyborg from the future to kill the hero who can save humanity
IT theme: Don't trust technology. Even your LAN is out to get you

11 THX 1138 (1970)
Plot: One man rebels against a dreary computer-controlled world where we've all been reduced to emotionless four-digit numbers on a database IT theme: Show your PIN number who's boss, or you'll end up living in Basingstoke

12 The Matrix (1999)
Plot: A computer hacker learns that life is just a computer-generated sham, created by cyber-creatures. He becomes part of a rebellion
IT theme: We could all be drones tied to our computer screens, performing essentially pointless tasks for unseen bosses. Hang on a minute!

13 The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
Plot: More of the same, but with more explosions and lots of illogical conversation
IT theme: The only way to deal with a computer virus is a sackful of automatic weapons

14 Airplane II: The Sequel (1982)
Plot: In-flight computer keeps crashing the Space Shuttle. Probably funnier before Space Shuttles started crashing for real
IT theme: Ask to speak to the auto-pilot before entering any aircraft

15 AntiTrust (2001)
Plot: IT megacorp takes drastic action to stop whizz-kid getting his open-source software to market
IT theme: Megabucks proprietorial IT is evil - who could they have in mind?

16 Billion Dollar Brain (1967)
Plot: Texas billionaire hatches plan to use a computer to start a rising in the USSR. Michael Caine saves the day
IT theme: Billionaires are mad. IT will give them great power. Not like today, then

17 Dark Star (1974)
Plot: Space ship's computer tries to keep control of a bomb that turns peacenik
IT theme: Interoperability will be a big issue for computing. Thank God they sorted that one out quickly

18 Electric Dreams (1984)
Plot: Computer develops a personality and becomes his user's rival for the affection of the girl next door
IT theme: Your computer may well have more personality and charm than you

19 Logan's Run (1976)
Plot: Unexpected rebel escapes from a computer-run city where everyone gets bumped off at the age of 30
IT theme: You're not over the hill at 30. One for the management

20 Pi (1998)
Plot: Mathematician builds a supercomputer that can discover the secrets to everything, but a variety of bad guys want a piece of the action
IT theme: Proof that there are some things that should never be allowed into the hands of the Inland Revenue

21 Tron (1982)
Plot: Twisted games designer takes revenge on his enemy by forcing them to fight in a computer-designed world
IT theme: Your software is out to get you, and your word processor

22 Sneakers (1992)
Plot: Hacking for the elderly, as Messrs Redford and Poitier get involved with cryptography and deception
IT theme: People are snooping on our lives, and you can too with cheap laptops, a few crocodile clips and a battered old van

23 Enemy of the State (1998)
Plot: One man has the full technological power of the NSA turned on him when he is given a GameBoy containing evidence of a hushed-up murder
IT theme: Anti-crime surveillance is a bad thing, except when it prevents crime

24 Swordfish (2001)
Plot: John Travolta and Halle Berry are criminals robbing banks by computer and buy arms to support US nationalists
IT theme: There are many unexplored ways to get a computer user to work faster

25 Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
Plot: The Terminator comes to save humans when computer system Skynet sends out a new and improved model
IT theme: Upgrades do not automatically add value or efficiency

26 Westworld (1973)
Plot: Theme park robots go on a killing spree when the mainframe crashes
IT theme: Disaster recovery saves lives

27 Hackers (1995)
Plot: Good hackers (nerdy and just in need of a little love) foil the virus plan of bad hackers (evil geniuses bent only on money, ruling the world etc)
IT theme: Teeny hackers. Gotta love 'em

28 S1m0ne (2002)
Plot: Washed-up film producer discovers that he can do without prima donna actors by using a computer-generated star
IT theme: If the boss implements new technology, he is looking to get rid of you

29 D.A.R.Y.L. (1985)
Plot: Robot boy longs to be human and accepted by his adopted parents
IT theme: Computers can be as temperamental as real people

30 You've Got Mail (1998)
Plot: Rival bookstore owners fall in love anonymously by email
IT theme: Some people do well out of online love. Others end up with Meg Ryan

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