The Way We Work
June 25, 2009 by Guest Blogger

Over the years, Hollywood has taken some liberties with the abilities of a computer and the individuals who claim to know how to use them. Here is a quick look at some of our favorite ever-so-slight exaggerations the screenwriters, producers, and directors have given us.

Jurassic Park - It's A Unix System

...and she knows it.


Hackers: The Whole Movie

An oddly dressed, rag tag bunch of hackers take on a evil skateboarding hacker. No really, they do...

CSI: "I'll Create a GUI interface using Visual Basic"

Ok, so we'll just have someone else solve the crime while you're busy doing that.

CSI New York "VB GUI Interface


The Italian Job
Playing video games at work.

So for those of you looking to work in the technology field, I'm sorry to tell you that computers don't work like that. Please also note that the other programmers and coworkers in your office will rarely look like Charlize Theron or Angelina Jolie...

  • linuxnatsi

    The CSI clip is hilarious... GUI... Visual Basic... IP address hahahaaa. She doesn't know what the fart she is talking about... what do they think, the audience is shit?
    Now, what about Prison Break? Dude conjures up a magical device which *swallows* any digital data around... I mean WTF! And when he breaks in that room where the router is installed, and if you look closely the code looks like ... ..

  • Scotty

    There are plenty of REAL things Hollywood can use that would have the same affect these lines have on regular people. How many completely inaccurate or made up car engine references do you hear? And Hackers?? Don't even get me started, the entire movie is about hacking, so ONE correct IT reference would be appreciated! "28.8bps modem! SWEET!" is slower than the dial-up everyone was already using at the time.

    Why is is that I am not allowed to get away with not watching football, but people who use computers at their job every single day get away with knowing NOTHING about how they work?

    • Rob

      I don't know where you got your information, but 28.8 bps modem was released in 94, the same year as hackers. 56k didn't come out til 98.

      • ric

        56k modems were 96

        • Rob

          56k wasn't approved until 98, but even if it was 96 it was render his argument false. The movie was released in 95, therefore 56k wasn't out yet

  • Mystikan

    As a software engineer I often find that these sorts of gaffes are a complete show-stopper - they wreck the suspension of reality. I've walked out of movies before because of some of the stupid things they've said about computers and how they work. I wish they'd just do a little bit of research before putting complete nonsense into a movie.

  • Trevor Hall

    They don't have many it guys but they sure have a lot of graphic designers.

  • Martin Bean

    Maybe they thought Visual Basic was an easy way to create GUI interfaces...?

  • Cheese

    GUI with visual basic? Makes you wonder if they come up with those lines on purpose to see if people will catch them.

  • Chris

    Thanks, I just speant the last ten minutes choking on coffee after watching the CSI clip.....I can just see her sitting infront of a computer dragging buttons and pretty progress bars around a screen:
    "What the hell are you doing?"
    "Creating a hacking program!"
    " me what it does?"
    "Here, you click this button here, then this button moves around the screen here, and then this pretty progress bar fills up! And then look, a picture of a bunny!"

    But at least hackers and swordfish have a good soundtrack (and lets be honest, with swordfish the bad-IT elements were quickly forgiven any time Halle Berry entered scene.)

  • Michael

    In one of the Matrix films, their is a scene when nmap is booted up, which is a common detection tool for scanning servers for information... so one for hollywood

  • WellHowdyDooo

    ^ Proof that Steve Jobs is teaming up with extraterrestrials

  • DesignSerious

    What about where Will smiff connects his apple laptop to an alien ship and wreaks havoc? I can't even connect my apple laptop to my windows laptop so WTF?

  • Lars

    I'd just like to point out that even though the girl recognising it is silly, the system used in Jurrassic Park is real.

  • Geeky And Proud

    who wrote the script for that episode of csi?! honestly, if they think u need a gui for tracking ip addresses (i doubt thats even somthing you do with an ip address) and visual basic? i mean come on guys!

  • g

    I thought hackers 2 was probably more accurate to the real thing:

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  • Frank

    I'll have to do a more extensive follow-up post to this one.

    Watch this space.

  • Myra

    Aren't you forgetting 24? Just, wow.

  • raiel28

    you rock!!!

  • Erica

    Some folks on the oDesk Facebook fan page ( ) called out that there were some "out there" tech references in "Antitrust", too. There might be a whole follow-up list, too, once this summer's blockbusters all come out!

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  • Frank

    VD ... I can't even remember the scene from Transformers. That movie was so forgettable in some ways.

    I did realize I forgot "Independence Day" and the hacking an alien computer with a mac.

    Could not find any video to link.

  • VD

    You forgot the epic hacking scene from transformers!

  • Matthew Breuer

    I couldn't stop laughing. The CSI clip was amazing! Thanks.

  • Tomas Estrada-Palma

    Hollywood uses an SHIT guy

  • robb

    yea, as a computer science student myself,
    i had to laugh at these.
    hollywood sure didn't have at least IT guy.