A website has collected all the times in which a computer stars in a movie. And it’s pretty amazing

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River Phoenix and Ethan Hawke, very young, stare in amazement at the screen. It shows some vector graphics generated by a computer that could not really do something like that. It did not matter, because in that scene of the mythical ‘explorers‘ (1985) the protagonist in the shadow was an Apple IIc.

The presence of computers from all eras has been constant in series and movies for years, and although we often do not pay attention to them, these machines are a testament to the technology that surrounded us and surrounds us. They are the other protagonists of those movies and seriesand there is a website that tries to record those (more or less) stellar appearances.

How well do the computers in the movies

Is about starring the computerwhich of course records that appearance of the Apple IIc (I mistook it for an Amiga 500 for a second) and that records many more appearances.

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We all wanted to be Matthew Broderick in ‘War Games.’ what a movie

From the Atari Portfolio that young Edward Furlong used in ‘Terminator II’ until, of course, the IMSAI 8080 with which Matthew Broderick put the US Department of Defense in check in the mythical ‘War Games’.

Not all, of course, it’s virtually impossible to keep up to the avalanche of current productions, and in fact there is a certain “retro spirit” on this website that pays a special tribute to computers that accompanied us in the 80s or 90s.

There are more modern ones, of course, but in Starring the Computer, the work of podcaster James Carter (@carterjf), that spirit of computers from other times is very much alive.

The web is simple in its design but effective in its objective: it organizes those appearances both by movies and by computersand it is possible to locate those occurrences in both ways.

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It is also striking how for each film Carter qualifies that appearance with three parameters: the importance of that appearance —whether or not the computer is the protagonist in the scene—, its realism —if things that it could really do are done with it— and its visibility —whether the computer is really seen in the scene or is only part of it of the set.

This monitoring work is so unfathomable that Carter himself asks for help: if any user detects these appearances, they can contribute to the website by sending an email warning of one that they have not caught or helping via Twitter to identify machines that appear in scenes from movies and series. If you like this effort and want to contribute, cheer up.

River Phoenix and Ethan Hawke, very young, stare in amazement at the screen. It shows some vector graphics generated by…

River Phoenix and Ethan Hawke, very young, stare in amazement at the screen. It shows some vector graphics generated by…

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