What code DOESN'T do in real life (that it does in the movies)
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  1. #1
    Senior Member deftones12's Avatar
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    What code DOESN'T do in real life (that it does in the movies)

    1. Code does not move
    In films and television code is always sailing across the screen at incredible speeds; it's presented as an indecipherable stream of letters and numbers that make perfect sense to the programmer but dumbfound everyone else. I understand that to the non-savvy person the abilities of a programmer might seem amazingly complex, but do they honestly think we can read **** that isn't sitting still? It'd be like trying to read six newspapers flying around in a tornado. Sure, I can watch a kernel compile, tail a log file, or simply monitor the scrolling output of a program - but the most value I get out of those activities is when execution stops and I can actually scroll back to read what the hell happened (unless the output was going slow enough I could read it as it happened).

    2. Code is not green text on a black background
    Sure, code can be green text on a black background if you want it to, but most programmers use syntax highlighting and sysadmins configure their shell to use ANSI color.

    3. Code has structure
    According to the movies all programmers abhor the space bar and enter key. In the real world code has structure - it's got line breaks, spacing, and indentation. Granted, we've all written our share of unreadable hacks: I used to write a lot of perl and I had a knack for writing nasty regular expressions that moved many of my successors to committing seppuku, but those days are over. It's all about clarity now.

    4. Code is not three dimensional
    Remember in "hackers" when the gibson is depicted as a three dimensional city that the hackers must navigate through? Bullshit! We may use a dash of color in our shell to make things a bit clearer, but last I checked my terminal app doesn't require OpenGL. I'm working here, bitches - I'm not playing quake.

    5. Code does not make blip noises as it appears on the screen
    This goes for ANY text, not just code. When text appears on my monitor it doesn't make blip sounds - this isn't 1902 (or whenever monitors used to do that).
    This is one of the most common offenses in Hollywood films, almost every movie that has a scene where a character is composing an email or surfing the net has the text make blippity-blip sounds as it appears. Do they have any idea how ****ing irritating that would be in real life? This article alone would be like thirty thousand blippity-blips.

    6. Code cannot be cracked by an 8 year old kid in a matter of seconds
    Sorry, no. Just no.

    7. Not all code is meant to be cracked
    Hollywood loves to endorse the notion that programming, encryption, and complex computing in general are all the same thing: a jumble of secretive data that must be broken by a seriously (srsly!) clever hacker. This is somewhat understandable because the term "code" itself is ambigious. In the realm of computing, code typically has two definitions:

    1. The symbolic arrangement of instructions that a computer can understand - like "Your PHP code is ****"
    2. The disguised transformation of a message - "The Navajo code talkers in WWII"

    Hollywood usually applies #2 to all of a programmer's computing activities. There are no windows to drag, no enclosing brackets or IF statements, there's no desktop. Everything on the computer takes the form of an encrypted message, which must make looking at hot steamy pr0n a real bitch (md5 makes me flaccid).

    8. Code isn't just 0100110 010101 10100 011
    Sure, when you get down to the binary level it's a bunch of 1's and 0's, but who does that? I've never met anyone who codes binary.
    Hey Hollywood directors: programmers use this neat thing called the ALPHABET. It's got letters that you put together to form words. We even put spaces between those words (see #3).

    Also, the whole joke about everything on a computer being just a bunch of 1's and 0's has become painfully not funny. It ranks right up there with the joke about the user who uses his cdrom tray as a cupholder, I'm pretty sure I'd heard that joke a thousand times by 1997. Just because all data on a computer is ultimately represented by one or a zero doesn't mean that the basis behind it is as simple as a one or a zero. That's like saying all humanity ultimately boils down to a bunch of carbon atoms (or whatever the hell we're made of), so the next time someone steals my car I can laugh it off and say "Oh those silly carbon atoms!"

    9. People who write code use mice
    According to Hollywood most programmers haven't discovered how to use a mouse. Sure, we type fast, but a mouse is a very useful tool and there's no reason we'd abandon it. While we're dispelling stereotypes, I'd also like to say that not all programmers are hot-pocket eating virgins who play WoW. Some of us exercise and have active social lives. Some have even had SEX! Holy Crap!

    10. Most code is not inherently cross platform
    Remember in Independence Day when whatshisface-math-guy writes a virus that works on both his apple laptop AND an alien mothership? Bullshit!
    If real life were like film I'd be able to port wordpress to my toaster using a cat5 cable and a bag of glitter.


    Any others you can think of?


    http://www.drivl.com/posts/view/494


    my personal favorite from the list: "We may use a dash of color in our shell to make things a bit clearer, but last I checked my terminal app doesn't require OpenGL. I'm working here, bitches - I'm not playing quake."
    Last edited by deftones12; December 7th, 2006 at 10:55 PM.

  2. #2
    Disgruntled Postal Worker fourdc's Avatar
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    My favorite was the movie "swordfish" where the "hacker" had to build a virus that would defeat security at a bank and transfer funds to another account.

    Instead of writing scripts he built a geometric shape on a monitor. And it only took 5 minutes of story line... damn that guy was good.
    ddddc

    "Somehow saying I told you so just doesn't cover it" Will Smith in I, Robot

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    9 - I mostly use keyboard only when doing my programming =/ eek.
    10 - LOL!!

    I HATE when they show these screens and programs that exist nowhere in the world. Like in "gone in 60 seconds" where he hacks the DMV which looks like a matrix screen saver with pictures of cars in it.
    Hi.

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    Hrm...

    I think I'm supposed to find this funny... I don't..

    1. Quite frequently stuff is scrolling across my screen... It could be scenarios like the OP mentioned, but there are others as well.. and I seldom have to scroll back up to find what I'm looking for.

    2. My first monitor was green text on a black background... You had no choice.. and many of the people I know, myself included, still use those colours. It's easier on the eyes than white on black, and while some may use some syntax highlighting...others don't.. for example in vi, which is where I have green on black, I don't use syntax highlighting.

    3. Proper programmers give code structure... All you have to do is use Google code search to see some of the crap that's written... Something that made digg was a 1 line sudoku solver.. it definately wasn't structured code.

    4. Code isn't YET 3D... but we already have 2D visual representations of code... There's no reason why it can't go to the next level.

    5. Cat a binary file... you'll hear beeps...

    6. So maybe there's some hyperbole here but there usually is in everything Hollywood does... but I've seen small crack-its where there's no reason an 8-year old couldn't solve them.. and I doubt it would take them very long

    7. I just don't think this one is true in the slightest..

    8. Code is 1s and 0s... That isn't like saying all humans are carbon atoms at all.. For example... we're carbon-based but we're not entirely carbon.. Code is entirely 1s and 0s... I've heard stories from people who had to code in 1s and 0s... entering register addresses and then entering the code for that register.. then storing it and moving on..

    9. I seldom use a mouse when i'm writing code.. especially if I'm using vi. You have to put this into context... Do I use a mouse if I'm in say Visual Studio.. yes I have to... if I'm punching out a python script at the command line do i need a mouse? Nope and usually it'll just hinder me.

    10. He once again compares something real to Hollywood Hyperbole... Apple to Alien computer .. maybe far fetched (but we don't know).. but cross platform... applications are becoming more and more cross platform.. with perl, python and ruby.. more C/C++ can be compiled across platform... Mono is helping... Cross platform is becoming more and more of a reality...

    The author, and most of the people that replied are the same group of little kids... They use Linux and think they're cool... They can't accept that a movie is a movie and instead of picking on unrealistic aspects of computers in movies... They're picking on the aspects that are actually closer to being realistic.

    Peace,
    HT
    IT Blog: .:Computer Defense:.
    PnCHd (Pronounced Pinched): Acronym - Point 'n Click Hacked. As in: "That website was pinched" or "The skiddie pinched my computer because I forgot to patch".

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    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    HT~ If I might be permitted to add a little to your comments?

    Indeed, my first screen was green characters on a black background. However, the same manufacturers offered orange characters on a black background, as an alternative.

    They were identical in all respects, including price...........only the colour was different.

    The point was that people with slight eyesight defects towards short-sightedness, found the orange screen much easier to work with than the green one, that was preferred by those slightly long-sighted. I believe that there is a far greater tendency for humans to be slightly long-sighted?
    I always made sure that we had both available and that users could chose the most comfortable.

    Obviously, those with prescription eyeglasses didn't need this, it was for those who would ordinarily not wear glasses.

    Today, under our European Health & Safety legislation, if you spend more than two hours at a screen each day, your employer has to pay for an eye test, and buy you spectacles if required.

  6. #6
    T3h 1337 N00b kryptonic's Avatar
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    The only movie ive seen that showes code how it really is, is the movie AntiTrust. Its a good movie anyone who hasnt seen it should check it out.

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    Antitrust was awful.

    "Dust the semi-colins; only programmers use that key"
    Hi.

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    The movie "Matrix" actually has a true hack shown on a computer screen. Have fun looking in the episodes to see if you can find it. Little trivia!
    Epithath: What lies here beneath is just the shell, just the nut is gone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by judgement
    The movie "Matrix" actually has a true hack shown on a computer screen. Have fun looking in the episodes to see if you can find it. Little trivia!
    What?? When Trinity uses nmap and an SSH exploit... I'm pretty sure everyone's aware of that.
    IT Blog: .:Computer Defense:.
    PnCHd (Pronounced Pinched): Acronym - Point 'n Click Hacked. As in: "That website was pinched" or "The skiddie pinched my computer because I forgot to patch".

  10. #10
    Senior Member deftones12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HTRegz

    ....He once again compares something real to Hollywood Hyperbole... Apple to Alien computer .....
    well the title of the article is "what code doesn't do in real life that does in movies"

    of course he's gonna compare something real to hollywood hyperbole.

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