Halt and Catch Fire

Halt and Catch Fire

The Complete First Season

DVD - 2015
Average Rating:
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A former IBM executive, Joe MacMillan plans to reverse engineer the flagship product of his former employer and forces his current company, Cardiff Electric, into the personal computer race. MacMillan enlists the help of Gordon Clark, a once great engineer who dreams of creating a revolutionary product while trying to manage his initially unsupportive wife Donna, and Cameron Howe, a volatile prodigy who puts her future in jeopardy to join MacMillan's rogue PC project.
Publisher: Beverly Hills, CA : Anchor Bay Entertainment, c2015
Characteristics: 3 videodiscs (7 hrs., 15 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in

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ba_library
Jul 30, 2016

It is a t.v. series about a computer company with a vision to make a cheaper, lighter, faster computer. Not knowing anything about the industry, it is a compelling show about people with ideas for the future. This covers season one (1983-1984) last episode shows them at a computer trade show and the launch of the Macintosh! Thought a show about computer geeks would be really dull, but it was interesting - especially the issue of politics and the money behind the ideas and the people who can see beyond the bottom line.

harrybrowne Oct 10, 2015

Fascinating story that deserved a better production than this. So totally corrupted by political correctness it was excruciating too often to watch.

Well written story of the birth of Compaq. Often clever and hilarious. Briskly directed. Head-pounding music with some great period songs.

Acting is mostly pathetic with the notable exceptions of Toby Huss as John Bosworth and especially Lee Pace as Joe McMillan. Pace is extraordinary in his portrayal of a computer visionary - intense, passionate and with a range of expressions and movements that are mesmerizing to watch. Too bad this series did not do him (or the Compaq story) justice and died a premature death. A pity, but that is typical of Hollywood.

Best line: " Venture capital? Hell, I remember when it was called money."

s
scarykay
Jul 27, 2015

Such a fun telling of the early days of Personal Computer designers, programmers and engineers in early 1980s! Data recovery from floppy discs, 8-bit video gamers playing online, modifying the IBM BIOS, Macintosh portable cubes, etc.

c
cheese123
Jul 07, 2015

This is very entertaining. Exciting. A little bit weird. 1983 a small electronics company is attempting to make an IBM clone computer. It's not a cuddly company it's full of backstabbing. And sudden disasters, suddenly averted. Suspenseful.

Their definition of the term "halt and catch fire" however is wrong. It's a joke word like snafu. Early computer programmers made it up to refer to a situation where the computer gets stuck in an infinite loop and you have to restart it. HCF was made to look like one of the code commands that were 3 letters long. HCF is a way of saying " it's as if there's a command in the programming that tells the computer to stop taking commands, to become unusable and then bursts into to flames." The bursting into flames this is just hyperbole and grousing. 'Catch Fire' is how that idea is fitted into the three letter command.

cdsrus May 22, 2015

A "Mad Men" for the computer set. Not very original or compelling.

m
Minnesinger
Apr 01, 2015

This series is fantastic -- especially if you like computers. It takes place in the early '80s when the personal computer was in its infancy. It's not just about technology, though; the show is as much about the people involved. The acting is great; the characters relatable, both male and female. I can't recommend this show highly enough. AMC had hesitations about renewing the series because it was deemed by many to be 'too slow' (read: no car chases or explosions), but fortunate for us there will be a Season 2--starting in late May.

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iluvtea
Nov 25, 2015

iluvtea thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

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