Film interfaces: a terrifying experience?

Have you ever noticed in the order they appear in the movies ? Programs are almost never real, but large messages, useless graphics and things that flash incessantly. Not at all like normal PC.

This is because the GUI is the face of computers , and a great message not only is more dramatic than a window of Windows, but allows players to enter the outlet. In the film, it makes sense.

But there’s a catch: most of spectators and has used a real computer and knows what to expect. In the best case, the view of one of these interfaces generate false sympathy, at worst, embarrassing. See ten examples .

1. The Matrix (1999)

Yes, let’s see … I think from there to the right is the folder I want.

In the not too distant future, machines will dominate the world and shall not by ones and zeros, but changing patterns that cascade , like a green phosphor screens of the 80’s. And by the way, USB connection, not to mention: the plug is in the neck.

The best part? Someone to be able to “use” this interface to find cabins or lead someone to escape an enemy. Not an easy read that information from letters that fall into the void. Would not it be easier to use Google Earth?

2. Jurassic Park (1993)

Does using ls to view directories? Why? Best browse in 3D.

” This is UNIX, I know , “cries the young female as it moves through a three-dimensional environment to browse directories. And in part it does not lie, because it is a real UNIX program called FSN .

Why use this ponderous system instead of the console? It does not seem very smart, especially if there is a velociraptor on your tail that also have learned how to open doors (and may soon know to close windows and defragment the hard drive).

3. Independence Day (1996)

independence day

Well, it seems that the aliens are McAfee’s license expired.

An alien civilization visiting earth, but not for sightseeing and sunbathing on the beach, but to launch his death ray against the major tourist spots on the planet. However, in the rush of challenging the structure of space-time and build a hyper-fleet, they forgot to install a firewall and antivirus .

We do not know what is more ridiculous, if the possibility that a PC can connect to a remote spacecraft (would they have WiFi?), Anyone can program a virus for an unknown system or to send a virus is as easy as watching a bar progress.

4. Strange but untrue (2009)

Windows Millennium ugliest after erasing a dozen DLL.

Start menu, windows, blue background … seems Windows Trash, of course, but is it really? Yes and no: it is rather a prop Windows , sufficiently modified so as not to infringe any copyright, as it is recognizable to viewers.

Worthy of mention is the Start Menu, ugly as few, as well as changed icons of folders, My Computer and Recycle Bin. And as in many movies, fonts are so absurdly huge e lack of privacy.

5. The Red (1995)

The. WRLD, one of the great contributions of The Network

Of all the images we could find in the movie The Net, we have chosen this. Not for the wallpaper color or style of old-fashioned windows, but the bugs it found.

First, an IP address impossible , for the third group of numbers is greater than 255. In addition, the email does not seem to make much sense either (JG@gms.wrld), since there are no domains. WRLD.

6. Watchmen (2009)


Files in low-density floppy disk unencrypted. Typical error of the wicked.

Okay, the movie takes place in an alternate 1986, but we expected that the evil billionaire from the film would use a much more modern than this kind of AmigaOS monochrome screen .

We are struck by the ingenuity of the names of the folders, which seem to compose a sentence . Even in the comics, fun way of computer security is ridiculous (the password is a word easily traceable to the protagonist). A computer unworthy of Adrian Veidt.

7. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Okay, what screen should I look? Or do I get to polish that nice red eye?

The main element of fantasy in the great Kubrick film is the computer, HAL 9000 accepts voice commands and speaks with a calm voice that irritates . On their screens, plus graphs showing for a handful of seconds, are mysterious three-letter messages .

If it were a normal computer to open a folder should be invited to a coffee. And to turn it off? You have to enter a sealed room and removing memory modules one by one. But of course, have had a Control + Alt + Del, the movie had ended abruptly.

8. Syriana (2005)


Important: The window does not have a close button. Have to listen the message.

In the George Clooney film we see a classic example of dramatic message : info box shows a huge message that even viewers in the last row can see it.

What does it say? Well, the computer is being analyzed remotely. Does it make sense to tell the user control that, in theory, should happen silently, without knowing it! Only in the movies.

9. Terminator 2 (1991)

Vision de Terminator

It is reassuring to know that Terminator can read your own thoughts.

In Terminator we are dealing with human-computer interface, but with an example of robotic vision . There is no perception of color (a serious failure for a robot that must infiltrate human) and a series of messages appear everywhere to the delight of the audience.

But the robot does not serve: he knows what he is doing without having to read himself . It is a common fault of this and other embedded interfaces (eg, computers in the retina). Another point to consider is the low quality of the image, it seems incredible that such a sophisticated machine takes a picture so grainy.

10. Minority Report (2002)

Minority Report

To play like Minesweeper must go to the gym every day.

At first, that files and folders that could move with a gesture left us speechless. However, it does not take a lights to realize that an interface is imprecise, slow and, above all, tired arms.

The three-dimensional and tactile interfaces have no place in an environment that requires precision and speed. As Jakob Nielsen says , the great expert on usability, ” 3D is for demos, the 2D is for work . ”

What we see in the computers in the movies?

In the film , the pace is often hectic, and time is money. Therefore, you’ll never see how the protagonist waits until Windows starts: turn on the screen and you’re done. In the movies, usability is not an issue.

To summarize, the main characteristics of the computers of the films are:

* Hypervelocity: Start and Instant Off (not that they had SSD)

* Incessant beep: Each time the computer screen shows something, you hear a beep;

* Voice recognition: Fairly common that the computer obeys your commands in a loud voice;

* Speech synthesizer: Sometimes not enough to listen, you also answer (and genius);

* Mind reading: Always open the program or website that the character needs. “Gift?;

* Too complex: In general, the interface is decorated with graphics, moving parts, lights and text without meaning to it all seem more “technological”

* Large text: To be able to read from afar, of course;

* Self-destruct system: What would a computer without a self-destruct system, warning over loudspeakers in a nearly human voice without emotion?

* Connection to all computers in the world: If you have a computer, you all. That is the law in the movies where you can access from one computer to another, regardless of whether they are connected or how. Maximum interoperability.

* System is not clearly recognizable: We tend to show window contents in a partial and ambiguous, without clearly distinguishing which system is.

* Multifunction keyboard: “mouse? Why? In the movies everything is done pounding the keyboard, but always the same two key pressures. None of using any other peripherals such as mice.

What interface has impacted you most in a movie? What I found most curious or foolish?

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