Why Is It ... Hacking On TV And In Movies

Why is it that on TV shows and in movies, whenever someone manages to 'hack' into the ultra-top-secret target, all the documents on that system open up and populate the entire screen?

I mean, if it's a previous session, who leaves their workspace that way? And if that's what happens on every login, you have to ask, what good would an OS like that be? Every time you login it helpfully opens up every single file you've ever created? Talk about usability.

Animated GIF of the Knight Rider showHacking on the Knight Rider show
Gif was made using gifninja

Or maybe, it's a booby trap. You know, open up a whole bunch of dummy files in an infinite loop until the machine runs out of memory and the hackers get nowhere. Check this grab from the current Knight Rider series, season 1, episode 17 to see what I'm talking about.

[Update] 09 Mar 2009
Forgot that Picasa doesn't support animated gifs. Grumble.


The Red Queen said...

LOl I completely agree with you. Also the same when you have someone building viruses (or virii?). It's like they need an IDE to build them.

no.good.at.coding said...

@The Red Queen-
Heh, yeah! :) And talking about viruses, have you noticed how conveniently they're able to run on just about any machine? We have problems getting Java apps running consistently everywhere and Java was designed to be platform independent!

Some other rules that movies and series seem to follow:
* Every computer is networked
* There is only one OS; or at least, every OS is binary-compatible
* Every computer runs an awesome looking GUI with transparency and other effects, even mainframes
* There is only one kind of hardware interface port and only one protocol that all devices work with
* Progress bars are accurate to the millisecond

Can't think of any more right now :D Maybe I'll put up a new post once I collect enough!

Wolfestine said...

Yeah... I have always wondered y they put in so much effort to portrait something the way that it isn't. There was Swordfish that i can think of at the moment which had one such scenes that involved hacking, and the hacker usually gets this screen where things start to piece together, and when it's done, the 'access granted' message is flashed on the screen. Also they do this thing where the entire network seems to be visible in 3D, and the hacker is simply transported to the server he want to hack into. I hate it when they do such things.

PS: Picasa does support animated GIFs.

no.good.at.coding said...

@Wolfenstine: I suppose it's all for the benefit of the laymen :)

Hm, I guess Picasa does support animated GIFs. I think I uploaded a PNG by accident!