Monday, 6 August 2018


The always engrossing Things Magazine directs our attention to a blog dedicated to showcasing cameos and walk-on roles by non-fictional computers in film and television.
Not only does the site fastidiously and exhaustively identify and document all the personal computers and office terminals that appear in 1990s television sitcoms, it all goes on to curate the film credits of the iconic, scenery-chewing machines like the AN/FSQ-7 (or at least the maintenance console of the mainframe), the 1958 “electronic brain” developed by the US Air Force during the Cold War as the master-control of a semi-autonomous network of that monitored American airspace and could coordinate a response to an attack from Soviet missiles. The computer has been featured in dozens of films (it does not feel right referring to the army surplus as a prop instead of a cast member) including War Games, Planet of the Apes, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, Westworld, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and many others—as often as a vision of the future as that of the past. Rather than a supercut of the AN/FSQ-7’s appearances, here is a short from the Air Force on the defensive system: