Iconic secret government data centers in the movies

Iconic secret government data centers in the movies

Summary: Now that the U.S. government has broken ground on America's new $1.5 billion cyber-security data center, let's look at some iconic movie data centers. Why do they always seem to go so very, very bad?

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  • Although there was a recent remake by George Clooney, when we talk iconic, we mean the 1964 movie. The premise is that most of the United States defense system is automated and the movie is mostly about how the humans try to hold back the end of the world. While no individual computer is, itself, iconic in this film, the SAC (Strategic Air Command) showcases the computer's steps leading to destruction. Great fun is had by all.

  • While technically not a massive, government datacenter, perhaps no insane, over-the-top, sentient computer is more well-known than the HAL-9000 (Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer). HAL is nuts. HAL is nuts, and yet -- we will always love him.

  • THERE IS NO SANCTUARY!!!!!!!!

    In 1976, your esteemed gallery author was 15 years old, Micheal York was astonishingly young, and the idea of everyone over 30 going to "Sanctuary" with the help of the Sandman central computer seemed both fine and reasonable.

    Your gallery author is now almost 50 and sometimes thinks we need a reverse-Logan's Run to keep the young whippersnappers out of our hair.

    So there. Get off my lawn!

Topics: Data Centers, Hardware, Storage

About

David Gewirtz, Distinguished Lecturer at CBS Interactive, is an author, U.S. policy advisor, and computer scientist. He is featured in the History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets and is a member of the National Press Club.

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14 comments
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  • Not a Movie but...

    GLADOS
    "look at me still talking when there's science to do"
    KBot
  • RE: Iconic secret government data centers in the movies

    And of course, (regarding HAL), move all characters "up" one in the alphabet and what do you have?H =>I, A => B, L => M... IBM (who did not wanrt to be associated, even in a futuristic sense, with a "killer computer".
    poppaman2
    • RE: Iconic secret government data centers in the movies

      @poppaman2 Not according to Arthur Clarke.
      fairportfan
  • RE: Iconic secret government data centers in the movies

    Let's not for get "Mother" from Alien. and on this subject you should really read this list of annoyance about computers in movies from annoyances.org: http://www.annoyances.org/exec/show/article09-127
    really funny stuff.
    Tablet_Dude
    • RE: Iconic secret government data centers in the movies

      I forgot to mention my most favorite movie computer as of lately: JARVIS from Ironman.
      Tablet_Dude
  • Colossus DID survive

    Colossus: The Forbin Project was based on the first of a book trilogy detailing how Colossus came to be, survived, was turned "OFF" and ultimately turned back ON to help mankind survive!
    philb1701
  • Computer Lottery

    I think they (US government) should sponsor a national lottery. See who guesses the correct date that the new supercomputer gets hacked. Maybe let them turn the "key" that kicks on skynet?
    trust2112@...
    • RE: Iconic secret government data centers in the movies

      @trust2112@... ok, but how to define "hacked". The old DEFCON CTF way, where the supplicant has to put a message in the root directory? Somehow 'hacked' on a computer that size would imply something along the lines of turning it into an online casino and dating site without being detected or something equally daring and grandiose.
      opcom
  • RE: Iconic secret government data centers in the movies

    Don't forget the tooth fairy.
    james347
  • RE: Iconic secret government data centers in the movies

    Well, not a government data centers and not a movie (I still wonder why not, because it is a great book) but in Matt Ruff?s "Gas, Water, Sewer" there is a really mean Supercomputer/Datacenter as well - that has all to be iconic ...
    sglietz
  • HAL is nuts.

    You have to remember that, just as in real life, HAL was driven insane by the illogical demands of his users!
    waltz@...
  • RE: Iconic secret government data centers in the movies

    The computer center in "Colossus" was, in fact, the studio's payroll computer.
    fairportfan
  • No one remembers Proteus IV?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demon_Seed

    Poor name, decent story.
    katkins@...
  • RE: Iconic secret government data centers in the movies

    +1 V M S = W N T, although VMS operators don't see it as a +1 haha.
    opcom