Alien technology

I just watched Alien again. Not much has changed since my DVD capsule review in Salon. It’s the same brilliant film, still beautiful to look at and genre defining all these years later.  The only thing that jumped out at me this time is just how badly the future of computing was imagined.  All the computer screens are tiny and relay mostly schematic information.  One of the main sets is a room dedicated to “mother,” the computer that runs the ship, which is really thousands of white lights and a few tiny 12 or 14 inch screens.  It’s obviously set in the era of the mainframe before the era of popular personal computing but it’s a glaring imaginative gap.


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