A Halt and Catch Fire Community
Sunday 10:00 PM on AMC

According to my extensive research on the subject, AMC's newest drama, Halt and Catch Fire, is named after internal code instructions that cause a computer's CPU to "cease meaningful operation." It's a silly title for a TV series, even one that's about the rise of the computer age, but it's also the equivalent of what happens to my brain when I'm watching Lee Pace in anything, so I will let it slide. 

Halt and Catch Fire stars Pace as Joe MacMillan, a former IBM employee who, in 1983, decides to reverse-engineer the IBM computer for his current company, Cardiff Electric. With the help of a former engineer (Scoot McNairy) who's always wanted to create a revolutionary product and a prodigy (Mackenzie Davis) who risks everything to join MacMillan's rogue project, the trio attempts to break into the computer race. And now AMC has released the first trailer for the series, which premieres Sunday, June 1 at 10pm:


What do you think? Does Halt and Catch Fire look good to you? 


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 8/2/2015

Season 2 : Episode 10

Next Episode

TONIGHT AT 10PM

Season 3 : Episode 1

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I've seen the pilot and it was great, full of computer stuff i didn't get at first, but it looks promising...
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I'll have trouble remembering the show's name till it starts, but I do look forward to it. Excellent use of the song Sweet Dreams by Eurythmics, I LOVE the '80s :D
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I think I might pass on this too, but Lee Pace is still a hunk biscuit!
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Not having watched Betas or Silicon Valley, I'm a bit intrigued by this. Starting a new tech company, and bringing your first product to market, especially when you're competing with the likes of IBM, could make for some interesting drama. The challenges and setbacks involved should provide lots of fodder for the writers, and of course the stakes will be enormous. Think Compaq, or Dell, before they made it big.

As for the title, it's based on a humorous and period specific bit of computer-speak, that figuratively (and sometimes literally) describes what can happen when engineering a new product. The more modern, and Windows specific BSOD, would be an anachronism, and not nearly as appropriate.

Today, personal computers have become such a ubiquitous commodity that we often forget how they started. Having worked in the computer industry between 1980, when the first PC came out, and 1984, when the Macintosh arrived, I remember the excitement that surrounded each new product release, that either added capabilities, improved performance, or lowered the price significantly. Think of the way Almost Famous brought back the the 70s music scene, and hearing Elton John and David Bowie for the very first time. If they can capture some of this kind of excitement, and draw viewers into this world and era, the show should be well worth watching. If they get bogged down in techno-speak and engineering details, it might be less so. But the tunes should at least be good.

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looks promising
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Betas, Silicon Valley and now this? Why do executives think this is cool right now?
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Lee Pace = I'm watching it.
The trailer looks good too.....but then, I just really like that song. And Lee Pace. And whoever the blonde chick was.....she really pulls off the short hair.
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The trailer was really bad, didn't grab my attention at all. Booo AMC.
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Maybe they should have called it 'Blue Screen of Death'. I've always liked that phrase.
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Before there was a Blue Screen of Death, there was the Black Screen of Death. (an emtpy black screen with an underline cursor blinking in the upper left corner.
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I got one of those once. So much for that PC.
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I was convinced my brother was pulling my leg about that being a (semi-)official term for the longest time....
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AH! June 1st can't come soon enough... but in the words of Thranduil, King of the Woodland Realm... "I'm patient. I can wait."
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http://variety.com/2014/digital/news/amc-previews-halt-and-catch-fire-tv-series-on-yahoos-tumblr-1201186021/
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I do love me some Lee Pace, so I'll be checking it out
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Ned from Pushing Up Daisies?!? That's it, im sold.
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I don't understand what half these comments are talking about.
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As always non-North Americans shut out.

Here it is:
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Thanks!
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Why.
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Sounds like the show for me! Next to pies and waking the dead, early computers are my favorite topic.
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You mean like a Commodore PET, or like a Difference Engine?
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Since I don't know what the second means and I used to have an Amiga 1000, I'll go with Commodore.
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Before Commodore bought the Amiga, they made the 128. Before that, the 64. Before that, the VIC-20. And before that, they made the PET. And a hundred years before that, Charles Babbage created the Difference Engine, the first computer.
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Sorry, I'm more of an abacus guy.
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I barely understand computers now, so i'll pass :) unless someone messages me and says he did a Richard Pryor and those eyebrows catch fire...
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Why is everybody complaining about the title?? I think it has a great flavour to it, is meaningful - and caught my interest, even if I have no sound knowledge about soft- and hardware development (besides having played Venture and Legend of Zelda like crazy when I was a teen).

So, yeah, basically I will watch this show, because of its interesting title and hopefully its good story!
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Can't understand why anyone would think this would be an interesting topic to watch every week.
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You wouldn't think watching people sit in a bar all night would be entertaining, but Cheers ran ten seasons.
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That's a good point. But, 1) I don't think they every described Cheers that way; and 2) a comedy can get away with a fairly simplistic premise. Drama? Not so much.
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That can be said for A LOT of shows, unfortunately it doesn't stop people from watching shit. I hope it's good though!
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Fair point. But, I'm curious (truly) what is it about the description that sounds interesting to you?

I'm a computer programmer and techie nerd, so I'm usually into geek topics, but a whole series about trying to reverse engineer a PC? I don't see the appeal.
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It's not a whole series about trying to reverse engineer a PC. That process took up about 10 minutes of Episode 1 which is now freely watchable. The series is about the social, technological, and legal mayhem of the 1980s PC movement that only started with reverse engineering IBM's BIOS. So far in episode 1 we see a couple trying to keep their marriage together, and we see the drama unfolding of businessmen and lawyers getting caught up in a legally dangerous situation that is actually one of the most prominent highlights of earthshaking twists in American law and business of that decade.
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I mean, I love Pace just like every other human... but nope.
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Silcon Valley is all the PC programming (no pun intended) I need this season.
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Ha, I just found out The Tick is on Netflix the other night and watched some episodes!
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SPOON!
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Love the live action series, I've been re-watching the cartoon recently.
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i might try it out but who knows how long it will last
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I suppose this is a bad time to point out that reverse-engineering the PC was a trivial task, since it was built with industy-standard parts provided by other companies. The only part difficult to reverse-engineer was the BIOS code, which the first clone-makers solved by just copying it (back then, copyright law didn't say anything about computer software and therefore no one knew that BIOS code was covered by copyright law as "literary works".)

1983 is actually kind of late in the microcomputer revolution... all the really fun stuff happened in the 1970's, running up to about 1981. In 1983, IBM had already come out with a new model to replace the original PC, the PC/XT, and was preparing a new system the PC/AT, built around a different processor. (And it also announced the PCjr).
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I disagree. The US copyright office held that computer software was copyrightable even before the mid-1960s. And a quick google netted an excerpt of the Copyright Act of 1976 which made it absolutely clear.

IBM's lawyers certainly knew its BIOS was protected by copyright. There's even a big "(C) IBM 1981" printed on the chip. It's why the "clean room" approach was a very big thing back then, and this is mentioned in the pilot.
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Ah, the days of PCs and XTs and those curiously wonderful green, monochrome monitors. I worked with (and on) the very first ATs that IBM shipped to my city and still recall being nearly agog at what a difference those 8MHz machines made versus their 4.77MHz predecessors. Good times. Really!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, as is true of most of AMC's new projects, I'm not particularly interested in watching this, Lee Pace or not.

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The first AT models ran at 6MHz. Faster than 4.77, but not that much faster. The biggest difference was that a stock AT came with 512K of RAM, while the original PC had 64 and an XT came with 256. And, of course, all the storage space one could ever need... 20MB on one drive, TWICE what the XT offered.
Don't forget the video offerings... in 1983, The PC came with your choice of a monochrome display adapter (80x25 characters) or the color graphics adapter (320x200, with 4 colors (not a typo)).
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Ah, I was thinking it might have been 6MHz as I wrote that but it was so long ago and I didn't feel like doing the research.

Some of those old habits really die hard. Despite running 64-bit Windows, I still spend nearly as much at the command prompt as I do in more modern graphical programs, albeit with the vastly superior TCC rather than the dreadful-by-comparison CMD.

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Horrrible name, but I'll check it out.
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It doesn't because it's not available. Oh well.
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Not available in my country... But, Lee Pace always looks good to me. The pie-maker returns!
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Terrible name. Should be called "Engineers Rule"

Can I watch this and "Silicon Valley" or will the nerdy tech universe implode?
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Excited for the show, name doesn't roll off the tongue. This + Turn? Looking forwRd to AMC's future.
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halt and catch fire is a fucking terrible name. maybe inside out would have been better seeing as that is what they are doing to the computer. turning it inside out.
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