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  01x02 - FUD
 Posted: 06/11/14 04:30
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Previously on AMC's Halt & Catch Fire.

What is this anyways, some kind of job interview? Maybe, depends on you.

I see Cardiff Electric as ready to take the jump.

You answer to me.

Reverse engineer an IBM PC with me.

Build a machine that nobody else has the balls to build.

We get out of this by actually building a PC clone? This is what I want to do with my life! Yes! But don't you realize what you're risking! IBM's legal team is going to liquidate this company.

How the hell did IBM find out about this? I told them.

Taylor: When did Joe MacMillan come to you with the idea to reverse engineer the IBM PC? Um, ahem, that's factually incorrect.

John Bosworth and Nathan Cardiff approached me about a new PC program on April 4th of this year.

IBM attorney: Let me get this straight.

You were hired to write a replica of our BIOS code, but you won't be looking at our BIOS code.

You seem like a good kid.

We're not here for you, so why don't you just Look, I don't need to look at your BIOS because I'm not interested in copying garbage.

Sure, I might decide I want to spend the rest of my natural life waiting to move an instruction without a 16-bit bus, but other than that, I'm not looking at that binder.

Then why you? - Excuse me? Why you? You're a mainframe software engineer.

You certainly don't build anything.


Clark does not have to theorize as to why I have more microcomputing experience than anyone here.

Just so I understand, you're saying that your past failures in this area somehow qualify you to spearhead the Cardiff PC program? IBM attorney: What do you think they got her on for? - Four, five, weeks? - However long it takes to finish the BIOS.

Just so we're clear, if you do decide to open this binder, you'll be the first one that goes to jail.

(door closes) - (turns water off) You're up right now.

That ain't right.

It just ain't right.

Just go in, stick to the script.

You think this is easy? Parrot out a couple of outright lies, go home, sleep like a champ.

You got a lot to learn, son.

You don't think IBM's ever lied? I don't know.

Don't care.

Look, I need you to understand that I did what I did because it was right, not just for me, for you, for everybody.

If I'd come in here a week ago and asked nicely, you would have laughed me out of the room.

I'd have kicked your ass is what I would a done.

And I still might.

(Door opens) Dale, no lawyers.

Why? I know what you're gonna say.

You've coached your team well.

All we did was stay in bounds.

You tell the boys at Boca Raton they've written a nice BIOS here.

It'll be tough to beat.

But rest assured, ours will contain no copyrighted material, Cameron Howe will be completely isolated in a clean room environment, she'll have no contact with Gordon Clark or his reverse-engineering work.

Any similarities in the code will be completely coincidental, just like Columbia Data.

Just like Compaq.

You know the legal loophole as well as I do.

Honestly, I don't care.

I'm more interested in where the hell you've been the last year and a half.

You left without saying good-bye.

Told any of your new friends about that day? Say all your ducks are in a row.

Maybe we just sue you anyway.

Just bury you in paperwork and legal costs.

You see that gentleman out there? That's our in-house counsel, Barry Shields.

He costs Cardiff Electric $55,000 a year, and no matter how many hundreds of lawyers you drop from the sky, we're gonna stick with Barry.

Just Barry.

We will ruin his life.

And if this ever goes to trial, you'll lose 'cause at the end of the day, you have nothing.

Have a nice flight.

(car doors close) - So, we're good.

We're perfect.

So, hey, I write the BIOS code, then what? What exactly are we building? (theme music playing) That's physically impossible.

I mean, it's literally a physics problem.

I don't understand.

This is seriously all we're building.

Look, you don't get it.

The market moves by increments.

The next machine that hits the shelves is either faster or cheaper.

It can't be both, you know.

That's impossible.

It's What are you talking about, pure megahertz here, or - (pen clicks) - or maybe we could we could crank up the crystal or attack at the software.

Joe, that's interesting.

That's really interesting.

Wait, what? Back up! This is nothing.

This is boring.

This is a lawn mower or a microwave.

Let me guess, you're one of those idea people.

If by "idea people," you mean I'm familiar with technology that wasn't obsolete a decade ago.

Gordon: Have you ever even touched a piece of hardware? See, that's the problem with you entitled school kids.

You've got a lot of fancy theories, but you've never actually been close to the metal.

If real theory is that I want to do something a little bit more than two times everything that everybody else is doing! Computers should have photo-realistic screens.

They should have a million pixels and be self-learning and run expert systems.

They should beat me at chess.

And maybe HAL can have human emotions, too, and steer the ship while we're sleeping.

So we're just building another boring beige box? You're not building anything, okay? - I am.

What's that supposed to mean? Hey, why are you two still in the same room? No, from here on in, we do this thing aboveboard, to the letter of the law.

And that means you two don't so much as smile at each other on your way to the ladies' room.

Fine, get her out of here.

Debbie, can you deal with slim here? So, what is it that y'all are doing for us again? Writing BIOS code.

It's "Basic Input Output Software.

" It's what first runs when you turn the computer on.

So, like WordStar? So, BIOS boots the computer, which allows you to load the operating system and then you can run WordStar.

So I can write a little love letter to my boyfriend? That right? Yeah, something like that.

Welcome to the clean room.

You know, there's a three-for-one at Sanger's all weekend.

They got great stuff.

So, I have to stay here while you write the The entire time? Yeah, I'm legally required to keep the clean room log.

Maintain the Chinese wall between you and that tainted engineer.

Okay, hey.

Listen up here, y'all.

Hey! I'm gonna catch up on a few things here.

All right, this here's Joe MacMillan.

He is the new ahem Senior Product Manager at Cardiff Electric's new Personal Computer Division.

(chuckles) Yeah, Joe comes to us from IBM, sorta.

He's only been with us a short while, but he's already made quite an impact.

Joe, you wanna - Oh, thanks, John.

And I'd be remiss if I didn't say that it wasn't your faith, your foresight, and, if you'll excuse me, your brass balls that got us here.

(chuckling) By moving forward with this endeavor, you have helped establish Cardiff Electric as an industry trailblazer well into the 21st century.

A round of applause for John.

(applause) Now, you may have heard some rumors over this last week.

Perhaps you saw some unfamiliar blue suits in the building, heard the same whispers I did.

"Change is about to come down.

" Well, I'm here today to tell you that those rumors were true.

Change is coming to Cardiff, and I'm pleased to announce that each and every one of you will have a role to play in this company's bright future.

Now, I've only got two rules for our new PC division.

One, let's have a lot of fun.

(applause) And, two let's make a lot of money, right? (applause) And if we get one and two right, well, we just might change the way people work, the way people live, and how they interact with each other.

We just might put a ding in the universe, right? - (applause) - Hey, what's your name? - Tara.

Tara, so good to meet you.

You know Gordon, hi, can I just borrow you for a second? - Just one second.

Yeah, sure.

Here we are.

This is you.

Look who's moving up in the world.

Now you got a window and everything.

Jobs, "ding in the universe.

" Steve Jobs, the guy who runs Apple, he said that a few years ago.

Yeah, I know.

Isn't it great? You should go home, get a good night's sleep.

You've got a big day tomorrow.

Why? Well, tomorrow you start building tomorrow.

"Lido Shuffle" playing - (singing with radio) - Lido missed The boat that day he left the shack Just long enough to grab a handle off the top Next stop Chi-town Lido put the money down and let it roll He said one more job oughta get it One last shot 'fore we quit it One for the roa.


(horn honks) - Lido Whoa-oh-oh-oh "Pay to Cum" playing.

She says it helps her think.

(music gets louder) - (music stops) - I'm guessing this is you.

Oh, awesome.


He'll pay for it.

Do you wanna tell me what you're doing? Uh, writing BIOS for a machine no one's gonna give a shit about.

(chuckles) You're right.

You're right.

Who cares about the machine? What really matters are the people who will use it.

If we lower the cost, we lower their barrier to entry, and by doubling the speed, we allow them to do twice as much.

So, now we've got twice as many people using our computer for twice as long.


You practice that in a mirror? Look, I don't think you appreciate the opportunity we have here to Mm-mmm, I heard all about it.

"Have fun, make money.

" And then a whole bunch of other shit that you either made up entirely or stole from someone else.

You're just a salesman.

(music resumes) "Plain Sailing" playing.

So? I think I'm not positive, but I have good reason to believe that we're gonna be okay.

So, IBM and - Gone.

Joe was right.

We played 'em right out the door.

So you're gonna get to - I start tomorrow - in my new office.


Window and everything.

Oh, look at you, big shot.

Where are the kids? - They're playing next door at the Hang on.

I'm trying to - Let's go to the bedroom.


I have to take Joanie to the dentist tomorrow.

They might have to pull a tooth.


You should stop by Cardiff.

I'm gonna have to take her back to school.

Oh, come on.

I know she hates the dentist.

Maybe it'll be a treat to stop by and see her daddy afterwards.

Besides, you can see my new office.

Who'd you get, by the way? - Hmm? - To write the BIOS? I bet MacMillan had some guy all lined up, right? He did, yeah.

Who? - Cameron Howe.

What's his background? Austin Tech, I think.

Well, he must be the real deal if you're on board.


(clicking) (groans) (light switch clicks) Anyway, I chased them blue bastards out of town, I tell you what.

Can you imagine the 'stangs go undefeated and still miss out on Georgia? Can you imagine Dickerson in the Sugar Bowl? Oh, he would a run all over them dogs, huh? McIlhenny still got a good arm on him, though.

I tell ya, I bet he throws for 1,000 yards this year if he throws for a dozen.


Makes you want to suit up.

Doesn't it, Carl? You were a pretty damn good player in your day, you know? So you think you're gonna kick into the player recruitment fund this year? I think I'm gonna kick in big in the fall.

Mm, not sure yet.

Hey, Carl? Hey, how we doing system-wise over at your place? Know what I'm gonna do? I'm gonna send over a couple boys with some upgrades, just, y'know, to make sure everything's running top-notch.

How about that? You know? No invoices.



Just a favor between two 'stangs.


(racquetballs thumping) (gasps) Where is she? I have no idea.

She's kind of interesting, though, you know? Wears those army clothes.

Why don't you get some air? I'll deal with her from now on.

I gotta maintain the clean room log.

Barry, you've got balls on your face.

What? - I'll handle it from here.

I got what? (marker squeaking) (groans) (door slams shut) It occurs to me that you think you can do whatever you want here.

This isn't your playground, and contrary to what you might think, I know what code looks like, and this certainly isn't code.

You're right.

No, you're right.

Yeah, this isn't code.

As you can tell.

I'm trying to decide if we need to do this multiplication in order to align on octal boundaries.

Now, my gut says, and I'm sure you'd agree, that we can do a shift-left-together three-bit-zero fill to the right, which is faster and gives the same result on the accumulator on the 186, but I don't know, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Joe: You're stuck.

Do you even know what you're trying to do? What, like you'd know? (chuckles) Give me a minute.

Maybe I could help.

(scoffs) - (cap clicks) - (marker clatters) All right.

What are you doing? - I don't want to think about this anymore.

(unzips zipper) I need to clear my mind.

Then take a break.

(scoffs) Like, we can get a soda with Debbie and the rest of the 700 Club? I'm not them.

You need to go upstairs, get back to your terminal.

(zips pants) So, are we gonna do this, or what? (elevator dings) Secretary: Cardiff Electric, how may I direct your call? - (whistles) - Secretary: Please hold.

Gordon: I'll state for the record again that we know nothing about that girl or what she's capable of.

You're right.

Once she writes the BIOS code, we should cut her loose.

What do you mean? As soon as she finishes the BIOS code, there's no more legal threat, we don't need her anymore.

Oh, well, okay, yeah.

Yeah, good.

Good riddance.

Makes perfect sense to me, but right now we need her in the clean room.

Then you go down and talk to her.

I'm not even supposed to be on the same floor as her.

Look, if she's not at her desk inputting keystrokes, then she's not writing BIOS code, okay? We need her writing BIOS code.


(elevator dings) Mommy, I want to see.

Okay, but real quick, all right? 'Cause Mommy has to go back to work.



(door opens, closes) Donna: All right, get in there.

Let's take a look.

Do you see way back in there? That's right.

That's where it used to be.

It looks like the Grand Canyon back there.

Tooth fairy's got a good one for tonight.

It feels slimy on my tongue.

Sweetheart, that's gross.

Go ahead, wash your hands.

You all done, honey? Gotta get the hard-to-reach ones.

Oh, Joanie.

I'm sorry, we just came from the dentist.

(spits) Um I'm Donna.


Gordon: Oh, did that hurt? - Joanie: Nope.

No way.

Low five.

You are braver than brave, Dr.


All right, ladies.

I'll see you Saturday for the soccer game.

And Vicki's gonna drop off some homemade donuts that are pow! Real good.

Keep those knees high, Dr.


Thanks, Brian.

So, what do you think? New office, my own office.

Not too shabby, huh? You okay? The dentist just went long.

Speaking of which, we should probably get back.

You ready to go, monkey? - Okay, well - Bye, Daddy.

Bye, love you.

Love you, too.

"Badly Bruised, Slightly Stoned" playing.


I don't need your help right now.

Look, I need this to be what I need it to be, not what you want it to be.

I need something that runs IBM PC programs faster than an IBM PC.

What? I told them I wouldn't look at the original code.

I'd let you do this yourself if we had the time, but we don't.

This gets us in a door that's closing fast.

Once we're in, then we can handle those big ideas of yours.

Yeah, if I copy that code, I go to jail.

IBM knows you're gonna look at this.

You change your BIOS just enough to stay out of trouble.

Then, within a year, our PC's on a shelf right next to theirs.

That's how this works.

Come on, let's get in the game.

I'm working, so why don't you go do whatever it is a product manager does? (book thuds) Jesus.

Mm, that was great.

Can I take that? Are you done? Here, no, let me get that.

No, no, I got it.

No, let me get it.



So, did you get back to work okay today? No, not till after 3:00.

Thank God Hunt didn't notice.

Look, Cameron's a girl, okay? She's a girl.

I'm sorry, I don't know why I didn't tell you that.

Cameron Howe is a girl.

Joe hired her.

It was his call.

I said girl, but she's weird.

She did go to Austin Tech, but I met her today.

Oh, why didn't you say anything? Why didn't I say anything? Look, don't worry, okay? She's just writing the BIOS and then bon voyage.

Yeah, well, let's just hope Joe was right.

"Blank Generation" playing (chatter) I was sayin', "Let me out of here" Before I was even born It's such a gamble when you get a face It's fascinatin' to observe (scoffs) When I dine, it's for the wall that I set a place - I belong to the blankgeneration - (groans) And I can take it or leave it each time Well, I belong to the generation, but I can take it or leave it each time What? I can take it or leave it each time Well, I belong to the generation, but I can take it or leave it each time Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh We-ooh.

Excuse me, miss? Miss, we need to talk to you.

Hey! - What? Okay, I'll pay for it.

We've got an opportunity we want to talk to you about.

Hey, Maylene? - Maylene: Yes? Why can't I get Carl Suberry on the phone? - Let me try his office.

No, I tried his office and tried his home and tried that car phone thing he's got.

You know, what about Jeff Martin over at EDS? His office says he's still in a meeting.

(scoffs) (frantic chatter) Salesman: ClubSys is also pulling out.

Salesman #2: Get him on the phone.

Get him now.

Salesman #3: Yes, sir.

John: What the hell is going on? Salesman #3: That is actually yes, sir.

Salesman #4: That's three off the board.

Turner, what are you doing? - What's happening? - We just lost Granger to IBM.

Get him back on the phone.

Get him back John, we're being raided.

Here, is that Jim? Jim, Jim, Jim.

Hey, Jimmy.

Hey there, hey there.

Let me walk you back, now.

Let me walk you back.

We've been in business 11 years.

I'd hate to see you hightail it to IBM now.

Come on, Jim.

They're de-installing all Cardif systems at Texas Communications.

Well, do something about it, Gordon.

God get Jim back on the line.

IBM is undercutting us by 300 grand.

Get him on the phone now! - Okay, I'm sorry.

Is this Bill? Hey, Billy, how are ya? No, no, let me talk you down now, friend.

Come on.

Hold on.

We've lost American Airlines, Texas Comm, ClubSys, EDS, General Dynamics, and seven others.

Let me help.

You've been here 10 days, for God's sake.

I know this business.

Son, this is about relationships.

It's something you wouldn't understand.

Here, talk him back.

Get out of my way.

Salesman: Bill, yeah.

Carl, come on now.

Carl, it's John here.

Don't do this to me.

Come on, Carl.

You gonna make me beg for this? Fine.

Fine, you wanna jump ship, you climb aboard with IBM, you be my guest.

But you just remember it was me that computerized your outhouse of a company 15 years ago.

Yeah? Yeah, well, you were a lousy receiver whose ass rode the bench better than he ever ran a damn route, Carl! (sighs) Carl's a no.

Then assuming ADP stays out represent 68% of our core billing.

Oh, God.

So, um, how severely will these setbacks affect the new PC program in terms of Without these 15 clients, and given it's current overhead burn and size, Cardiff Electric will be able to maintain operation for a little less than two months.

Two months? John: Did you get that, Gordon? - (thuds) - Two months? John: Because what Alan is saying and I wanna be clear on this is that IBM just sliced our throats and left us to bleed out like a hog on a hook, and come next week, half those people out there, they're gonna be out of a job, out on the street, because of your personal computer.

You know this would happen, though.

It's all part of the plan.

Tell me you have a plan, Joe.

(sighs) - Wow.


You were just pretending.

You're like one of those guys who goes out and reads "Catcher in the Rye" too many times and then decides to shoot a Beatle.

Only in this story, I'm the Beatle.

Because you read my article in a magazine.

You read my article and you made a plan and never once did you stop to think that something like you just recited your magic words with a big, awful smile? (crashes) (clanking) Where is it? Come on, where is it? (crashing) Joe? (panting) Where is she? The BIOS.

What? Where's the binder, Joe? Please tell me you didn't give her the binder.

The assembly language code, the IBM BIOS.

Damn it, you wanted her back on track! Don't put this on me! You basically told me to give it to her! We're going to jail.

We're not going to jail.

There's always another move.

There was.

It was don't give her the binder.

Maybe she's not gone.

Maybe she just stepped out.

Look, she's not here.

She's sure as hell not at her terminal.

And since we know absolutely nothing about this girl, unless she's in the ladies' room, we are Look at this.

The way she shortcuts the What a mess.



No, it's brilliant.

It's brilliant.

(bull pen chatter) (chatter stops) That's a cassette system.

New on the market.

I could take a little bit more off that for you.

"Jazz Spot" playing.

They's marked for the recession, you know.

I mean, I don't mean to chalk it up to stagflation (music stops) just can't seem to move any product.

But you know how that is, right? You're a salesman.

(snaps fingers) I knew it.

Birds of a feather.

So you're going out of business? Yeah, I can't remember my last customer.

I'm a customer.

Sell me a stereo.


That's the MRF-1080.

True reference system, moving coil What's your problem? - Excuse me? - Where did you go wrong? Why is this store going out of business? There must be a reason.

I want to know what it is.

Beats me.

I mean, the sound quality's great.

People just don't wanna invest You just didn't see it coming.

Look, man, I don't know what this is about, but - (songs overlapping) - Hey, don't do that.

Hey, man, don't b you touch it, you gotta buy it, all right? - You're gonna blow out the speakers! - Is that your job? Come on! If you can't see it, why are you even here? I'm calling the cops.

(music continues playing) (doorbell rings) This'll only take a minute.


What do you want? (chuckles) Sadly, I can't stay.

Headed back on the 9:30 red-eye tonight.

Wanted to take care of one last thing before we left, though.

When you walked out, you never gave formal notice.

Back wages.

You had some vacation days in the system you never used.



There you go.

(latches clicks) $615.


I did over $2 million worth of damage to the data center.

Yeah, well, after the insurance claim, we ended up making money on that deal, too.

Consider your IBM employee file officially closed.

That is, unless you come back with us on the plane tonight.

We even booked you a seat, just in case.

It's business class, aisle.

Pretty nice.

I like it here.

Well, I promised your old man I'd give it a shot.


I'd say he'll be disappointed, but he's pretty disappointed already.

You may like it out here now, but let's see what happens when they find out what you really are.

(laughs) (door opens) (engine starts) "Lido Shuffle" playing (turns engine off) - Hey, where is it? - (car door closes) - Where's what? - The binder, the BIOS.

Did you give it to IBM? What am I really here for, huh? What, four or five weeks, as long as it takes to write it, right? Then what? I'm gone? What? No.

N-no, no, who told you that? Portability.

People need to be able to take it anywhere.

It's going to have a handle.

A handle? Oh, my God, Joe.

I gotta give it to you.

This changes everything.

A handle.

What a revolutionary idea.

So it's still a piece of shit copy of a boring box? Joe, she gave the binder to IBM.

You did what? I never said I gave the binder to IBM.

Then where is it? - What does it matter? You were gonna fire me after the BIOS anyway.

Yeah, can you blame us? - Oh, so it's true.


Not to worry, IBM offered me a job, triple the salary, so Excellent, excellent.

It's a great place to work.

I could write you a recommendation.

Would you? - That's right.

That's right, you used to work at IBM.

That was before you came here and ruined several people's lives and an entire company.

Before me, you were boozing, not building, and your balls were in a box by your wife's bedside table.

Stop it, man! Holy shit.

I was nine.

There were some boys at my school who used to chase me.

I didn't care about the New York Giants like they did.

I cared about Sputnik.

I was nuts about it.

I was passionate.

Nobody told me yet that adults are supposed to be ashamed of those feelings.

I learned that lesson the night the Colts beat the Giants.

'58 Championship, greatest game ever played, and I didn't see a single snap.

I was hooked up to machines at St.


To this day, I don't blame them.

I don't think they meant to chase me off the roof.

After IBM, I went across the country just looking for answers.

I'd read your article and I couldn't stop thinking about it.

Open architecture, the idea of it.

As a way of life.

It kept me up at night.

It made me that kid again, and I tracked you down to COMDEX and watched as they chased you, too, and your beautiful machine right off the ledge.

And you, when I saw you, everything about you threatens people.

I thought that maybe we could do this precisely because we're all unreasonable people and progress depends on our changing the world to fit us.

Not the other way around.

I want to believe that.

I must believe that.

Tomorrow, I will show up at 7:00 A.


and I will keep going.

You don't have to join me, but something tells me you both need this just as much as I do.

(elevator dings, doors open) Hey.

Greatest game ever played? My dad used to tell me bedtime stories about it as a kid.

Overtime, Raymond Berry's The game was December '58.

Sputnik came down almost a year before that.

Is that right? (music playing)

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