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  01x03 - High Plains Hardware
 Posted: 06/17/14 06:02
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Previously on AMC's Halt & Catch Fire This here is the new Senior Product Manager at Cardiff Electric's new Personal Computer Division.

What exactly are we building? That's physically impossible.

This ever goes to trial, you'll lose.

You got a ROM chip, that's like the brain that remembers all the words.

We need her writing BIOS code.

You're stuck.

Do you even know what you're trying to do? I did what I did because it was right.

For you, for me, for everybody.

What's happening? - We're being raided.

IBM just sliced our throats.

Tell me you have a plan, Joe.

Is it alive? Haley: Mommy, is it okay? Joanie: Mommy, fix it.

Make it better.

Girls, girls, Mommy's gonna be right back, okay? Haley: Why don't its wings work? Gordon, is it breathing? Barely.

Brian: Yeah, watch out for mites.

Well, is there something we can do? - Give it some water, or - I think we're beyond that.

(sighs) I should take it to the vet.

Honey, the girls have to get to school.

And with your car in the shop Yeah, yeah, you're right.

Hey, you need a ride, neighbor? Donna: Oh, that would be so great.

Yeah, thanks, Brian.

Hey, no problemo.

Poor little sucker.

Let go, let God, right? Hey, man.

Don't sweat today.

You can do this.

(Chirping) (loud whirring) "Are 'Friends' Electric?" playing in background You know I hate to ask But are "friends" electric? Only mine's broke down And now I've no one to love Mm, mm-mm, mm-mm Look, it's not your fault.

It's no one's fault.

It's like when you get an early snow and it freezes your orange grove.

And then the farmer has to find another way to deliver the juice.

Even if every snowflake is totally unique like you.

(Door opens) - Gordon, what the hell? - You're my 11:45.

You got us milling around out there like a bunch of Frenchmen.

Randy, I'm with someone.

Randy: I'll wait in line for a Ferris wheel.

I'll wait in line for a beer.

But damned if I'll wait around till 11:45 to get fired by flipping you or flipping Joe MacMillan.

Wait, you're firing me? I'm being fired? - Just calm down.

My reference letter.

And don't worry, I wrote it myself.

Sign it.

Oh, my God, I gotta call Patty.

Randy: And can I just say on behalf of a once-great company, I look forward to driving past here when the "For Lease" signs get nailed to the lawn and your little PC vision quest crashes and burns.

(theme music playing) That's not portable, that's luggable.

And those are the combined sales figures for Coleco, Vectrex, and Atari.

Video games.


Proof that America wants these machines in their homes.

And how did the PC business respond? With a cassette deck, a sewing machine, and a carburetor.

We're not making a carburetor.

We're making this.

By the end of this year, Cardiff Electric will release to the market a truly portable computer with two disk drives, integrated screen, and keyboard, weighing no more than 15 pounds.

(laughter, chatter) Anyone that knows anything about microprocessing You've got that number wrong, right, Gordon? It's gonna take a million dollars and four times the size of this desk - Yes, that's correct.

(chatter stops) It's ambitious.

You know who was good with screens? - Randy.

Sure was.

Say, where is Randy? Oh, that's right, you fired him.

Run out to the parking lot.

Maybe you can flag him down.

Gordon, outside.

Brian: Guys, relax.

Man: No, I'm not relaxing.

Wake up, Brian.

We used to build products that people would buy.

We're not even in reality anymore.

Listen - Larry, we're dealing with (door closes) These are the guys you chose? After I let go of 46 people this morning, something I'm in no way qualified to do.

I'm worried about their attitude.

Their attitude is based on the laws of physics, which, if I were you, I'd bone up on.

You're looking at our only engineers with any microprocessor experience at all.

They're what's left, so, yeah, these are my guys.

"Advice" playing on headphones They tell you you're a mess They tell you how to dress They tell you what you've found They tell you about your sound Advice, and it's good for you Advice, I don't need your - Advice - Hey.

And they tell you how to wear your hair And they tell you how to care Hey.

You could at least wait until we've left the building.

(yells) Oh, thank you! You can screw your advice They tell you everything's okay And they tell you to live their way And they tell you about what's right And they tell you about white might, advice It's good for you, advice I don't need your advice You can screw your advice (mutters) (keyboard clicking) Advice, it's good for you, advice I don't need your advice You can screw your advice Advice.

Where do we put the heat sync? Well, we run it at four megahertz, maybe we don't need one.

No, it's too slow.

Craig James was slow compared to Dickerson.

Still plenty fast enough.

There's gotta be a way to add speed without adding heat.

Or you can build in a griddle and fry steaks on it.

What do you want to call this place? I guess "Skunk Works" is taken.

"The Chamber of Chipsets.

" "Logic Lair.

" We're probably gonna end up killing each other in here and ourselves.

Well, let's call it "The Kill Room.

" Man: Not bad.

Joe: So he uses the collateral to repay the money he borrowed to purchase the target.

Pretty brilliant, right? (laughs) - Who the hell's that? - Aaron Littlefield, Eiger & Littlefield Venture Capital.

"Venture capital"? Hell, I remember when it was still called "money.

" Give him five minutes.

He just flew in from New York.

Sorry, I already had lunch.

So did we.

They keep reading about the Silicon Prairie in the "Journal.

" They have cash to spend and they want exposure to this market.

Our PC could be a nice entry point.

You know I gotta clear all this with Nathan.

I already have.



Hey, John Bosworth here.

Nice to meet ya.

How was the flight? - Oh, a little bumpy, but worth it.

Well, good.

I sure as shit hope so.

I've identified the bugs in the PCBs.

We're gonna have to recall about 10,000 units.

But the bigger problem is with the keyboard bouncing.

If we could just redesign the trim, then But that's not our purview, right? How soon can I tell Mark? Monday, Tuesday at the latest.

Your folks are well? - Oh, great.

Thank you.

Only parents I ever knew who came to the game to cheer on the xylophonist.

(laughs) And how's Martine? Well, she thought that Texas Instruments meant staying in Texas.

This is our third stop in five years, so I think she wants to settle down, but But that's not the way you climb the ladder.

(chuckles) I can't believe we're talking like this climbing ladders, quarterly targets.

We are a long way from high school.

Oh, well, thank God.

My hair and that band uniform.

Hey, we all knew that you weren't cut out for band.

You were just marking time, waiting for something better to come along.

Donna not to be a pain, but I'm meeting with Mark tomorrow and that report would be helpful.

Oh, okay.

You'll have it.

(groans) (wheels squeaking) (clicks) (rings) Mr.

MacMillan's office.

Hi Debbie: Cameron? We have got an ideal business climate.

Unlimited growth curve.

And you just got your ass handed to you by IBM.

They took their shot.

They missed.

But the cash from your system packages is running out, correct? Guys, I'm gonna find out anyway.

John: How's that? - Well, we partner with you, we audit your books top to bottom, install upper management on-site, probably Roger.

You'd report to him.

Roger? It's just an option we're discussing.

At lunch? - Aaron: That's right.

You know, maybe instead of sending someone out, you do a weekly call.

Guys, I haven't even heard a rollout date yet, okay? What's your marketing strategy? How do you plan on rebuilding your client base here? We got a whole new client base.

Yeah, Joe here wants to take this machine to the people.

Yeah, no more biz-to-biz.

We're pushing doorbells and pounding pavement.

Along with a sophisticated media campaign.

Oh, sophisticated, my ass.

Come on, Joe.

We're tired of these doodad launches and corporate suites.

No, I wanna breathe me some air.

You know, mom-and-pop stores, county fairs.

Now, we may not have the track record or the balance sheet, but, by God, we got heart.

That can-do Texas spirit, y'all.

My home number's on the back.

I want you to call the ranch anytime.

Sure will.

Let me show you some sketches.

It's so good seeing you again, Joe.

I'll be in touch.

(softly) What do you think? Let 'em go? What, before midnight? You can't win a race at the quarter pole.

Seriously, buy yourself some goodwill with these guys.

(loudly) All right, thanks, everyone.

Have a good night.

Brian: Especially if we try and cram a bigger motherboard into a smaller case.

Either way, we swap out the crystal and we overclock the CPU.

Which heats up the innards, which means a bigger heat sink.

And may I remind you, we just ditched the heat sink.

(sighs) Okay.

Hey, how's it going? - No contact, remember? - I know, I know.

Look, I don't mean to pry.

(Soda can clatters) I know it's only been a week and you're under a lot of pressure, but if you could just give us some sort of idea as to I'll order a pizza.

She took my soda.

Nothing like a bubble bath to make you forget life's little traumas.

Works for me.

Oh, we also got them a little something.

Oh, you shouldn't have.

"Bowser"? It's not exactly a bird's name.

(scoffs) Poor thing's dead by now.

I expect you can call it whatever you like.

(tinny music playing) Is that Chopin's "Funeral March"? The Japanese never sleep.

Look here.

It's our back pager this month.

Your father thinks we'll move half a million.

(chuckles) "No-doubt" Dad.

It's a catalogue business, darling.

Both: "There's always doubt.

" Now, don't go telling Gordon it's from us.

I know he doesn't approve.

(water sloshing) He working late? He's got a new project.

Well, make sure he does the dishes sometime.

I love my son-in-law, but I don't wanna see you worn down to a nub.

Why, do I seem nubbish to you? You are radiant, as always.

(girls giggling) How's life at TI? You know, we haven't even seen Hunt at the club since he moved back.

Well, nose to the grindstone.

Well, maybe Fourth of July, he'll show off that foreign wife of his.

Mom, she's Canadian.

She is a guest of this country.

She can wave a flag and light something on fire like the rest of us.

Well, I don't think they'll be in Dallas long.

If management likes him, they'll probably ship him overseas.

Mm, old Hunt in Vienna or Rome, Italy.

Can you imagine? - This is very nice.

Mm-hmm, a man needs to seek shelter.

I believe we have that in common.

We don't just need money.

We need smart money.

A name.

Someone who puts us on the map.

Yeah, I know.

You weren't wrong to do what you did, but then, neither was John.

John: Hey.

A little scotch here, and I guessed.

We let you in the door, Joe, we gave you the rope.

But only one boss-dick can swing it.

Now, you're the vision guy and I'm retired and I want to stay retired.

The way that works is that John here sends me my checks, keeps me fat and happy.

So John makes the financial decisions on this project, all of them.



(chuckles) No more backstage bullshit.

I'm gonna set you up with Louise Lutherford.

An old friend of ours.

Cardiff: Mm-hmm, she is a handful but she's got more than enough capital to see us through.

And she's local, so no "Rogers.

" Yeah, that's all well and good, but does she have a background in Good evening, Seth.



Are we dining tonight? Oh, you know it.

I'll have the petit fillet.

Burn it, and peas and mash.

Porterhouse, rare.


I'll have the same.

I mean, we could recess the keyboard in the bottom cover and run the connector cable through the hinges.


No one's ever done that before.

Well, does that mean it can't be done? - No, just expensive.

Well, how else are we gonna make room for the screen? Gordon, I'm not trying to yuck your yum here.

No one wants this to work more than me.

It's a hell of a concept, but to execute it - that's tough sleddin'.

I know, I know.

(sighs) First thing tomorrow, we sit down with Joe, bring him back to Earth, tell him it can't be done.

I'll fly wingman if you want.

No, no, I'll tell him.

(grunts) - (phone rings) - What? Joe: You called earlier.

No, I don't yes, fine, yes, I did by mistake.

What? What do you want? Just checking in.

Okay, I'm all checked.

I just wanted to know - What's taking so long? You're a talented coder, but right now you're a bottleneck.

(groans) Have you considered motivational speaking? 'Cause you've got a gift, man.

Seriously, sign me up.

Send me the tapes.

Do I need to come down there? No.

Then I guess I'll - See ya.

(line clicks) (sighs) (groans) Sorry I missed your mother.

No, you're not.

(Clicking) Gordon: At least the bird's gone.

The girls were so upset, they barely ate.

Yeah? Maybe not the best night for chicken.

So, how much longer, do you think? (sighs) Couple hours.

That's an interesting layout.

If I can make it all fit.

Can you take a - No, Gordon, I have to finish this.

You're right, you're right.

I'm sorry.

(clicking continues) - Well, you know what you could do? - What? You could move the interrupt controller and then maybe scootch those parity RAM chips down.

Do you mind if I - No, no, no.

All yours.

Here and here.

Then if you rotate these DMA controllers to make room, you can Wait, wait, wait, what? Piggyback it.

Software comes and goes - Hardware is forever.


Okay, okay, that's interesting.

"Germ Free Adolescence" playing on headphones He's a germ-free adolescent Cleanliness is her obsession Cleans her teeth 10 times a day Scrub away, scrub away scrub away The S.


way You may get to touch her (music stops) (object clicks) (drawer thumps) Hi.


Those Lloyd's shoes? Who the hell's Lloyd? Come on.

Lloyd one hell of a bowler.

Good Lutheran, three kids.

I had to fire him this morning.

You think it's a good idea walking around in a dead man's shoes? Where are you headed, young lady? This is your first job, huh? Am I right? You're already rooting around the offices after hours? I heard money's tight around here.

I thought I'd switch off your light.


(chuckles) Hey, what is the difference between "Go To" and "Go Sub"? Oh, "Go To" executes the next line.

"Go Sub," you need, like, a return command at the end.

That makes no sense to me.

Yeah, it's hard at the beginning.

(sighs) - (glasses clatter) - If it weren't for your friend Joe - (Boot unzips) I'd be home right now.

(boot zipper whines) - He's different, huh? Joe? (chuckles) You take care of those shoes.

And, Cameron? You can work here as late as you'd like.

You cannot live here.

I think we can make this work.

If we actually split the motherboard and then layer one half on top of the other, run the jumpers vertically.

So you're doubling the amount of chips on each half.



Where'd you get that idea? In my kitchen.

It'd buy us a couple centimeters, for sure.

Nice work.

If we can stabilize the vertices.

Hey, why don't you let it ride for a cycle, Stan? Donna drove me in this morning, but I'm gonna need a ride home.

What's this? Gordon: It's our new motherboard.

Brian: Buddy, I thought we had one.

Not like this.

I call it a layered array.

It's really, really different.

What it is is - Yeah, I see that.

Who's gonna mass-produce a brand-new board from scratch? You think Intel or AMD is gonna reroute their entire assembly lines for us? For Cardiff Electric? Is that reasonable? I mean, what are we doing here? You're right.

I wasn't thinking that far ahead.

I just - Gordo, it's a killer idea, it is.

But we got three months.

Every bone in my body is telling me that if we try and reinvent the wheel here, man, we're gonna end up with a square wheel.

But, hey, it's your call.

(sighs) Forget it, guys.

Let's go back to alpha.

Larry: What? Are you kidding? I'll tell Joe.

(whirring, grinding) (cracks) (whirrs) (groans) (clatters) (thumps) "First Time" playing Oh Oh, oh, oh It's my first time, oh Oh, oh, oh Please be kind, oh Oh, oh, oh Don't hurt me, oh Oh, oh, oh Oh Oh, oh, oh You gonna eat all that yourself? You gonna try and take it from me? I'm Judie, this is Ajax and his asshole friend.

Ajax: Hey.

Friend: Hey, yo.


Does Cameron have money? Does it have an automobile? You mean a car? No.

You live around here? - Uh, no, I work, like, a mile that way.

Work? Like, a job? The day I sell out and get a job is the day I die.

Materialistic greed hamsters spinning their wheels.

Oh, says the guy who wants a car.

(laughs) Come nightfall we're gonna head up to Yuppie Row and tag the living crap out of it.

Until then we're just gonna hole up here, you know, thrash a bit, pound some vodka.

Thing is, we're short on vodka.

So, you're just gonna hang out here till then? Yeah, you got a better idea? Actually, yeah.

Directions to Ms.


Cocktails at 5:30, dinner at 6:00.

Well, money's money, right? Uh-huh.

(door closes) It's okay, you can go on in.

John: Loulu.

Louise: John.

You look wonderful.

Let me introduce you here to Joe MacMillan.

Of course, Joseph.

Joe MacMillan, Loulu.

Travis, Joe MacMillan here.

So, Joseph, where do you hail from? - Hudson River Valley.

Oh, I adore that area.

You get to the city? - Yes, often.

Travis and I go annually.

He ignores the opera, I sponsor it.

Last season, we saw "Figaro.

" How'd that turn out? Same way it always does, John.

It's 200 years old.

But I do hate when they try to force that poor boy to marry his own mother.

Of course.

He owes her money.

(both chuckle) John, I believe you brought a shark to my table.

No, dear.

Just a deal.

Yes, yes.

Nathan mentioned it.

I did a little research of my own.

I will take 80% of your PC project for $10 million.

That's a little aggressive.

John, IBM has poisoned your well.

I know I'm not the first name on Nathan Cardiff's Rolodex, which means your cash flow is a little stopped up, kind of like my second husband's aorta.

Our projected earnings are many multiples of that.

If there's a better deal for you elsewhere, you are welcome to take it.

Y'all excuse us? - This is insane.

Keep your voice down.

At that price, we're better off going to the banks or selling to Tandy.

All right, let me talk her off the ledge.

This person knows nothing about our machine.

She'll wrap it in velvet, call it "Bonnie Blue," and we won't be able to stop her.

Hey, partner, we're already there.

Joseph, is everything all right? (bell ringing) - He's on the call.

With Mark? Oh, God.

Maybe I could just sneak in and hand it to him.

I wouldn't.

I could just Mark, you know that and I know that, but how can we get Somerville on board? Well, I'm doing everything I can.

"We Got Your Money" playing in background I want to be a problem, oh I want to make a scene, oh I want to get reactions, oh And wake you from your dream, oh I don't care if you don't like it, oh Or you think that it's the best, oh As long as you remember, oh And then we're up with all the rest, oh Oh Oh Oh - I would like - Ow.

What's your job all about? Software.

Oh, yeah.

I think my dad does something like that.

I think.

Grimace! Grimace! And to all you frat boys, oh Tip the mamacita.

(Judie giggles) Hey, Cam.

This ink's got your name on it.


Got a good idea.

Judie: Yeah, do it up.

Whoo! Come here.

Come on, Cam.

Let's print it.

Now, just trust me.

I got it.

John: He says to her, "Absolutely not.

" And she says, "Henry, we are flying a woman into orbit on the space shuttle.

All's I'm askin' is for you to take me to oh, oh, oh, Omaha!" (laughing) Louise: Stop, you're so bad.

So, Joseph, what do we think? - About Omaha? - About the space program, Miss Sally Ride.

It's a gimmick.

You're not proud of NASA for breaking the gender barrier? The Soviets did it twice.

So it's first or not at all? Curious outlook for someone who's cloning an IBM.

Now, now, go easy on him, Loulu.

He's a Yankee.

(laughs) Sorry.

Getting into bed with you boys.

Least I can do is check the sheets and fluff the pillows.

(chuckles) Isn't that right, Travis? We're not gonna be partners.

Why's that? Because you're a bored, poisonous dilettante with time on her hands and no taste.

Two things destroy companies, Ms.

Lutherford mediocrity and making it about yourself.

I think you make everything about yourself.

That's why you rent your friends and repel everyone else.

Boz, we have a deal or not? I'll have Barry draw up the papers.

There, you see? Joseph, it's not hard.

It's just knowing your side of the saddle.

More wine? Oh, Travis, bring us some brandy.

We're celebrating.

"Take It Now" playing in background - Yo, Cam, let me finish.


(sighs, mutters) (groans) - (groans) - (lipstick clatters) I don't know jack squat about brandy.

(clatters) Fantastic meringue.

What took you so long? It's too late for brandy.

It's not brandy.

Tuke Holdsworth, 1912.

"Stabat Mater" playing in background We decided on a port.

John: I'll take a snort.

Give her a pop, Travis.

(cork pops) That pig-iron bitch had us right where she wanted us and she kicked us to the curb.

Hell, we had a deal.

We don't need her.

You tell Nathan that.

We jump-start the project, crush the timetable from six months down to three.

Build the prototype on our own dime, then show investors when we have leverage.

(engine starts) - What'd you say to her? Hey, hey.

What'd you do? We'll talk tomorrow.

And this sumbitch, I know he's gonna cash the heart ace and take the diamond finesse.

Instead, he discards spade from the dummy and plays the queen.

(laughs) I'm like, "Neville, are you a Redskins fan?" You know? Hey, man, are you all right? I'm telling you, you oughta think about joining 'cause I'm getting tired of carrying cards for these damn Yanks and mackerel snappers.

Whoa, whoa! - (bangs) (tires squealing) (both panting) Ow.

Aw, man.


Are you all right? Oh, thank Christ.

I mean, I told Vicky they have got to trim those branches.

How are you supposed to see cross traffic when the sidewalk's a damn jungle? You're fired.

(chuckles) What? You're fired.

(doorbell rings) The address calculation code.

It's too long.

It takes up too many bytes.

What I need is some way of grabbing the addresses without telling the CPU where to look for them, like an address book that's also a map.

Cameron why are you here? I'm stuck.

(sighs) (taps) (bird chirping) Another late night, huh? - Gordon, you're bleeding.

Shh, shh, shh.

You hear that? - (chirping continues) It's alive.

(chirping continues) I called Animal Control.

They said the kindest thing is to just kill it.

Maybe you could Look, Donna, I'm not going back out there.

I've had kind of a day.

Okay I'm gonna take off my shoes, kiss the girls, and wash up, all right? (chirping continues) (sighs) (chirping continues) On the next episode of AMC's Halt & Catch Fire Our soon to be Cardiff PC, though it looks rag-tag now.

Will be addictive.

I want a straight answer.

Whose running things? I am.

There was a power surge.

Where are your back up floppies? This ones degaussed.

This one too, wiped.

Do you have any idea what I've lost? I don't want your wife at the office.

Without Donna this thing stays dead on the table, Joe.

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