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The Vintage Computer Visualizations in Jurassic Park #SciFiSunday « Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers!


Nothing becomes dated faster than most stand-up comedy. Great comics touch on issues that can linger over decades of social change, but a great deal of comedy rests on contemporary references and the passing obsessions of a particular cultural moment. Ok, there is one thing that ages faster and more reliably than comedy: computer graphics in science fiction movies. Blade Runner, famously, has aged like fine scifi wine, but it takes a determinedly analog approach to interface design. Take a look at the wiremapping of Star Wars, or, in the following case, the computer visuals of Jurassic Park. Here’s more from SciFi Interfaces:

…Unix-savvy viewers might be wondering why these control programs, since they are critical to the park functionality, don’t automatically start when the computer is rebooted. I hazard that perhaps normally they would, but Nedry turned this off to ensure that no-one could undo his sabotage before he got back.
The file system of the computer is rendered as a tree, with directory names (/usr in the image above) shown as text labels, the contents of each directory shown as LEGO-like blocks, and lines linking directories to subdirectories.

Most of the information is drawn on a flat two-dimensional plane. The third dimension is used to present information about the number of, and perhaps sizes, of the files in each directory. Note in the image above that the different directories below the foremost park block have different sized heights and areas.

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