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Interfacing with a supercomputer through switches and lights

by Critical Commons Manager

The random flipping of unmarked switches and watching for responses in banks of flashing unmarked lights was a trope of supercomputer films of the 1970s. A majority of these cinema props were decommissioned IBM and Burroughs mainframe computers used for air defense in the 1950s and 60s. In the Towering Inferno, getting a skyscraper's security, electrical and fire alarm systems back online is left to the new building's Chief of Security, played by O.J. Simpson, who dutifully flips switches on and off to no avail.

Supercomputer switch interface in The Towering Inferno

Responsibility for getting a skyscraper's fire, electrical and security systems back online is left to the Chief of Security (O.J. Simpson)

from (1974)
Creator: John Guillermin
Posted by Critical Commons Manager