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The Unstoppable Mainframe

by Steven G Anderson

A new computer called "EMERAC" has been installed in a broadcasting company's reference library, and needless to say, the reference librarians are not happy with the situation.

The computer operator has mistaken the island, Corfu, for the word, "curfew." Diligently following the command for information on "curfew," EMERAC begins to print out the entire lengthy poem, "Curfew Must Not Ring Tonight."

The operator asks the systems man, Richard Sumner (played by Spencer Tracy), what to do and he responds, "Nothing! You know you can't interrupt EMERAC in the middle of a sequence."

In the end, it appears that Bunny Watson (played by Katherine Hepburn) is as unstoppable in her recital of the poem, as EMERAC is in printing information.

The Unstoppable Mainframe

In this clip from Desk Set, once the processing of data is set in motion, the mainframe is unstoppable.

from Desk Set (1957)
Creator: Walter Lang
Distributor: 20th Century-Fox
Posted by Steven G Anderson