Underrated AMC series ‘Halt and Catch Fire’ is based on real events in the tech industry during the 80s and the 90s. Here’s a summary!
AMC’s ‘Halt and Catch Fire’ is based on the personal computer revolution of the 80s that saw major tech firms of today rise and claw their way to the top as well as the rise of the internet in the 90s and the subsequent boom-and-bust in the markets. The show ran for 4 seasons with 40 episodes in total from 2014 to 2017 and was created for AMC by Christopher Cantwell and Christopher C. Rogers. The show is relatively less well-known despite the many high praises it has received from fans and critics alike.
- The premise of ‘Halt and Catch Fire’
- How did the show end?
- What was the real story behind the show?
The show has often been compared to ‘Mad Men’, clearly we can see that both shows were set around the inception of massive industries and innovations. The show derives its name from the machine code “Halt and Catch Fire (HCF)” that instructs the central processing unit to stop its functions.
The premise of ‘Halt and Catch Fire’
The first season is based in the “Silicon Prairie” (a name given to the city of Dallas-Fort Worth) and takes viewers back in time to when IBM was the undisputed king of the markets for computers and personal computers were not yet a thing. The series covers the personal computer revolution,i.e. when computers began to be designed and marketed towards ordinary people in a time when it was thought that computers were too complicated and belonged in high-tech labs.
How did the show end?
In the last two seasons, the show shifts its focus from the domain of the personal computer to the emergent technology that was the internet in the 90s and, more specifically, the world wide web (WWW). As Joe is trying his best to lift up his new startup Comet, a human-created web directory, he gets his hands on the beta version of the Netscape Navigator, one of the biggest and earliest search engines that saw use on a mass scale. As the default web browser, his hopes for Comet are dashed into pieces. In the end, he settles all his work and personal relationships and heads to New York to become a humanities teacher.
What was the real story behind the show?
Although the story of the show is fictional, the events that it is based on are all true. The show is an extremely well made period drama and there are many parts of the show that were very close to the things that actually took place in the field of technology in the last century, one of them being how Compaq single-handedly dethroned IBM and created a business empire in the domain of computers.
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