Data Centers – Hollywood’s Unspoken Star
Hollywood: infamous for exaggeration and embellishing the truth for the purposes of entertainment. We are wowed and awed by the special effects, the plot twists and the fantastic journeys we can be brought on. Through it all heroes and heroines interact with worlds we recognize and worlds we don’t. Sometimes the co-star is an inanimate object, like a data center; and yes, even those get a little Hollywood magic. Most times they’re not even recognizable, or the characters interact with them in completely made-up ways.Moving a patch cord in a movie or TV show can do amazing things according to Hollywood. The hero hooks up a small electronic device and auto-magically hacks through firewalls and encryptions to get what they want. But, the data center of the movies has had a sort of evolution of its own, like an actor finding themselves after years of cheesy B-movies.
From Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey to Johnny Depp’s latest Transcendence, data centers in movies have come a long way. From the glass towers with floating text of Hackers in the 90’s to the fanciful visions of dark towers with no cold or hot rows in Tron: Legacy. The data center has even played a key role in television like House of Cards. Though, of all of them, the House of Cards data center looked most realistic. Even James Bond has gotten in on the action in Skyfall with futuristic exposed components and tangles of cable and wire that remind us a little too much of some horror story inspiring labs.
Of course the long and illustrious career of the data center has been the victim of bad scripting as much as any actor. From gaffs that just can’t be ignored to high tech gadgets that force us to suspend our disbelief, interaction with servers and data in the movies has usually been rather suspect. Throw in the personalities like HAL or Johnny Depp’s AI and you get winning blockbusters. So give it up for data centers in the movies, they haven’t had the most glorious life span, but they’ve helped as a quiet support character for years.
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