Watch Jurassic Park, the delightful nature documentary

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I watched this the other day for the first time in maybe 20 years. I realized that the entire catastrophe could’ve been avoided if Hammond had forked up for more IT gear. Apparently the entire park is run by a SINGLE server that serves as production, dev, AND QA, and has no UPS. So when the “code is compiling,” things glitch out all over the park, and pray that no one forgot a semicolon. Dinosaurs weren’t the problem; crappy IT practices were.

Also, Alex saying, “This is UNIX! I know this!” as she navigates over some crappy wireframe rep of, um, maybe a directory?–total BS.


fsn is actually a thing. But a better line would have been “What the-- oh, wait, I guess this is actually a UNIX system! I know this! But if I waste time screwing around with this interface we’ll all be eaten, so I’ll bring up an xterm.”


as she navigates over some crappy wireframe rep

That goofy interface is actually an old Silicon Graphics demo called (I think) “ButtonFly”. Back in the days when 3d graphics was hard and expensive and Silicon Graphics ruled the graphics world, people (including me!) used to think it was pretty neat. I can’t imagine that anyone ever tried to use it to do real work though.

So technically you can look at it and say “This is UNIX! I know this!”. But maybe you shouldn’t.

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Is that music by the same guy that wrote music for “The Sims” and “Desperate Housewives”

It strikes me as more like a Kickstarter video, with that soundtrack.

Can I also add that I find the nature documentary conceit of ‘following’ the conveniently dramatised life story of a particular animal really infantile and condescending. The shoe-horned-in anthropomorphication of an animal detracts from actually observing and understanding the animal in question by jamming a bunch of themselves-questionable human values down the audience’s throat.

The only example I can think of that actually worked was Gordon Buchanan’s ‘The Bear Family and Me’ - and I think that mainly stemmed from the apparent real-ness of the situation - in that you could see the human ‘observers’ struggling with the desire to help animals when it was probably not ethical to do so. Most of the time, the nature documentary approach seems to be to shoot thousands of hours of footage of the species in question, and then stitch it together into a narrative so idiotic that it makes the average episode of WWE look like fucking Brideshead Revisited.

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Ugh, can we have it re-cut as a British nature documentary instead? :slight_smile:


Yeah, that’s kind of what I meant, but yours is pithier.


Buttonfly was just a demo application which served as a program launcher. The only thing you could do with it was click on it.

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Nuts. If I’d scrolled down one more comment I could have saved myself the effort of commenting. Welp.

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Agreed with you completely about Hammond cheaping out on his IT department (no redundancies, requiring going through an unsecured area to get to the backup generators, few to no systems in place at the time for dealing with a literal worst case scenario of all the fences going down at once, etc.

However that GUI was real apparently.

Edit: Wow apparently that’s like one of those factoids most geeks hang onto once learned. Though I have to agree. Lex should have gone ‘wait what the- Please tell me they kept xterm. Yes! I can do this!’

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Sorry for my screw-up on FSN, everyone. I still don’t know how an 11-ish-year-old girl would have known anything about UNIX or FSN in 1993. It’s not like that stack of Sun workstations on Dennis’s desk came cheap (and isn’t it odd that most of the UI we see is Mac, not UNIX, even FSN?).

Come to think of it, why are those workstations sitting on a desk and not in a data center? Hammond ponied up for a beyond-state-of-the-art biology/cloning lab–well, except for the part where someone misspelled “Tyrannosaurus” and “Stegosaurus” (, No data center? And again, no UPS?

For me, “This is UNIX!” is Trinity hacking the power plant near the end of Matrix 2. In the Beginning Was the Command Line and all that.

Eh. Lex didn’t set up the machine: Nedry did, and we know he had issues. She probably recognized the file structure from the navigator and proceeded from there. Not everyone is as adroit with the console term or xterm.


Hate to be a book person, but its revealed in The Lost World that the cloning lab we’re shown is in fact almost entirely for show while all the real work is done in an entirely different lab on another island.

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Wasn’t that also in the movie? I forget.

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