Here's what the computer code on TV really means. (Hint: Not much.)

Illustration for article titled Here's what the computer code on TV really means. (Hint: Not much.)

When our favorite TV and movie heroes find themselves in a technological jam, they'll often pull up some source code to spot an incredible, unlikely solution. But what exactly does the code they're looking at mean? Turns out, not so much.


The Moviecode tumblr grabs instances of on-screen computer code and translates what we're actually looking at, and just where it might have come from. In the above, for instance, you can see The Doctor looking closely at what turned out be the source code pulled from a Wikipedia page on light waves.

Other highlights include an episode of Arrow with the main characters checking out some C source code for what turns out to be a program to calculate the position of Jupiter's moons; code for The Social Network, that Moviecode speculates was written specifically for the movie; and an early still from the first Terminator movie, looking at the code running through the Terminator's view which was snagged from an Apple II.

Image: @popey via Moviecode.



In the movie "Elysium" the overlord of the evil robot factory appears to be programming in x86 assembler:

Which would actually be pretty impressive for a management type, especially considering that the x86 would be centuries old at that point. It would be like Erik Prince of Blackwater programming a Jacquard loom from 1800.