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TV Network Computer Nerds

rcoats@hayes.UUCP (Robert S. Coats)
(computer, chuckle, original)

Imagine for a moment if the computer revolution had occured a decade or so sooner. With all the power and chaos of the 60s, it's not to hard to go further and pretend that

Computer Nerds Could Have Controlled Network Programming

Gilligan's Island:

The Professor finds some rare binary coconuts that can be used to upgrade the ROM in his bamboo clone modem to support X.25. After hours of effort, he manages to establish a connection via his papaya-based VT 100 terminal and satellite uplink with Telenet, but falls asleep from exhaustion. Gilligan walks up and types "+++" then "ATH" and drops the line. The Skipper beans him with a rock and finally loses it, his seafaring years catch up with him and he starts making lewd remarks to Mary Ann about playing Leisure Suit Larry IV together. Meanwhile, Mr. Howell finally figures out how to work the ISDN set that was accidentally dropped by a passing JAL jet and has a heart attack when he hears via Dow Jones News Retrieval that the stock market has soared above 3000 points. Ginger calls CompuServe and E-mails some software developers in an effort to convince them that she should would be a good model for MacStripPoker 2.0. Eventually, all connectivity on the island is lost, when Gilligan discovers an actor in a bad gorilla costume has shorted pins 2&3 on the serial cable, and everybody on the island has just been echoing characters to each other.

Beverly Hillbillies

Miss Jane tries to convince Mr. Drysdale to network all the PCs in the bank, but, typically, he won't spend the money. Frustrated, Miss Jane pleads with Jed Clampett to persuade Mr. Drysdale to "put in the LAN," but Jed thinks she said, "put in the ham." Jed then gets Granny to cook up a dozen hams and has Jethro and Ellie Mae bring them to the bank. When they arrive, everybody is out to lunch, so Jethro begins to distribute the hams, but is frustrated when he can't get the coaxial cable to stay attached to the ham bone. To further complicate matters, Ellie May has brought along her pet goats, which begin to eat the ham and cable, causing the the VAX to short out and force an emergency electronic fund transfer of the Clampett millions to a competitive bank. As Mr. Drysdale is seen chasing Miss Jane down the hall with a crazed look in his eye, swinging a ham at her, Jed is heard to remark, "Weee-doggie! Why look at that Granny. Mr. Drysdale is so happy about whut we done, he's gonna give Miss Jane her own ham!"

The Brady Bunch

Peter uses Crosstalk Mk.4 to dial into the high school computer and, through hacking tricks picked up from a local "adults only" BBS, is able to access individual students' "permanent records." He scans through the listings, then, using a clever keyboard macro, alters his completed courses such that he won't be required to take English Lit again. However, Jan is working in the school office at the time and is alerted to the invasion by a diligent anti-viral TSR. She is then tormented with having to decide to do the "right thing" or be loyal to her brother. Jan goes home and talks to Alice, who says she should analyze all the factors and then decide after using the new artificial intelligence software Mr. Brady has recently installed on his '386 laptop. Jan tries to use the program, but instead accidently deletes all the files in the Harvard Graphics directory, leaving Mr. Brady to blow a presentation the next day. Mrs. Brady finds out via Jan what happened, and forces Peter to write "I will not hack into the school computer" 5000 times with EDLIN while the rest of the family eats angel food cake on the patio.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show

Mr. Grant tells Mary to come up with some hard facts about all the activity out in Silicon Valley. Mary grabs her Mac portable and jumps on a plane west. Unfortunately, she leaves the Mac switched on and, due to an undiscovered bug in the latest release of System and Finder, the hard disk continually optimizes itself when no keyboard input is recorded for more than five minutes. Needless to say, she has a dead Mac when arriving and spends the next few hours trying to find a replacement. Meanwhile, Ted begins his broadcast and notes that "We expected to have some good information about Silicon Valley for this broadcast, but somebody had to take a Mac and not a reliable laptop PC!" Frantic, Mary calls long distance over crystalline fiber optic lines to get help from Rhoda, who doesn't answer the phone because she is playing Bomber and has the headphones on. However, Phyllis's snotty daughter is around and answers. She listens to Mary whine, then hangs up the phone. Mary is last seen violently flinging the Mac out a speeding taxi window while crossing the Bay Bridge.

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