Halt and Catch Fire — 80s Silicon Prairie on the Silver Screen


There are those who may think of the Texas to Geek connection as a recent development, but it has long held a place in the heart of this Geekerati writer and not just because I was born in El Paso. The first time Texas made a deep impression on my geek affectations was the film Cloak and Dagger starring Dabney Coleman. The film is a veritable cornucopia of geek culture. It features the Atari 2600, AD&D Rulebooks, D&D Basic Sets, the Cloak and Dagger video game, and a GIANT rolling dodecahedron. What more could a geek ask from a state? How about Texas Instruments, Dell Computers, Metagaming, and Steve Jackson Games to name a few?


AMC’s upcoming series “Halt and Catch Fire” is about the wildly competitive early period in the personal computer industry. The show takes place approximately one year after IBM essentially created the personal computer market with the IBM PC. The new drama follows the story of Joe MacMillan as he reverse engineers a computer manufactured by his former employer and attempts to force his new company into the personal computer marketplace. The story seems a perfect depiction of the transition of a Blue Ocean marketplace into a Red Ocean market as new competitors enter and attempt to “devour” consumers. The early computer industry is a great case study for high drama and serious moral dilemmas and I am very much looking forward to the show.

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