Sometimes source code is visible in a movie, have you ever recognized any?


Yes. The falling green letters in The Matrix. I can even compile them in my head on the fly.


If you look at the original Terminator film in the scene where he's cutting his damaged eye out (the janitor asks if he's got a dead cat in there and you see code running from inside his head, selecting the response "F*** off, a**h***": this has been cut in some DVD releases), you'll see that the code scrolling down the left of his vision is 6502 assembler.

Quite what a cyborg from 2020-ish is doing running on this old Apple II CPU is a bit beyond me; it seems the resistance should have defeated them quite easily if that were the case.

Or maybe the 6502 was only used in the cyborg humorous-response subsystem. Given Arnie's somewhat repetitious use of this subsystem in his other films, a 6502 would probably been overkill.

Another one was in the Simpsons 3D episode where I spotted some hex drifting across in the background which translated to the ASCII "Frink rules!". The scary bit for me is that I managed to decode most of it in real time without rewinding. Crikey, I was an alpha-nerd back then :-)


Most of the time what I see is just the output of "dir", sometimes overlaid with something similar to make it look "extreme".

 Volume in drive C is Primary
 Volume Serial Number is FEEB-DAED

 Directory of C:\

2006-01-30  11:47                 0 AUTOEXEC.BAT    
2006-01-30  11:47                 0 CONFIG.SYS    
2008-11-15  09:55    [DIR]          Documents and Settings    
2009-02-03  16:48    [DIR]          Java    
               2 File(s)              0 bytes    
               8 Dir(s) 113,621,895,168 bytes free
10 accepted

According to imdb the source code around the title sequence for the film AntiTrust is the HTML for imdb.


In the made-for-TV movie Stargate: The Ark of Truth, some of the code for the Replicators (like the Borg crossed with nanites) is shown. It is JavaScript code, later discovered to be from a webpage of the Royal Bank of Canada.

Details: http://thedailywtf.com/Articles/Stargate-Code-of-the-Replicators.aspx


Yes, at the beginning of the Hackers 3 Antitrust movie, the code from the monitor at which the 2 guys work is from bzip2/lib/compress.c :-)


Unfortunately, code shown in movies is not even close to real one, as decribed in "What code DOESN'T do in real life (that it does in the movies)".


On Robocop, when he "boots up" you can see on the screen calls to config.sys and autoexec.bat.

Not coding, but definitely familiar...


Animatrix: Beyond at sec. 36.

HTML with JavaScript.

I actually got surprised my self the first time I saw it. At that time I was debugging a lot of this kind of code and have to scroll all the time to identify the piece I was looking for.

It doesn't show very well on that link, but in the CD I have it was very clear.


Nmap pops up in films all the time, not strictly source i know but they use the cmd interface of Nmap in Diehard4 and the Bourne series of films.


I've been reliably informed that the Terminator sees Apple ][ assembler on his HUD when he is checking things out.

Also (not quite source code, but...) in Jurassic Park we get a good shot of the IRIX 3D file system.


Takedown's (great movie by the way) protagonist, Mitnick, uses C to insert malicious code into the University mainframe.


I'm sure I've come across something in a movie that looked like legitimate code, but all that's popping to mind right now is the stuff that drove me nuts because it was so NOT like code or was completely outside the realm of coding possibility.

For instance, I totally hate how they infect the Alien OS with a virus in ID4. That's the equivalent of getting your dog to build you a database, if you can get him to stop licking his balls long enough.


yeah in the film hackers, I have big towering blocks with flashing lights in my code, pain to debug.


I am not certain, but I think I recall white text scrolling up a black background on monitors in one of the Alien films that looked suspiciously like "dir /s" in a loop :-)


Not exactly code, but on the Firefly episode 'Trash', when Kaylee is reprogramming the waste bin, you can see the Windows XP Add New Hardware Wizard on the screen


I'm sure that in the new star trek film, when kirk and old spock find scotty in the workshop on the ice planet there is a computer screen in the background over scotty's shoulder running windows xp. I doubt they're still issuing updates for it though.


Often times, it seems "source code" (and even interactions with remote machines) in movies is simply depicted by just showing colored hex dumps of all sorts of files to make the viewer believe something incredibly fancy and complicated is being performed and shown...

Having seen numerous types of such fake "mockups" (artificial GUI/CLI environments and the like), based on Visual Basic, batch files etc makes me wonder how much money some of these so called "consultants" actually get for contributing such "effects".

Recently, this is somewhat changing fortunately, I have watched some shows where there were obviously technical consultants on board so that the directors were not shy about showing someone actually doing something seemingly "sensible" in a shell environment.


What about the code written at super speed by a cyborg in Ghost in the Shell? Anybody knows what language this is?


It's not source code, but in The Matrix Reloaded, Trinity uses nmap to scan for services, launches (the fictional) sshnuke which then lists a real exploit; all to get root access at a power plant.