THE VELOCIRAPTORS ARE closing in. The only chance the surviving humans at Jurassic Park have is Lex, an adolescent hacker who has to find way to reactivate the security system. And they’re in luck. “It’s a UNIX system!” she exclaims. “I know this!”
Good thing it wasn’t a Windows NT system,amirite?
Jurassic World world hit theaters today. For millions of kids around the world, it will be their introduction to the Jurassic Park franchise. For the rest of us, it will likely trigger flashbacks to the most high-tech movie of its time: the original 1993 film.
The UNIX scene evokes laughs today and even inspired an entire subreddit. But it’s not completely off the mark. That computer is a UNIX system. A Silicon Graphics IRIX system, to be exact. And that 3-D file system? That was real. It was called fsn, and you can still download an open source clone. The idea of organizing files spatially in some sort of 3-D system is an old one in the computer industry. Though it’s never caught-on, fsn certainly seems like something someone likeDennis Nedry would have installed. And since in UNIX everything is a file, finding and editing the right files would be a crucial part of controlling Jurassic Park’s security grid.
Other moments, though, are a bit baffling. Like when Lex discovers the the touchscreen computers in the back of the electric car.
Occasional goofiness aside, the movie inspired countless kids—and probably some adults—to take up careers in science, programming, or computer graphics. It might not be one of the best hacker movies of all time, but it probably did more to get kids into science and technology than any other film of its era. And while the tech is outdated, the filmmakers had the foresight to cast both a young girl and black man in technical roles, even as today’s entertainment industry—and tech industry—struggle to come up with diverse role models.
No, Samuel Jackson’s character Ray Arnold wasn’t able to bypass Nedry’s security. But if you think you can do better, you can try your hand at hacking Nedry’s system here or download a game based on the UNIX hacking scene here.