Notes on a New World Order

Would you like fries with your Universe?


Movie Operating System
2007-08-08 00:00

The Movie Operating System (MOS) is that operating system seen in the movies, the one with all the pretty graphics, weird displays, and magical powers. The one that doesn't have users, only passwords, and only one password. The one that can't be hacked from the outside, and runs on a mainframe in a vault underneath the volcano.

Yeah, right.

This document aims to outline how, in our very non-cinematic universe we could emulate the movie operating system, or at least fake it well enough that one could then film it as if it were real™.

First of all, I'd like to say this was my idea, but it's not. (See HollywoodOS for example.) I was introduced to it by a friend. I'm just writing this down here because I think it'd be a fun project, and, while I do work far too much right now, I do have the capability to do it. More or less.

My plan is to make a 'Linux flavor' that has basic functionality for the MOS, and work towards something usable as a 'software prop,' and eventually, perhaps as an actual computer (like, web browsing and email). Unfortunately, this plan will most likely require graphic design skills beyond my own, and creativity greater than what I can currently muster. Plus, I'm not much of a movie-goer, so I probably require inspiration from those who are to really do this idea any justice.

Planned features:

  • Single password to sign in. No username, nothing else.
  • After selecting what you want to do, you can hit any number of keys while the operation is being preformed, to pretend like you're controlling it.

Boot modes like:

  • l33t-mode, where everything is text, but all flashy and neon-like
  • 'Tron'-mode where everything is graphical and wireframed.
  • SuperFuture-mode where there are no words, only strange graphical icons and 3d shapes that somehow have meaning. (Basically, this is an interactive screen-saver.)
  • Computer-mode where the screen looks fairly normal, but behaves in a dramatically appropriate way. e.g. Progress bars move until 90% complete and then stay there for about 50% of the time before completing.

...more to come when I have time.