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Starring the Computer is a website dedicated to the use of computers in film and television. Each appearance is catalogued and rated on its importance (ie. how important it is to the plot), realism (how close its appearance and capabilities are to the real thing) and visibility (how good a look does one get of it). Fictional computers don't count (unless they are built out of bits of real computer), so no HAL9000 - sorry.

Please let me know if you spot any mistakes, or have any tips about films not mentioned here that feature computers.

James Carter <>


2023-05-28 17:36 Big Beasts and a Pet
We start with a couple of episodes of "Doomwatch" with The Iron Doctor which gives us our first ICT 1900, and The Logicians which has a ICT 1301. W.E.I.R.D. World has some shots on the ubiquitous IBM AN/FSQ-7 and Wrong Is Right has several appearances of the GE 635 and a small part of a Commodore PET 2001.
2023-05-01 15:42 Laptops New and Old
We have three laptops making their debut appearance on the site. Bringing Down the House is already here but I missed a brief appearance of a Compaq Presario 1400. The Sony VAIO YB makes its debut in Carrie and the Dell XPS M1710 appears in season one of The Big Bang Theory. Finally, and old favourite the Apple Macbook Pro appears in On the Rocks.
2023-04-16 15:52 Pink Floyd Films
Here are a couple of appearances of computers that also feature Pink Floyd on the soundtrack. Zabriskie Point has a brief shot of some IBM AN/FSQ-7 panels and The Committee gives Starring the Computer its first IBM 1440.
2023-04-10 22:59 April Apples
Here's a collection of Apple appearances. A Powerbook Duo appears in Species, Tadpole has an Clamshell iBook G3 and Life as a House a Powerbook G3. French-Canadian film La moitiƩ gauche du frigo has some shots of a Power Macintosh. The "Hustle" episode A Touch of Class has an iMac G4 and a Powerbook G4, and the first episode of Magpie Murders has an Aluminum iMac.
2023-03-26 23:05 All 80s TV
Here's a collection on machines appearing in 1980s television. In "The Twilight Zone" episode Quarantine there in a hacked-up Epson QX-10 and an IBM PC XT and the "Miami Vice" episode Better Living Through Chemistry has a Commodore Amiga 1000 and a Kaypro Robie. Next are two parts of an "Alf" story with Someone to Watch Over Me: Part 1 having an IBM PS/2 Model 50/70 and Someone to Watch Over Me: Part 2 a brief shot of a Commodore Amiga 500. The "Dallas" episode Fringe Benefits sees J.R. using an NEC PC8001. And finally, two episode of "The Beachcombers" with Silicon Smith and the Wall of Death featuring a Zenith Z-181 and Computer Error also having that machine plus the Starring-the-Computer debutante GRiDcase 1520.
2023-03-18 12:10 Very Different Debutantes
Two very different machines make their first Starring the Computer appearance. The Dell PowerEdge R730 appears in Sniper: Ghost Shooter (along with a Panasonic Toughbook), and an episode of The Avengers called "The Nutshell" has some great shots of the NCR 315.
2023-02-24 00:01 Four by G4
Here's a collection of four appearances of Apple G4 machines. There is a Powerbook G4 in Close Range and the "ER" episode April Showers, and there are iMac G4s in Without a Paddle and the "Sex and the City" episode Catch-38.
2023-02-19 22:56 Three PCs
The IBM PC XT appears in Baby Boom and Flashback and there's a AT&T PC 6300 in Wise Guys.
2023-02-05 17:16 Wang WLTC
The not very imaginatively named Wang WLTC makes its Starring-the-Computer debut in Dick Francis: Twice Shy.
2023-01-01 12:29 New Year, Old Computers
We see in 2023 with some more big iron appearances. Mission Mars features an IBM System/360 system and there are panels from an IBM 1620 in the "Invisible Man" episode Pin Money. There's a panel from an ICT 1301 in the "Doomwatch" episode You Killed Toby Wren and the Face Off episode of "The Event" has panels from the IBM AN/FSQ-7 (as well as a modern interloper - the Apple Macbook Air).