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Thread: "Computer Killer" review

  1. #1
    This one particularly interested me because I have a Master's in Computer Science, and I first learned how to program about 8 years after this episode was made.

    Most computer technology shown on TV is very inaccurate and exaggerated, but this one kept fairly true to reality. While it's unlikely that all of the "World Business Systems" networks would have been connectable through a dialup modem (notice they all had their own dedicated phone line), if you dismiss that part, it isn't too far fetched that a designer of the system could have inserted a back door in order to access the systems. I found this "back door" plot point much more realistic than the typical situation on TV where a "hacker" can just break into any system at will (which is impossible!)

    Near the beginning, the villain Aarons dials into the DMV using his cell phone and connects it to his computer. This was impossible in 1974, as the connection would not have been good enough on early cell phone technology to carry the modem carrier.

    I don't understand why Aarons had to plant phony fingerprint data into the police computer system. Why not just get Palmer's ACTUAL fingerprints? After all, Aarons killed him, and had access to as many fingerprints as he wanted!

    The ages of some of the characters in this episode were unrealistic. William Curtis (the first witness) was supposedly 37, but in reality the actor was 47, and looked it. The second woman murdered was supposedly 50 years old, but looked around 65. Not sure what the point was to fudge these ages.

    You would think that a computer genius like Aarons could have transferred the payoff to a Swiss bank account somewhere, rather than to an account in his own name! Seems incredibly reckless to me!

    Not sure why Aarons would have made a plea deal. He already committed two murders, and Hawaii had no death penalty. His offense was worse than Hugh Tillis' (obstruction of justice), so why would Aarons have made a deal to get Tillis?

    These nitpicks aside, it was an enjoyable episode, and I give it 3.5 stars out of 4.

  2. #2
    "World Business Systerms", an obvious knockoff of IBM.

    I also found the ending absurd that the killer and the master plotter would have been the one to make the deal. The father was misguided and manipulative but his crimes were indeed far less serious (comes off more as a "get the rich guy" kind of ending).

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