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Boot 'em, Danno.

A rather surprising guest star on today's episode of Hawaii Five-0, originally broadcast in 1975, titled "Computer Killer".

(Click on images to enlarge)

A shifty-looking "computer consultant" watches a gentleman meeting up with an attorney and heading into court.  He notes the man's license plate, then gets back in his car and makes a call on his car phone.

His rotary dial car phone.

Then he opens the suitcase sitting in the passenger seat, revealing a keyboard and screen.

He turns the unit on, clearly revealing the model, an ADDS Envoy.

The terminal boots up.

He attaches the headset of his car phone to an acoustic coupler on the side of the terminal.

The modem connects to the Department of Motor Vehicles, which apparently hires "computor programmers".

The guy hits some keys on the keyboard, which has mysteriously changed colors (continuity error!)

DMV data for the car owner very slowly begins to fill the screen.  The baud rate looks to be about 8 or 10 bits/sec.

After getting the data he needed, he writes it down on a pad of paper.  I guess he spent so much money on the portable terminal and car phone that he couldn't afford a printer.  Notice the keys are orange again.

There are several other more traditional terminals and oldie computer equipment (IBM, Control Data, etc) in the episode, but the portable terminal and rotary car phone were the most interesting.  Oddly, I can find almost nothing about ADDS on the internet, and there don't appear to be any photos of this particular model of terminal.


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Feb. 5th, 2011 02:10 am (UTC)
Thank you. Weird that the Picasa images didn't show up in a Google Image search.
Feb. 5th, 2011 01:50 am (UTC)
Feb. 5th, 2011 03:46 am (UTC)
Hey, that fascinated me when I was a kid.

And I'll be...I didn't know that MTS ever had rotary dial. (see here)

I think in person I only ever saw an MTS mobile phone of the operator-assisted type.
Feb. 5th, 2011 05:12 am (UTC)

Boy, I feel bad for the ham radio guys listening to the car phone frequency when it suddenly got turned into a modem line, but it probably serves then right for eavesdropping.

Feb. 5th, 2011 08:21 am (UTC)
I never saw a portable CRT terminal 'till this! I've handled luggable computers (Z80 CP/M such as Kaypro, then PC compatibles such as Compaq) and I have a LCD laptop terminal (the Random Colleague). A good eye indeed!

My favorite classic Hawaii 5-0 episode is the 90 second war, part 2 where the mainframe was about to be knocked offline by a cascade of errors induced by hardware plugged in by WoFat's mole.
Feb. 7th, 2011 04:48 pm (UTC)
To be fair, even if he could've afforded a printer, it'd probably have been a teletype that'd require its own modem and would've shaken the car apart.

And that looks to be a convertible he's in, so there's probably no back seat for the printer and not enough trunk space!

I do have to ask: Did the terminals make a teletype or other 'computer' sound as text slowly displayed upon the screens?
Feb. 8th, 2011 12:59 am (UTC)
Surprisingly, they got that part right. The terminal is totally silent when it displays the data.
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