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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
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April 05 2009

What really runs the Dollhouse. OSNews examines Adelle DeWitt's computer.

yay, fun! Is that like a different kind of Windows or Mac/OS? I didn't get it fully... sorry.

[ edited by danielgm86 on 2009-04-05 09:48 ]
BeOS is a very nerdy operating system, built differently than Windows, Mac OS or any Unix-derived system like Linux. I think it's safe to say that it is very seldomly used.
I used BeOS a little bit years ago, just to experiment. Interesting to see it pop up here. I wasn't sure it was even still available. I know Be went under a good while back.
From what I can work out, this is the third OS used in a Joss show. Willow used a Mac, Adelle uses BeOS and last but not least there's this.
All the Angel characters used Macs as well; presumably, Apple had a deal with the shows and/or network(s), as they do with many others.

[ edited by jlp on 2009-04-05 10:17 ]
Joss uses a Mac, so possibly not.

Also, a few weeks ago I found a link where somebody had screenshotted a Quake icon on Adelle's desktop. Seriously - it was clearly visible, too.
I remember all the WB shows back then used those ugly iMacs.
I've always found the whole "all good guys use Apples" thing in *every movie and TV show ever* to be unspeakably snotty. I'd love if there was a screenshot somewhere of Adelle raiding on WoW. "I'm Adelle DeWitt, and I'm a druid".

That "Firefly" thing was funny, I didn't know that. Somehow it's not quite as good as Wash's invisible controls, though.
I still don't understand how Wash's invisible controls even happened. What did they think they were going to do, CGI them in?
The invisible controls? The way I remember the story they had to move everyone back to set up the shot. At the time Fox couldn't be bothered with 16:9 so they figured that his arms would be cropped anyway. Then came the DVD...
Geeky fun.

They've updated the story, and found that what appears on the screen is a pre-existing BeOS screenshot, shown fullscreen.

Yes, it looks like she plays Quake and Quake2. The music she is supposedly listening to is Beautiful by HIM. And she is running a file-sharing program, searching for mpg files, while saying that she is "studying special audience geek GIF movies". I would have thought doing p2p filesharing would be a security violation, although it could be a VPN shared by all the dollhouses.

This also means whatever OS is running on the actual computer remains a mystery (although I guess they could also achieve the effect using a DVD player or any other video source connected to a monitor, so there may not be a computer there at all).
KingofCretins, WoW's on Macs too, so there's no reason both couldn't be true.

I love the idea of Adelle Dewitt using BeOS -- it was very ahead of its time and it's a shame it never developed into something more. (It's still around in another incarnation today, but hardly anyone uses it) Historical footnote: BeOS very nearly became the Mac operating system, but in the end they developed Mac OS X from NeXT instead.

On an extreme tangent, if anyone watched Serial Experiments Lain, there was a BeOs reference at the end of every episode there, with the "To Be continued" text, which always seemed like a peculiar thing to reference, but then it was a strange show anyway...
When the header mentioned her computer, I thought the article was going to say the Dollhouse was run by "John Henry"/Skynet.
Most tend to use Mac because Hollywood, specifically effects people, use Macs and it is easier to manipulate. Plus, early on in the effects business Apple outpaced Microsoft with the technology for that type of programming and still stays ahead of them.
I remember in the first season of Angel they used a strategically placed post-it not on Cordy's computer to try to hide the Mac logo.
Seems like a good place to link what I commented in a previous thread, in case it was missed, about the sorts of things that Topher's big translucent computer display says.
Most tend to use Mac because Hollywood, specifically effects people, use Macs and it is easier to manipulate. Plus, early on in the effects business Apple outpaced Microsoft with the technology for that type of programming and still stays ahead of them.


Most high end effects work is actually done in Linux render farms, it used to be SGI. You can ask Pixar if you don't believe me :) Apple had to switch to Intel processors specifically because their few advantages (PhotoShop filter processing, which isn't the same as special effects) had actually become faster on PCs. Neither Apple nor Microsoft actually do the programming related to this stuff, its almost all custom stuff like RenderMan. Now, its just down to a matter of what you're used to/like, which is really why Hollywood is so Mac-ish on the front end. What is more powerful and easily user re-definable is more important on the backend where you have the rendering clusters. Problem with the way the kernel is behaving? Recompile it to optimize for behaviors you prefer.
How about this: they use the computer that fits the environment. If I remember right, the high school in Buffy had generic beige boxes. Most scenes using Mac's have steel and glass, which fits in with its styling. (As Animal Mother points out, the the Apple logo is often blocked off from the camera.) When the set designer wants to go high-tech, they usually chose the PC with neon lighting inside.
Only a single monitor? Pfft. Lightweight.

Once you've used two monitors you never go back.

(And one of the folders on her desktop is "Manuscript". Is she writing a movie? "Dollhut"?)
A lot of times that's true, though some shows (like 24, if I recall correctly) give/gave the "good guys" one and the "bad guys" the other as far as Mac/PC).
zeitgeist you're right on the SGI part, back in the day they were the company to go to if you needed something fast for rendering.. Too bad the company is gone now.

Love to have an Onyx box!

Oh and don't forget the Amiga and Lightwave, Babylon 5 anyone?

[ edited by Krusher on 2009-04-05 19:40 ]
Works for helicopters too Zeitgeist. Bell JetRanger, good guy. Hughes 500, baddie.

I think Magnum was the only time a good guy ever had a Hughes.
Ah, Mac fanboys rear their heads.

And I always thought, at least in National Treasure, that all the good guys use Google and bad guys use Yahoo?
Here, the good guys and the bad guys use Search-Wise

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