Superman Verses the Super Computer.

Watching ‘Superman III’ on the television the other night, two things stood out during the course of the film.

One was the superb effort of its star, Christopher Reeve, to maintain Superman’s credibility despite an appallingly constructed script that played more for laughs than action adventure. (It’s not hard to see why the franchise died soon after this).

The other was how dated the computer technology in the film is.

Superman III was released in 1982, at a time when computers were still gaining momentum. People knew about them but really didn’t know how they worked. Computer networks in the workplace took up whole rooms. Computers in the home were limited mostly to gaming consoles, and perhaps your classic early consumer computers like the VIC 20.

The Star Villain of Superman III is a Super Computer that can do ‘anything you tell it to do’. Having just been built, this machine first appears in the final half hour. It is huge. Several stories high, completely filling an entire subterranean cavern with wires, buttons, lights, power cables and all manner of electronic gadgets.

In today’s world, I couldn’t help but think, “if they built that now you could probably wear it on your wrist.”

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