And it’s all free
I’d like to get back to an important point … simplicity. Both HTML and HTTP are breathtakingly simple. This kind of elegance allows for versatility, it allows for universality. And the best part is, the online catalog viewer, the transfer protocol, the web server software … all of it is free.
— Joe MacMillan / Halt and Catch Fire
Okay, what’s your point?
When we talk about the web it’s easy to get lost in all the protocols, frameworks, apps, and selfies. The web was conceived as hypertext; simple text connected to other text. Nothing more, nothing less. If you don’t get that core functionality, then you’re missing the point, and your site will fail as a business tool. First, get the HTML right, then worry about everything else.
About Halt and Catch Fire
Computer lore is filled with stories of tech geniuses toiling away in a modest garage. Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard launched their company in one in Palo Alto, California in 1939. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started Apple in a Los Altos garage in 1976.
Halt and Catch Fire is an engrossing television series that captures that “garage” spirit. It’s an hour-long show about Joe MacMillan and Gordon Clark, two opposites who reverse-engineer an IBM PC in Clark’s garage in 1983, setting their company on course to develop a faster and cheaper personal computer.
The series originally aired on the cable network AMC in the United States from June 1, 2014, to October 14, 2017 — Spanning four seasons and 40 episodes. If you’re interested in watching, it’s available on Netflix.
What does “halt and catch fire” mean?
Halt and catch fire (HCF) is a type of machine language instruction that would cause the computer to cease operations, requiring a restart to continue. The actual phrase is essentially a metaphor. It engages a common misconception about computers: that overworking the system would cause it to overheat and burst into flames. Especially with modern technology, this is entirely figurative — rather than burning, the system would just shut down.