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July 7, 1993

UNIX WINS FEATURED ROLE IN SPIELBERG’s BLOCKBUSTER MOVIE, JURASSIC PARK

By CBR Staff Writer

Microsoft Corp might be portraying Unix as a dinosaur in its push to get NT accepted as a server-based system, but there’s one major piece of hyping it appears to have missed out on Jurassic Park. The computer centre featured in Steven Spielberg’s dinosaur adventure is sprinkled with Silicon Graphics Inc workstations running graphical-based control systems, plus Apple Computer Inc Macs doing multimedia and communications stuff. There’s also a Thinking Machines Corp system sitting at the back-end somewhere that seems to be doing work on analysing dinosaur genes as well as running many of the Park’s systems – , although it’s not clear which systems did the real work for the movie, running the computer simulations that helped to bring the long-dead creatures back to life. Unix itself figures in the climax of the film – which opens in London on Friday July 16 – when the young heroine begins to turn the table on the rogue beasts: I know this system. This is Unix. It controls the whole of Jurassic Park. Were those Silicon Graphics workstations featured in the film a sneak preview of the new low-end workstation due to be released by Silicon Graphics on July 12? Latest word is that the workstation, named Indy, will be billed as the first video workstation on the market. It will be launched at Silicon Graphics’s Mountain View, California headquarters by James Burke, the British popular scientist and fast talker, who first came to prominence in the prehistoric – and still running – UK television series, Tomorrow’s World. Not to be outdone, Sun Microsystems Inc says much of the real life cutting-edge dinosaur research being done in the US is carried out on its workstations, knowledge of which Spielberg was able to use in the film. Indeed, it says palaeontologist and Sun workstation user, Jack Horner, from the Museum of the Rockies in Montana, was the model for Jurassic Park’s lead character, and that Horner was also Spielberg’s dinosaur advisor.

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