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#1 2016-01-23 19:19:36

ClassicHasClass
Member
From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,118
Website

The Macs of Mission: Impossible

The 1996 Mission: Impossible movie is an intersection for me between my favourite tech company overall and my absolute favourite television series. Although I really hated how Phelps was the traitor and they killed off the team, the first movie really felt the most like the original series, even more so than Ghost Protocol, which is my overall favourite of the films. I recently picked up the Blu-ray cheap, so I sat down to watch it last night.

Most of you know that Apple sponsored M:I in a big way, so get in the mood by watching this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IO9lPxCKD2U
(I even have the Mission: Impossible Apple poster on my wall.) Notably, however, few of the laptop scenes in that ad actually appear in the film. In particular, the PowerBook 5300 never appears, despite being heavily hyped in the ad.

I knew that there was one scene with Luther on the TGV typing on a laptop with an obvious Apple logo. This one is well known; it appears to be a 540c (so much for those Thinking Machine laptops he wanted). Max and her associates are using the famous and beautiful IBM ThinkPad 701, though the screenshots on the Blu-ray show it to be running a bizarre combination of Mac OS and, of all things, Sun OPEN LOOK. These scenes are on Starring The Computer, though the DVD grabs they have do not show the screens as well: http://www.starringthecomputer.com/feature.html?f=556

However, Apple turns up in other places. The standalone vault system is also a Mac, apparently. Ethan is typing on an Apple Design Keyboard and the trackball is clearly a Kensington, and the monitor shows the SuperMac logo. There's even a couple brief scenes where the debossed Apple logo is visible on the keyboard.

When Claire goes to see the disguised Ethan in the TGV cargo hold, the camera pans across some boxes. The writing is not easy to make out on the DVD, but the Blu-ray shows them clearly: Power Macintosh 8100.

Finally, Ethan is also using a PowerBook to send messages to Max, but unlike Luther's, it is never shown clearly. A couple of brief scenes show it to have a Blackbird-type top case and Blackbird rear ports, but the whole system is jet black (Luther's was the standard 540c charcoal). I only know of one Blackbird sold that way, so I suspect they used the rare and lovely 550c.

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Machine room (updated for 2019!): http://www.floodgap.com/etc/machines.html

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#2 2016-01-23 19:26:17

ClassicHasClass
Member
From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,118
Website

Re: The Macs of Mission: Impossible

Actually, I now take back my 550c theory; the screen button rockers are in the wrong configuration. It might just simply be a Blackbird case painted black.

One last thing, though: when you look at Luther's screens while they're breaking into CIA Langley, the speaker grilles of his displays match those of the Blackbirds also.


Machine room (updated for 2019!): http://www.floodgap.com/etc/machines.html

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#3 2016-01-23 22:16:44

TheWhiteFalcon
Member
Registered: 2015-04-27
Posts: 504

Re: The Macs of Mission: Impossible

Yeah. Don't forget all the Macs in ID4 as well, including the PowerBook XXXX. smile

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#4 2016-10-15 13:53:53

rampancy
Member
Registered: 2016-09-30
Posts: 4

Re: The Macs of Mission: Impossible

ClassicHasClass wrote:

Actually, I now take back my 550c theory; the screen button rockers are in the wrong configuration. It might just simply be a Blackbird case painted black.

One last thing, though: when you look at Luther's screens while they're breaking into CIA Langley, the speaker grilles of his displays match those of the Blackbirds also.

Sorry for the necro, but I thought the 'book used by Cruise was the infamous 5300c.

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#5 2016-10-16 01:08:30

ClassicHasClass
Member
From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,118
Website

Re: The Macs of Mission: Impossible

The 5300c is heavily associated with Mission: Impossible because of the Apple ad, but the laptop doesn't show up anywhere in the movie I can tell. The laptop Ethan uses has side-by-side brightness and contrast rocker switches like a Blackbird instead of vertically above-below as on the 5300, the trackpad and mouse button don't match, and the unit is jet black. Luther's is clearly a 540c. That's it for Apple laptops.

If the 5300 is there, it's unmarked, so Apple clearly didn't get their money's worth.


Machine room (updated for 2019!): http://www.floodgap.com/etc/machines.html

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#6 2017-02-22 20:12:22

mac-cellar
Member
Registered: 2017-02-16
Posts: 8

Re: The Macs of Mission: Impossible

Wow - M:I!

The first movie my wife and I saw together in the theater - a first date of sorts!

When the movie was in theaters, the film website had a little online game that was really more an extended commercial for the Powerbook 5300 than anything else.  In the game, you played the part of a M:I team member toting the hot (no pun intended) new Powerbook along on a mission.  Most of it was forgettable, but they did have a whole segment of the game that turned on your ability to transfer an "encrypted" file from the Powerbook to another machine using, of all things, Infrared! 

"Red Light!"

"Green Light!"


--Have an XServe Nehalem, PowerMac G4 Quicksilver, TiBook 400, eMac, a G5 (running MorphOS), MacBook and Mac Mini in regular use. A few others in storage: 2 upgraded Powerbook 1400s, 2 5300ce, XServe G4, a couple of Minis, and a TiBook 867.

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#7 2017-02-22 21:39:35

ClassicHasClass
Member
From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,118
Website

Re: The Macs of Mission: Impossible

Infrared? Wow. That must have taken most of the game time to transfer!

Infrared beaming was fun for Palm Pilots, though. We swapped a lot of software that way.


Machine room (updated for 2019!): http://www.floodgap.com/etc/machines.html

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#8 2017-02-23 05:15:15

mac-cellar
Member
Registered: 2017-02-16
Posts: 8

Re: The Macs of Mission: Impossible

YES!  Now that I think about it, a big part of that segment of the game was just lining up the transceivers to make the connection!

Speaking of infrared, I happened to pick up an HP Deskjet 310 printer as a throw-in in an eBay auction a while back.  When it arrived, it came with the original docs which featured none other than the infrared print module that plugged into the parallel port.  The very next week, I found the self-same infrared module in my local thrift store for $8.  Pity that the printer was a goner!

Did a few infrared transfers on Palm Pilot myself - a coworker gave me the game Pilomns that way.  Spent way too many evening commutes playing that on the train.

For what it's worth, I really liked my Palm Pilot back in the day - was a really nice, useful little tool.  Even the "Palm-skrit" handwriting language was kinda neat.


--Have an XServe Nehalem, PowerMac G4 Quicksilver, TiBook 400, eMac, a G5 (running MorphOS), MacBook and Mac Mini in regular use. A few others in storage: 2 upgraded Powerbook 1400s, 2 5300ce, XServe G4, a couple of Minis, and a TiBook 867.

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#9 2017-02-23 16:41:21

ScutBoy
Member
Registered: 2014-05-25
Posts: 159

Re: The Macs of Mission: Impossible

Long ago at another $JOB, the admin in the cube down the line had an HP printer with the infrared interface. Used to bug her when I'd walk into her cube, say "hi", and then point my Newton at her printer and fire off a couple of sheets. I made it up to her by fixing her minor tech problems without her having to call the help desk smile

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#10 2017-02-23 16:54:58

mac-cellar
Member
Registered: 2017-02-16
Posts: 8

Re: The Macs of Mission: Impossible

HA!  Love it! yikes


--Have an XServe Nehalem, PowerMac G4 Quicksilver, TiBook 400, eMac, a G5 (running MorphOS), MacBook and Mac Mini in regular use. A few others in storage: 2 upgraded Powerbook 1400s, 2 5300ce, XServe G4, a couple of Minis, and a TiBook 867.

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