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    Season 1 


"HALT AND CATCH FIRE (HCF): An early computer command that sent the machine into a race condition, forcing all instructions to compete for superiority at once. Control of the computer could not be regained."
—Opening quotation.

Cameron Howe: Does it even matter what I want to do? God, this is an industry built on people ripping off each other's boring-ass ideas. SCP rips off CP/M, Microsoft rips off SCP. Oh, IBM rips off everybody, right?
Joe MacMillan: You've got a lot of excuses.
Cameron Howe: And you work for IBM! Hey, computers could be more. They should be. You build counting machines, the same thing you've done for the last 70 years.
Joe MacMillan: I don't work for IBM.
—Cameron & Joe discussing the former's future.

Joe MacMillan: Nobody ever got fired for buying an IBM, right? What a fearful way to do business. You've made just enough safe choices to stay alive, but not enough to matter. Is that what you want? You can be more. You want to be more, don't you? The window of opportunity is closing. This is your chance. This is not about not losing. This is about you finally having the confidence to walk out on the ledge and know that you're not going to fall.
—Joe attempting to convince a potential customer to buy system software from Cardiff over IBM.

Gordon Clark: (At the Cardiff Electric parking lot, showing Joe the box containing a brand new IBM PC) Do you have any idea how expensive this thing was? Donna took the kids to see her brother for the three-day weekend. I faked a fever, so let's turn this thing inside out.
(scene shifts from Cardiff Electric to Gordon's garage)
Gordon Clark: (as he is disassembling the IBM PC) A personal computer, like any other computer, is just a nothing box full of electronic switches and hardware. You know, the IBM, the Altair, the Apple II, it's all the same junk. Anyone can buy all this stuff off the shelf right now. It's called "open architecture". I mean, IBM, they basically don't own anything inside the machine.
Joe MacMillan: Except the chip.
Gordon Clark: Yeah, well, except what's on the chip. The BIOS is on one of these chips; we just don't know which one. The ROM BIOS is the only part of the machine IBM actually designed. I mean, it is the program, it is the magic. The bad news is they copyrighted it, and they own how it works. The good news is there's a way around that, sort of.
Joe MacMillan: Reverse engineering.
—Joe and Gordon prepare to reverse engineer the IBM PC.

Gordon Clark: This right here, this is what I want to do with my life!
Donna Clark: Yes, but don't you realize what you're risking?! Don't you realize what you have now?
Gordon Clark: Well, it's not enough. Okay? I'm sorry, it's not enough.
Donna Clark: Well, it always has been enough for me.
Gordon Clark: Come on, Donna, don't be like that.
Donna Clark: But I guess I never had the burden of believing that I was some misunderstood genius.
—Donna & Gordon after former discovers the latter was reverse engineering an IBM PC.

Gordon Clark: Sir, how the hell did IBM find out about this?
Joe MacMillan: I told them.
—Gordon asking how IBM discovered their reverse engineering project.

Nathan Cardiff: YOU LISTEN TO ME, BOY!!! You listen to me! I admire your tenacity, but I draw the line at you claiming that you did me a favor. Don't screw this up. 'Cause in Texas, you put a man's livelihood on the line, and you don't follow through, there's not gonna be another new job 'cause ain't nobody gonna be able to find where you're buried.
—Cardiff giving Joe an ultimatum regarding the PC project.

Cameron Howe: How much money would you give me?
Joe MacMillan: Junior engineer, no experience, 20 grand.
Cameron Howe: Double it.
Gordon Clark: My wife makes 15 at TInote .
Cameron Howe: Well, then I feel sorry for her.
—Joe and Gordon recruit Cameron for the Cardiff Electric PC clone project.


IBM Attorney: Let me get this straight. You were hired to write a replica of our BIOS code, but you won't be looking at our BIOS code. You seem like a good kid. We're not here for your soul...
Cameron Howe: Look, I don't need to look at your BIOS because I'm not interested in copying garbage.
—Cameron telling off IBM's legal counsel.

John Bosworth: Carl, come on now. Carl, it's John here. Don't do this to me. Come on, Carl. You gonna make me beg for this? Fine. Fine, you wanna jump ship, you climb aboard with IBM, you be my guest. But you just remember it was me that computerized your outhouse of a company 15 years ago. Yeah? Yeah, well, you were a lousy receiver whose ass rode the bench better than he ever ran a damn route, Carl!
—A longtime customer defects from Cardiff to IBM.

Gordon Clark: (to Joe, after the office is in panic mode due to IBM's raid) You know this would happen, though. It's all part of the plan. Tell me you have a plan, Joe. (Joe says nothing) Wow. Wow. You were just pretending. You're like one of those guys who goes out and reads The Catcher in the Rye too many times and then decides to shoot a Beatle. Only in this story, I'm the Beatle.
—Gordon comparing himself to John Lennon and Joe to Mark David Chapman.

Joe MacMillan: (after he and Gordon had gotten into a fight, revealing deep scars on Joe's chest) I was nine. There were some boys at my school who used to... chase me. I didn't care about the New York Giants like they did. I cared about Sputnik. I was nuts about it. I was passionate. Nobody told me yet that adults are supposed to be ashamed of those feelings. I learned that lesson the night the Colts beat the Giants. '58 Championship, "Greatest Game Ever Played", and I didn't see a single snap. I was hooked up to machines at St. Peter's. To this day, I don't blame them. I don't think they meant to chase me off the roof. After IBM, I went across the country just looking for answers. (To Gordon) I'd read your article, and I couldn't stop thinking about it. Open architecture, the idea of it. As a way of life. It kept me up at night. It made me that kid again, and I tracked you down to COMDEX and watched as they chased you, too, and your beautiful machine right off the ledge. (turns to Cameron) And you, when I saw you, everything about you threatens people. I thought that maybe we could do this precisely because we're all unreasonable people and progress depends on our changing the world to fit us. Not the other way around. I want to believe that. I must believe that. Tomorrow, I will show up at 7:00 A.M. and I will keep going. You don't have to join me, but something tells me you both need this just as much as I do.
—Joe giving one of his trademark Rousing Speeches to Cameron and Gordon.

"High Plains Hardware"

Gordon Clark: (to Floyd, an employee Gordon is about to let go) Look, it's not your fault. It's no one's fault. It's like when you get an early snow and it freezes your orange grove. And then the farmer has to find another way to deliver the juice. Even if every snowflake is totally unique like you.
Randy: (bursting into Gordon's office) Gordon, what the hell?!
Gordon Clark: You're my 11:45.
Randy: You got us milling around out there like a bunch of Frenchmen.
Gordon Clark: Randy, I'm with someone.
Randy: I'll wait in line for a Ferris wheel. I'll wait in line for a beer. But damned if I'll wait around till 11:45 to get fired by flipping you or flipping Joe MacMillan.
Floyd: Wait, you're firing me?! I'm being fired?!
Gordon Clark: Just calm down.
Randy: (hands Gordon a letter) My reference letter. And don't worry, I wrote it myself. Sign it.
Floyd: Oh, my God! I gotta call Patty!
Randy: And can I just say on behalf of a once-great company, I look forward to driving past here when the "For Lease" signs get nailed to the lawn and your little PC vision quest crashes and burns. (Randy snatches his reference letter from Gordon and walks out of Gordon's office)
—Gordon is forced to lay off several employees because of IBM's raid.

LouLu Lutherford: Gettin' into bed with you boys, the least I can do is check the sheets and fluff the pillows. (John laughs) Isn't that right, Travis?
Joe MacMillan: We're not going to be partners.
LouLu Lutherford: Why is that?
Joe MacMillan: Because you're a bored, poisonous dilettante with time on her hands and no taste. Two things destroy companies Mrs. Lutherford: mediocrity and making it about yourself. I think you make everything about yourself; that's why you rent your friends and repel everyone else.
(everyone sits in silence)
LouLu Lutherford: Bos, we have a deal or not?
John Bosworth: I'll have Barry draw up papers.
LouLu Lutherford: Thanks! (to Joe) You see, Joseph, it's not hard. It's just knowing your side of the saddle.
—Joe tells off a potential investor; however, Bosworth makes the final decision.

"Close to the Metal"

Ron Kane: Let me level with you, Joe. I was never gonna write a word about this company. I think its odds of being a player in the PC market are about on par with the guys who fix my washer-dryer. I came only as a favor to Matt. But lo and behold, the universe paid me back, gave me a story about a company flying too close to the sun that burnt to a crisp in IBM's shadow. The pain, the dashed hopes and dreams. I might finally get off this crappy beat and make it back to Wall Street or Silicon Valley, where the real action is. All of which is to say I'm not leaving till I get this in all its gory glory.
Joe MacMillan: Maybe you don't understand. I'm not asking you, Ron.
Ron Kane: Oh, a threat. Okay. Let me lob one back at you. If I leave, if I go, I write what I got, and we both know that ain't pretty. Other hand, let me stay, maybe I get the full story good with the bad.
Joe MacMillan: Cardiff's engineers are the best in the Silicon Prairie...
Ron Kane: That's not saying much.
Joe MacMillan: And they will find a way through this. It's a bump, that's all.
Ron Kane: Great, then I'm sure you'll want me around to see that. Or, wait, was that all bullshit?
—Joe tells a reporter to leave; however, he refuses until he gets a worthwhile story.

Donna Clark: Hey, uh, I need to ask you a couple questions. Besides the floppy you left in the "A:" drive and the stack near the speakers, are you sure you never backed up elsewhere?
Cameron Howe: (faintly) Uh-huh.
Donna Clark: That's a no? Okay, how about a list of files? Do you keep anything like that?
Cameron Howe: No. When you're in the flow creating something, you don't just stop for some mindless bookkeeping.
Donna Clark: Right, which is why we're here right now.
Cameron Howe: (scoffs) Who are you, anyways? Just somebody's mother? Do you have any clue what it's like to work close to the metal? Like, any idea what I've lost?
Donna Clark: Well, FYI, I am also an engineer with a degree from Berkeley who's not only created my share of code, but given birth to two real humans.
Cameron Howe: Oh, God.
Donna Clark: So yeah, I am somebody's mother and you could use one right now because, frankly, you're a mess.
Cameron Howe: Leave me alone. Go burn a bra or something.
Donna Clark: That's great. Sally Ride just went to space and here's you screwing up at work and lashing out like a child at the people trying to help you. You slept with the boss to get here. Now I know why you had to.
Cameron Howe: Oh, I'm still sleeping with him, in case you're wondering, bitch.
Donna Clark: Oh, wow. You really don't think much of yourself, do you?
Cameron Howe: (as she leaves) Go to hell.
—Donna comes to help with recovering Cameron's lost work; however, Cameron tells Donna off.


Cameron Howe: (to Joe) Hey, do you want to have all of your software programmed in 11 weeks for half of what you're spending?
Joe MacMillan: Is this a trick question?
Cameron Howe: Brooks' law. The Mythical Man-Month: the one useful book I read in college. Brooks said that adding programmers to speed up a software project only makes it later.
Steve: She's got a real attitude problem.
Cameron Howe: Oh! Also, I'm taking over Steve's job.
Steve: See what I mean.
Joe MacMillan: How would you know which programmers to keep? Do you even know their names?
Cameron Howe: (to the programmers) Hey! (whistles) Coder-monkeys, come here! How many of you got sucked into Adventure last night? (every programmer present raises their hand)
Steve: I knew it! She's sabotaging the project, Joe!
Cameron Howe: Okay, uh, just curious how many of you figured out what order to push the buttons in at the dam? (a few programmers raise their hand) And, how many of you got out of the cave by breaking the code? (three programmers raise their hand)
Kenneth "Yo-Yo" Engberk: I had to get home to feed my cat.
Cameron Howe: Which back doors did you use?
Malcom "Lev" Levitan: Xyzzy. Plover.
Kenneth "Yo-Yo" Engberk: Plugh.
Cameron Howe: Okay. Lev, Yo-Yo, the rest of you guys who cheated, you get to keep your jobs. Those of you who played fair and square, thank you very much, but you can go home. (Lev and Yo-Yo high five)
Joe MacMillan: Explain.
Cameron Howe: To play an honest game, you have to be good at solving puzzles. But to cheat, you have to be great at solving code. Those are the guys I need on my team; the ones who can break into the code, find the back doors, figure out "Plover" and "Xyzzy" and "Fee Fie Foe Foo" to get it done.
Kenneth "Yo-Yo" Engberk: Did you find "Fee Fie Foe Foo"?
Malcom "Lev" Levitan: No.
Joe MacMillan: Steve, I'll write you a nice letter of recommendation.
—Cameron takes a play from Joe's playbook.


Joe MacMillan: (to employees assembled in the conference room) "A gifted man bears his gifts into the world not for himself, but for the people among whom he is placed. Because the gifts are not his. He himself is a gift to his community." Henry Ford said that. Did pretty well for himself. There are many gifted men and women in this room, and this moment, we bring our creation into the world. Today, with the touch of a button, we start a ripple effect that will be felt through our community for generations. Thanks to our engineers, we have a prototype. Thanks to our programming team, we have an operating system in place. And now, finally, we bring our creation to life.
Malcom "Lev" Levitan: (just before Joe boots the machine) Let Bosworth do it.
Kenneth "Yo-Yo" Engberk: Yeah, let Bos.
Cameron Howe: Bos!
John Bosworth: Nah.
Cameron Howe: Yeah, Bos go!
(everyone in the room, aside from Joe, starts chanting "Bos")
Joe MacMillan: Yeah, all right.
John Bosworth: All right. (the crowd continues chanting until he reaches the prototype computer) Well, uh, ladies and gentlemen a time comes when well, you gotta grab your balls and jump, am I right?
(Bosworth flips the switch; after a few seconds, the words "Hello World" appear on the screen)
Everyone: (applause and cheers)
John Bosworth: (to Gordon) Hey, congratulations.
—The prototype PC successfully boots for the first time.


Kenny Burke: At the end of the day, we're happy to be doin' business with y'all. We'll get you a case.
John Bosworth: Well, I appreciate that, Kenny. The pleasure is all ours. Get that plastic mold fired up ASAP, huh?
Kenny Burke: We figure with the amount of money you're spending, I can bump you to the top of the list.
John Bosworth: I appreciate that.
Kenny Burke: (to Joe) Hey, you alright there, partner?
Joe MacMillan: Long week.
Kenny Burke: Hurts, don't it? Well, at least we got to have a good time on Cardiff's dime, though, right?
Joe MacMillan: Yeah, sure. (starts to walk away)
John Bosworth: Have a good one, Kenny.
Kenny Burke: (to Joe) Hey, you know, we must'a seen 20 pretty titties. Not so much as a smile from you. What, are you queer? (Bosworth sucker punches Kenny) That is assault, John! I will press charges! I am gonna sue your ass, John! You hear me?!
John Bosworth: Can we still make it work with your guy?
Joe MacMillan: I can try.
—Bosworth stands up for Joe for the first time.

Nathan Cardiff: You call me all the way out here just to shoot the breeze?
John Bosworth: The PC program's out of money. I'm sorry to land it on you like that.
Nathan Cardiff: Wait, why am I just hearing about this? What the hell happened?
John Bosworth: Innovation is a risk.
Nathan Cardiff: I don't understand even what that means. You sound like Joe, for Christ's sake.
John Bosworth: The good news is we're weeks away from a payday. The moment we debut at COMDEX.
Nathan Cardiff: Did you strike Ken Burke tonight in the face?
John Bosworth: He insulted Ginnie.
Nathan Cardiff:' He called me up madder'n hell.
John Bosworth: I need you to personally offer us a bridge loan to get us to COMDEX.
Nathan Cardiff: Are you out of your mind?!
John Bosworth: We're gonna pay you back by the end of the year. You have no idea what these kids are making, Nathan. This could change the...this could change everything. In five years, every one of us could have one of these damn things in the house. It's not a small market we're talking about. We gotta get in the door now! I'm thinking about putting up my home. I need you to match that.
Nathan Cardiff: Match?
John Bosworth: Yeah.
Nathan Cardiff: What the hell is wrong with you? Rule number one, you don't risk your own money. You've been brainwashed, gone native. Ain't nothing worse than a businessman who's lost his compass.
John Bosworth: Hell, Nathan, you trusted me before, damn it. I was the one that got us to mainframes, didn't I?
Nathan Cardiff: Yeah, that's when you were still levelheaded, before you started burning the bridges of every business relationship that I have ever forged, and now you're dragging me out here in the middle of the night asking me to cash in my family's land? Jesus, boy!
John Bosworth: Nathan!
Nathan Cardiff: If that program is out of money, that is God saying "Good night and God bless"! Once the last dime goes, you shut it down. Pull yourself together, John. Go home to your wife.
—Bosworth tries to convince Cardiff to give him and the Giant project a loan to go to COMDEX; however, Cardiff is ready to cut his losses.

"The 214s"

Gordon Clark: Well, it's hard to explain if you haven't actually been there. I mean, I don't want to oversell it or anything, but it is spectacular. There's gonna be over a thousand booths this year. All the heavy hitters show up. You got Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mitch Kapor, you know? IBM takes over two hotel floors, and the party scene the party scene is unbelievable. Donna and I were there in '81, we started at the penthouse and worked our way down, hitting every corporate party with decent booths. You got us rooms at the Norwick, right? 'Cause staying there is key, otherwise you spend the whole week waiting in line for a taxi. Trust me, I know. I learned the hard way.
Debbie: Wait, are you going, too? Joe said he only needed one room.
Gordon Clark: (Gordon storms into Joe's office furious) You're going to COMDEX without me?!
Joe MacMillan: It was arranged the week you were out sick. I forgot to tell you.
Gordon Clark: Bullshit you forgot to tell me!
Joe MacMillan: Cameron's not going either.
Gordon Clark: Oh, well, if Cameron's not going, then all right, then.
Joe MacMillan: Look, it's not like your role is essential.
Gordon Clark: Yeah, I only built the damn thing, Joe!!!
Joe MacMillan: COMDEX is about selling it and that is my area of expertise.
Gordon Clark: What about the demo? What if there's a glitch in the system?
Joe MacMillan: Like when you debuted the Symphonic? I was trying to avoid bringing it up, but the fact is, people still remember what happened in '81. I can't afford to have the stink from that distracting potential buyers. But if I need any troubleshooting, you're my first call.
Gordon Clark: I didn't kill myself all these months for you to get all the glory with the Giant! You plan on seeing me at booth C-23 on Monday!
—Gordon learning that Joe is going to COMDEX without him.

Joe MacMillan: I'm going back to IBM to build a portable PC that will actually see the light of day.
Gordon Clark: Are you kidding me?!
Joe MacMillan: It's what I should've done from the start.
Gordon Clark: You go back to IBM, you go back on everything you stand for. Alright, that'll be you failing us.
Joe MacMillan: I just told you I was wrong.
Gordon Clark: I finally get it! I finally get how you operate!
Joe MacMillan: Great! Now get out of my apartment!
Gordon Clark: No, no! Throughout this whole thing, YOU needed to be in control, make every decision! You know, you had the whole company bow to YOUR will, but when you're FINALLY faced with a real opportunity to be a visionary and lead in a battle worth fighting for, you're just going to move on! You can spin a good word, Joe, you know. Even though you're not an engineer, and you're CERTAINLY no visionary, but I never thought you were a coward!
Joe MacMillan: (Joe grabs Gordon by the throat and slams him against the wall) AND YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN TO SHUT YOUR MOUTH!!!
Gordon Clark: Gotcha! Bring that fire to COMDEX, and we'll kill!
Joe MacMillan: COMDEX?
Gordon Clark: Think about it! How many companies had their CEO hauled off in handcuffs last week? There's over a thousand exhibitors there. It's nearly impossible to stand out in all that noise, but people will be lining up to see the train wreck that is Cardiff Electric, and when they do, we blow them away.
Joe MacMillan: But we don't have the Giant.
Gordon Clark: I stole it, took it. I got it back.
Joe MacMillan: You, you stole it?! You're crazy.
Gordon Clark: You're damn right. Eight months ago, I was a miserable sales engineer whose favorite part of the day was clocking out. Yesterday, I broke into a crime scene to steal the state-of-the-art computer that I helped create. Cameron, the brilliant programmer, months away from a college degree and a promising career in software, she dropped out, ended up hacking into the computers of a national bank. John Bosworth, Texas good ol' boy, president of the "I Hate Joe MacMillan" fan club. John Bosworth hatched a plan to embezzle thousands and thousands of dollars just to keep this project alive. You, you made us all crazy, so don't act like you suddenly found sanity!
—Gordon first telling off Joe, then giving him a Rousing Speech on why he should stay on with Cardiff.

"Up Helly Aa"

Hunt Whitmarsh: My heart goes out to you. I know how painful this must be. But when two paths converge, intentionally or not, they don't always continue on together. One peels off, the other dead-ends.
Joe MacMillan: (scoffs) Let's skip the "Two Roads in a Wood" bullshit. You're not Robert Frost. You're pawn shop hacks selling my dream under a cheap plastic mask.
Hunt Whitmarsh: (chuckles) I heard you were touchy.
Joe MacMillan: That LCD screen, where did you find it, a Taiwanese barge? Apologize, pull your product, and I'll consider not suing.
Hunt Whitmarsh: There's no upside to litigation, Joe. By the time you get in front of a jury, we'll be on our third generation. And good luck persuading them that your BIOS is such a nobler copy of IBM's than ours. We got there first. Deal with it.
Joe MacMillan: You must be proud. Hiring our sloppy seconds, pumping a competitor's wife.
Hunt Whitmarsh: That's one way to do business. The opportunity presented itself. No laws were broken. Are you telling me you'd do different?
Joe MacMillan: I'd be more careful.
Hunt Whitmarsh: Oh, please. Your SVP's under indictment, you're sleeping with your lead coder, not to mention that little incident back in Armonk. Let me see if I get this right: following an argument with your father, you ruptured a water main, flooded an entire IBM data center? Whew. Daddy musta made you pretty angry. Oh, yeah. I did my homework on you, all right. You got quite the fan club back there in New York. You recognize that number? That's your boss, Nathan Cardiff. Now, you're gonna go upstairs, you're gonna call him, and tell him that I offered you $2 million in Slingshot stock for the Giant, which is more than you're gonna get in the settlement.
Joe MacMillan: Why would we sell to you?
Hunt Whitmarsh: 'Cause that covers your R&D nut, gets you out whole as opposed to losing everything for nothing.
Joe MacMillan: Then you strip us for parts?
Hunt Whitmarsh: (sighs) There's some good ideas in that machine, Joe. Your mistake was falling in love with that precious query-based interface. Maybe it's ahead of its time, but it's a memory hog.
Joe MacMillan: We'll never sell to you.
Hunt Whitmarsh: After we sign with ComputerLand, it's academic. Take it or not. Oh, and uh, tell Donna it wasn't personal.
Joe MacMillan: I feel sorry for you, Mr. Whitmarsh. You cheated yourself. You'll never create anything of your own.
Hunt Whitmarsh: And neither will you. You seem to have forgotten, we're in the compatible business. You tried to be good; we just had to be good enough.
—Joe threatens Hunt with a lawsuit over the Slingshot; however, Hunt brushes off Joe's threat.

(an Apple rep loads a floppy disk into the Macintosh, boots the machine, and double clicks a mouse)
Macintosh Voice Synthesizer: HELLO, I AM MACINTOSH.
(everyone present is in awe; Joe stands in silence)
COMDEX Attendee: (to Joe) You okay, man? What's the matter?
Joe MacMillan: It speaks.
—Joe sees the Apple Macintosh for the first time, seeing it as the IBM PC-killer he envisioned.


Gordon Clark: (Gordon finds Joe in Bosworth's office) I wondered how long it take you till you took the corner office.
Joe MacMillan: I just needed the TV.
Gordon Clark: Well, first test shipment came in, and I got everybody going over with a fine tooth comb. Did you miss the Bowl yesterday?
Joe MacMillan: I taped it on VHS.
Gordon Clark: Well, the Redskins still lose, so...
Joe MacMillan: Forget about the game; watch this commercial.
(Joe plays Apple's "1984" Super Bowl advertisement)
Gordon Clark: Joe...
Joe MacMillan: Tell me that wasn't amazing? Tell me that wasn't the best piece of marketing you've ever seen in this industry?
Gordon Clark: Yeah, it was neat. The girl that looked like Cameron threw the sledgehammer through the screen and freed the weird slave people.
Joe MacMillan: They're telling the world that they're going to topple IBM.
Gordon Clark: Okay, well, I also didn't see a computer anywhere in sight. My guess is, knowing those guys, the Macintosh is all bells and whistles and zero utility. You want a toy, you buy one of those. You want a computer, you buy one of ours.
Joe MacMillan: People will buy the Giant, but will they remember it? If we delay shipping just a few months...
Gordon Clark: Absolutely not! We need to QA, give manufacturing the full green light, and ship.
Joe MacMillan: Don't you want it to be great?
Gordon Clark: Joe, we keep futzing with this thing, it's gonna end up vaporware.
Joe MacMillan: What about a graphical user interface? We could do a GUI...
Gordon Clark: Joe, be realistic. You think Cameron's OS slowed things down? We don't even have hardware that's capable of doing...
Joe MacMillan: A killer app, then. We design a phenomenal piece of software, bundle it with the machine as a suite. Gordon, what's our "Lotus 1-2-3"?
Gordon Clark: Our "Lotus 1-2-3"? It's "Lotus 1-2-3." We built an IBM-compatible machine. You wanted a computer. You have a computer. You need to sell your computer, okay? (Gordon steps out of the office)
Joe MacMillan: She really did look like Cameron.
—Joe is not satisfied with making an IBM PC clone and is now fixated on the Macintosh.

    Season 2 


Lawyer: Joe MacMillan. (after Joe enters the conference room) Just sit there. And just sign on page three. (Joe signs the document, Cardiff knocks on the table and the lawyer hands him Joe's check)
Nathan Cardiff: (approaches Joe and shows him his check) This is your cut minus the first shipment that you burned. (tears Joe's check to shreds) You. Get. Nothing. Not one red cent. Now, you go ahead and you sue my ass if you want to, because I'd love nothing better than to tell a jury what you did here. You destroy lives. You cost dozens of good, honest people their jobs. You sent my SVP of Sales, my friend John Bosworth, to prison, and for what?! A doorstop of a computer with a fancy screen and no legacy! (sighs) Some folks say this sale's a success. I think my father would've called it cutting the nuts off of a bull and turning it into a steer!
Joe MacMillan: It's good you're getting out now.
Nathan Cardiff: What?!
Joe MacMillan: Something's coming. It's gonna be big, and it won't include this place. And it certainly won't include you.
Nathan Cardiff: You entitled little bastard! You just keep going on believing your own bullshit if you need to, but you're always gonna be the same selfish son-of-a-bitch rustler trying to get his!
Joe MacMillan: You stay healthy, Nathan.
—Nathan Cardiff personally gives Joe his Laser-Guided Karma.

Cameron Howe: (to Rick, the fence who sold her two knockoff IBM XTs) Hey, dickhead. Those computers you sold us were counterfeits.
Rick, the Fence: Bummer.
Donna Clark: We want our money back.
Rick, the Fence: Sorry, ladies.
Cameron Howe: Uh, no, 500 on the bar now.
Rick, the Fence: Come here. (he slams Cameron against the wall)
Cameron Howe: Joe!
Donna Clark: Okay! Okay, okay, we're sorry we bothered you.
Rick, the Fence: Good-bye.
Donna Clark: Okay. (as they leave the bar) Well, I think we pushed our luck about as far as it's gonna go. (Cameron reveals that she stole Rick's keys) What? How did you? (after Cameron climbs into Rick's van, Donna sees something in the back) Hey! That little shit has two brand-new XTs back here in boxes!
Cameron Howe: What?!
Donna Clark: Leave the money, just grab the gear!
Cameron Howe: Open the truck! (Donna opens the tailgate of Cameron's truck)
Donna Clark: (after Cameron grabs the first genuine XT from Rick's van) Give it to me. Okay, I got it.
Rick, the Fence: (after Cameron loads the second genuine XT and dump the knock-offs) Hey! Scavengers!
Donna Clark: (as she and Cameron speed off) Hey, you still want my number?!
—Cameron and Donna hustle a hustler.

"New Coke"

Joe MacMillan: I love your daughter very much because, among other things, she's skeptical, like you.
Jacob Wheeler: Then you won't mind me asking you how you intend to support her. She won't accept any help from me, at least not while I'm alive. And the money she makes from writing is gonna be spread pretty thin for two.
Joe MacMillan: Don't worry, I'm considering several options.
Jacob Wheeler: What about oil?
Joe MacMillan: (chuckles) Oil's all about digging in the past. I've never been that interested.
Jacob Wheeler: Powering the world isn't interesting enough for you?
Joe MacMillan: With a glut on the horizon, innovation's bound to be slow. If I were you, I would be looking to diversify.
Jacob Wheeler: Into what?
Joe MacMillan: Something forward-looking with the potential to change everything. For me, that's still tech and will be until proven otherwise.
Jacob Wheeler: Here's what I think, Joe. I think with your checkered work history and that's the nice way of putting all the things I've heard, you don't have a whole lot of options right now, in tech or anywhere else. With your abysmal references, I think you'd have a tough time getting a job selling waffle irons. You'd really want to put yourself through all that?
Joe MacMillan: Whatever it takes.
Jacob Wheeler: I'm just stating cold facts. You won't easily get a new job. If I haven't made myself clear, I'm offering you one.
Joe MacMillan: I don't know who you think I am, but I'm not looking for charity.
Jacob Wheeler: And I'm not looking to give it.
—Jacob offers Joe a job.

Tim Bondham: Okay, so you have put up Chess, Checkers, Backgammon, Tank Battle, and Parallax. And ignoring the first three, because who cares about those, that's two games in 15 months. Not exactly in a hurry, are we?
Cameron Howe: Well, "Parallax" actually has 21 chapters, each one with a totally different world. So it's not...
Tim Bondham: Yeah, my nephew got hooked on it. That's why I took this meeting.
Cameron Howe: Cool.
Tim Bondham: But then he got bored around Chapter, uh, 13, when the giant ice squids...
Cameron Howe: Crabs.
Tim Bondham: ...ate the Eskimo palace or whatever. He said it's fun to play with other people, but the game itself you know, pfft. It's nowhere near as good as what Atari's been popping out.
Cameron Howe: I think if your nephew understood coding a little better, he'd think Parallax was pretty cool. (Donna clears her throat) Um, look, cartridge games may look better for a while, but online gaming is the future.
Tim Bondham: Only if there's a profitable way to sustain it.
Donna Clark: That's exactly right. And that's why we're here. Our network is overloaded, limiting our ability to sign up new subscribers.
Tim Bondham: How do you even know they're out there? Only 10% of Americans have computers. Only 15% of them have modems. Not to mention the fact that you're only on Commodores. I mean, how do you really know that there are enough users out there to make us all a killing?
Cameron Howe: We just do. I mean, uh, in-store inquiries, word of mouth. There's a whole world of data.
Tim Bondham: Oh, yeah, with proof like that, how can I argue with you?
Donna Clark: Look, Mr. Bondham, if we had the capital to buy 10 11/750s...
Tim Bondham: 35 grand a pop, used.
Donna Clark: ...32, 32, plus additional funding to cover operations through the end of the fiscal year, then I think...
Tim Bondham: What about kids?
Donna Clark: Hmm? Excuse me?
Tim Bondham: Do you have or want kids?
Cameron Howe: No.
Donna Clark: I have two. What does that have to do with it?
Tim Bondham: Well, when I invest in a company, I don't just bet on an idea; I bet on the people. Success is no Sunday drive. It's not another "to-do" tacked to the fridge. If you two, as you claim, are really gonna run this business, I need to know that you're fully committed, long-term. Even over, you know... biological imperatives.
Cameron Howe: Sorry, are you gonna give us the money or not?
—Donna and Cameron encounter a sexist venture capitalist.


Cameron Howe: So, you've said your party line, I've said mine. Let's cut the posturing and we'll get down to the real number.
Joe MacMillan: Five dollars.
Donna Clark: Joe...
Joe MacMillan: It's five dollars.
Donna Clark: No. No, this is where you say four-fifty and then I say three-fifty, and then eventually we settle on four, which is fair. Four dollars.
Joe MacMillan: Five dollars. This isn't a negotiation. You started at a promotional rate...
Donna Clark: (over Joe) I'm sorry, "this isn't a negotiation"?!
Joe MacMillan: ...that promotion is over. If you don't agree to the five dollar-terms, Westgroup is moving on.
Donna Clark: Moving on?! That's that's not...
Joe MacMillan: Charity? No, it's not. This is a partnership. Jacob Wheeler isn't interested in a typical landlord-tenant relationship with you; he wants to work with innovative companies who are agile and committed. Five dollars is the ante for this table. If Mutiny can't compete at the going market rate, maybe it shouldn't be in the game.
(Donna starts crying)
Cameron Howe: Donna?
Joe MacMillan: Donna? (crying continues)
Donna Clark: This is BULLSHIT! (throws the contract at Joe) Joe, this is bullshit! All you own is time on a network! What entitles you to have an opinion about anything that we do here?! What makes you think that you can question our commitment for one dollar an hour?! (glass shatters)
Cameron Howe: Calm down.
Donna Clark: I'm fine, I'm fine. God, maybe being in bed with a billionaire, I'm sorry, with a billionaire's daughter, makes you think that you can jerk us around for your own amusement...
Cameron Howe: Donna...
Donna Clark: ...but this is real to us! So it's four dollars, Joe! It's four dollars! (Joe exhales sharply)
Cameron Howe: (stammering) Just...
Joe MacMillan: Don't bother. (he walks out of the Mutiny house)
Donna Clark: It's fine. He's gonna call in three hours and he's gonna say four dollars. He's bluffing.
—Donna has a "Cameron" moment at the wrong time.

"Heaven Is a Place"

Receptionist: Reception. I'll let him know. (to Joe) Mr. MacMillan, they're ready.
Tim Bondham: (after Joe walks in) Yeah, we had Mutiny in here, but frankly I was on the fence about them from the get-go. And I heard they're doing pretty well recently. I'm chalking that up to dumb luck.
Joe MacMillan: Mutiny certainly isn't the answer to anything, but I will say this burgeoning online sector is the place to be in technology right now.
Tim Bondham: Do you have something in mind?
Joe MacMillan: Mutiny's fine if I live in Dallas, but what if I want to access information in Toronto, San Francisco, Tokyo? What if I live in rural Nebraska where there is no service?
Tim Bondham: So, what, you want to do the first online service in Omaha?
Joe MacMillan: Omaha is just a place on the map. I'm trying to make maps irrelevant. This service allows customers to dial in from one location and dial out from banks in a completely different city. Something like this sidesteps long-distance fees.
Tim Bondham: I'm gonna stop you right there. Now, you brought Westgroup into tech recently, right? WestNet? All that?
Joe MacMillan: I transitioned Westgroup into time-sharing and helped them realize a dormant passive income stream.
Tim Bondham: So why did you torch it?
Joe MacMillan: I didn't.
Tim Bondham: (chuckles) No, that's not what I heard. Here's the honest truth: we don't have a dime for ya; we took this meeting out of morbid curiosity. Now, the press story is that Wheeler botched the tech move, but I know some guys on the inside over there who told me the real story, and what I want to know is why? Also how? Some destructive program? Right? A virus or something? You know, I looked into you, what you did at Cardiff. Immolating 100 computers out by Lake Texoma. Holy shit. (laughs) I am blown away. I've never met a legitimate psychopath before. (Joe storms out of the meeting room)
—Joe's first meeting with Bondham doesn't go so well

    Season 3 

"Valley of the Heart's Delight"

Joe MacMillan: Fear... [beat] it's a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth. You know, ever since I started MacMillan Utility, I've been accused of selling fear. But let me ask you... [beat] is it fear? Or is it truth? How sure is our footing? Yesterday morning, many of us were reminded of that question when we literally felt the ground move beneath us. We live in a world that is constantly shifting, sometimes bringing us together, and sometimes pulling us apart. Who are our friends? Who are our enemies? What's gonna happen to us? Are we safe? What I created has grown. Now, some of you... [chuckles] ...even call MacMillan Utility the gold standard in corporate anti virus protection. But in the meantime, I've been asking myself, "What should the price of security really be? How much should we pay to feel safe?" [moves to pillar, then pauses] Wait, here's another one from that same ancient tradition. The whole secret of existence is to have no fear at all. Never fear what will become of you. Depend on no one. Only in the moment that you reject all help are you really free. [lifts cloth off pillar, revealing an empty glass case] Only by moving past fear can we ever arrive at the truth. And the truth is freedom from fear is a right, not a commodity. [off audience reaction] I know what you're thinking: I charge my corporate clients millions. Well, they can afford it. But tomorrow I'm releasing our user version—Citadel—the version I created for all of you. Mainframe-quality security for your personal computer. [audience applauds, then Joe briefly gestures for silence] Wait, wait. [beat] And I'm charging you... nothing. [audience applauds more loudly] For you, it will be absolutely free.
—Joe MacMillan revealing the new antivirus product his company has been creating for end users

"Flipping the Switch"

Diane Gould: Men cannot seem to handle the idea that sexual availability and business acumen can exist in the same body.
—Encapsulating the sexist tendencies in the corporate sector.

"The Threshold"

Donna Clark: It's Cameron. She changed her mind about the IPO.
Gordon Clark: What? She wants to kill it?
Donna Clark: That is not her intent, but if she has her way, it will be the result.
Gordon Clark: Well, sorry to hear that.
Donna Clark: Nothing's settled yet, but moving forward means getting all the equity owners to overrule her. We've got 35 percent, and then there's Diane and Bos and Doug and Craig.
Gordon Clark: And Cameron has no idea this is happening?
Donna Clark: Nothing is happening. It's all talk at the moment, but I have to explore every option.
Gordon Clark: We don't own 35 percent of the company.
Donna Clark: Yeah, sure we do.
Gordon Clark: No, you own 25 percent and Clark Computers owns 10 percent for buying the mainframe. And Clark Computers, i.e., me, doesn't like the idea of blindsiding Cameron and shoving this IPO down her throat.
Donna Clark: (stammers) That's... that is... just a gross mischaracterization. I...
Gordon Clark: Donna, if you pull this move, I guarantee you she'll see it as an act of war. And you will cross a line that you cannot uncross. So, don't kid yourself.
—Gordon warns Donna about stabbing Cameron in the back.

    Major Spoiler 

"You Are Not Safe"

Ryan Ray: I, Ryan Ray, released the MacMillan Utility source code. I acted alone; no one helped me, and no one told me to do it. I did this because "security" is a myth. Contrary to what you might have heard, my friends, you are not safe. Safety is a story; it's something we teach our children so they can sleep at night, but we know it's not real. Beware, baffled humans. Beware of false prophets who will sell you a fake future, of bad teachers, corrupt leaders and dirty corporations. Beware of cops and robbers... the kind that rob your dreams. But most of all, beware of each other, because everything's about to change. The world is going to crack wide open. There's something on the horizon. A massive connectivity. The barriers between us will disappear, and we're not ready. We'll hurt each other in new ways. We'll sell and be sold. We'll expose our most tender selves, only to be mocked and destroyed. We'll be so vulnerable, and we'll pay the price. We won't be able to pretend that we can protect ourselves anymore. It's a huge danger, a gigantic risk, but it's worth it. If only we can learn to take care of each other. Then this awesome, destructive new connection won't isolate us. It won't leave us in the end so... totally alone.
—Ryan Ray's suicide note left on Mutiny.

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