After Hours

Geek Trivia: The quibble of the week for Feb. 17, 2009

This week's quibble comes from the Feb. 10, 2009 edition of Geek Trivia, "Game within a (war)game." TechRepublic member Ric_Shanahan quibbled about the naming conventions of a certain nuclear war-planning supercomputer from the classic 1983 geek movie WarGames.

If you uncover a questionable fact or debatable aspect of this week's Geek Trivia, just post it in the discussion area of the article. Every week, yours truly will choose the best quibble from our assembled masses and discuss it in a future edition of Geek Trivia.

This week's quibble comes from the Feb. 10, 2009 edition of Geek Trivia, "Game within a (war)game." TechRepublic member Ric_Shanahan quibbled about the naming conventions of a certain nuclear war-planning supercomputer from the classic 1983 geek movie WarGames:

"The computer's real name was W.O.P.R. Joshua was the password."

Actually, we're both right. The computer was originally called Joshua, and its creator Professor Falken's backdoor password into the system was also Joshua, the name of his young son who died in a car accident. When the system was turned over to the military for wargames planning, it was renamed the War Operation Plan Response (WOPR) system, pronounced whopper. However, both David Lightman (Matthew Broderick) and Falken (David Warner) addressed the system as Joshua when communicating with it.

I probably should have been clearer on the distinction, but I knew I could count on a quibbler to let me sneak in these details. Thanks for coming through, and keep those quibbles coming!

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About Jay Garmon

Jay Garmon has a vast and terrifying knowledge of all things obscure, obtuse, and irrelevant. One day, he hopes to write science fiction, but for now he'll settle for something stranger — amusing and abusing IT pros. Read his full profile. You can a...

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