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Definition: Halt and Catch Fire


A fictitious name for an assembly language instruction that causes the computer to stop. Dating as far back as the 1960s, the HCF moniker has been jokingly assigned to undocumented instructions used by hardware engineers for testing purposes on various platforms.

The TV Series
From 2014 to 2017, a TV series entitled Halt and Catch Fire aired on the AMC cable channel. Comprising 40 episodes, it was also available at various times on Netflix and other streaming channels. The story is about the trials and tribulations of fictitious startups in the personal computer revolution from the 1980s to the early 1990s. Although filmed in Atlanta, Georgia, the scenes were about events in Silicon Prairie (Texas) and Silicon Valley (see high-tech regions).




Mutiny Headquarters
The series centers mostly around Mutiny, a startup in the online video game business. Inspired by real personalities of the era, Halt and Catch Fire is a story of a smooth-talking visionary and the men and women who made it all happen. There is plenty of computer jargon.