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Apple Powerbook 5300 in Independence Day (1996)

David uses the Powerbook to display the coundown to the alien attack, and later to infect the alien mothership with a virus, disabling the attackers' defenses..

Importance: *****
The alien ships have indestructible shields. David's virus, delivered by the Powerbook, allows a successful attack.

Realism: *
Let's face it - it's one on the sillier movie plots involving a computer, isn't it!

Visibility: ****




Year of feature (shown above)

John Ruschmeyer

The 5300 in ID4 is interesting in that it is actually a prototype. In the scene where David loads a CD-ROM while on the drive from NY to DC, the model plate reading "PowerBook XXXX" is clearly shown. Also, the CD-ROM drive is the never-released 3.5" CD-ROM module for the 5300.
2009-11-25 14:59

Boris Johnson

I would appreciate a more in-depth analysis of the role of the 5300 in this film. In particular the importance of the laughing-skull gif and perhaps a complete walkthrough for future defenders-of-the-Earth. Best wishes, Boris.
2012-03-05 21:24


They also made an ad in '96 showing this computer in the movie. ("If you only have 28 hours to save the world....better hope you got the right computer.")
2012-07-26 17:54

Rob T Firefly

Pretty hilarious that he explodes the aliens with his 5300, considering the real-world "HindenBook" tendency of that model to actually catch fire from faulty batteries. Also, it's a good thing the aliens were running System 7 or that virus thing would have just been silly.
2013-01-21 03:44


Silly? Maybe the mothership was running Mac OS X and Jeff Goldblum entered "File :\\\"
2013-02-10 15:47


I remember that there was a sweepstakes in conjunction with this movie where you could win the actual Powerbook used in the movie. I wonder where it is now?
2014-01-24 17:00