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YOUR COMMENTS

PBS values and welcomes your comments about Triumph of the Nerds: The Rise of Accidental Empires. In the days immediately following the original broadcast of the program, PBS received more than 1,500 of your e-mails about this program. The following are a sample of those comments that we have received.


The absolute best program on modern computing history. more, more....
Tim McDuff
Indianapolis, IN.


I have just seen 'Triumph of the Nerds' and I am very disappointed that PBS would chose to present so one-sided a view of computer development.

Completely overlooked were the contributions and accomplishments of the 'nerds' at Commodore Business Machines who developed a GUI for the lowly 'Commodore 64,' a machine with an incredible sales record. This machine paved the way for the Amiga computer which took video and multimedia to the masses before the phrase 'multimedia' was even bandied about. (I remember being at an Amiga club meeting where people were wondering what the IBM ads for 'multimedia' were all about.)

Amiga computers had superior software for desktop publishing and video before their competitors and, although they did not have a business software selection of any depth, they did have a wide range of software and a GUI operating system that was the envy of anyone who ever used MS DOS or Windows 3.1.

A fair history of the times, and the 'Nerds,' is not complete without the story of the Amiga.
Anonymous


I am a 23 year-old computer programmer and I think the shows are very well produced and very informative. I really liked the show that focused on IBM and Microsoft. I also had no idea that XEROX had any role in the PC industry. My girlfriend is a Graphic Art Major and we sometimes have heated arguments about Apple and IBM. After seeing the show tonight I can see where she is coming from. By the way Steve Jobs is a very bitter man.
Anonymous
Newton, NC


How unpredictable and strange everything is.....I hope the history of computers and Internet will not be teached in future as a clear story of "progress". Your program showed how a story could only be made afterwards (and you made a funny and entertainting one too). If I was a history teacher, TOTN would be a must for the kids!

Also, the program reminded me of how near I was to be a nerd. As a 13-year-old, I wanted to buy a Sinclair ZX(?) I had seen in a tech magazine. I couldn't find one. Instead of it I (or my parents) bought me a guitar...12 years old later I bought my first computer, a tiny Macintosh.
Anonymous
Jyvaskyla, Finland


I thought the broadcast was excellant. I am a police officer who is in charge of our computers at work. I had gone to college in 1974 and attempted to study computers. In those days COBOL was what I was trying to learn.

I am looking forward to a re-broadcast so I can tell my friends about it.

Keep up the good work
Robert Hempelman
Towaco,NJ


As a computer/electrical engineering student and research assistant, I always find it fascinating to hear stories of those that really created the jobs I will do for a living. This show was great at giving that information to me. It was humorous, informative, witty, and of course entertaining. (I can't wait until the next show ten year's from now... )
Thom Moore
Melbourne, FL


I'm afraid that we're being tortured here in Honolulu--our PBS station is showing "Triumph of the Nerds" over three weeks, one hour at a time. It's wonderful torture, though. I missed the first hour due to forgetfulness, but luckily a PC user group member called me to remind of the second show. I'm off to Comdex tomorrow morning to mingle with 200,000 other Nerds.

Keep it up, PBS! More! More!
Ann Fourt
Honolulu, HI


Wow! A programme about computers, without all that techno/industrial music in the background coupled with strange visual montages! The programme is informative, yet digestible. The biggest nerd I reckon on the show was Steve Jobs, he kicks all other nerd butts.
Paul Cartwright
Perth,Western Australia


I just have to say that BOB CRINGELY is the most brilliant writer I have ever seen. I was intending on watching a rushed, 1-hour or less, non-informative program on computers but what I saw was truly awe-inspiring. BOB and the rest of his crew deserve an EMMY for their achievments.
john yergaw
london, ontario


I am a nerd! and I am proud to say it. I got all of the questions right on that computer quiz. I am so happy to see that there is Finally a page where I can communicate with other nerds. I have to go now !!!
Love A Faithful Nerd,
Peggy
Flemington, New Jersey


I liked the program. It took me down memory lane. I have been involved with computers for the last 25-30 years. With Windows 95 on every new home computer, I feel the neophytes won't have the same appreciation as they who worked with EDLIN.
Elinor Zetina
Baltimore, MD


Well done. I found this program very informative and enlightening. I knew virtually noithing about the history of the PC, but now I know. I wish to congratulate the producers, this show is well made. I hope to see the sequel soon, if there is one. I am thinking the Internet would make a great subject. Thank you.
Ron Stedman


This show was really great! Even my wife who could care less about computers was glued to the screen. The really scary thing is I remember most of this.

Great Job!
Paul A. Dougherty West Bloomfield, Michigan


I found your special Triumph of the Nerds to be both informative and entertaining - in general. However, at the end of the program's last evening - a statement to the effect that "Apple is in trouble and ..." was made. The context right at the end of the program was something like "where are they now".

The problem is that although months ago when this special was in production, it was surely true that in fact "Apple is (was) in trouble."

BUT - now Apple is in fact coming back, and appears to many actually stronger than ever. Indeed in the long run, Apple Computer may benefit from the last several years of adversity.

Whatever happens to Apple however, my comment is about the program - not about trying to guess what will happen to Apple Computer in the future.

It would seem that commenting on the demise of a company like Apple before that demise is actually fact is both unwise, and in fact unfair. Indeed, one of Apple's problems for many years has been in the "rumors" and so on of Apple's soon-to-be-fact death. Of course no such thing has happened. But persistent rumors have continued.

In addition, persistent untruths have also been perpetuated, and were also evident in your program. Apple is not in fact a niche computer maker, but still very much main stream.

To be blunt, I am appalled at your the comments that were made about Apple Computer having 'lost' the GUI war. Why wasnât the fact that the legal system has really little clue about technology mentioned. Indeed many people see Microsoftâs predatory tactics as a long term threat to the viability of computer software at low costs.

The real point I want to make is that no one can predict with any accuracy the long term outlook of Apple or any other computer software or hardware vendor. Certainly from a journalistic viewpoint, verbal relegation of Apple to a niche role is premature at best, and totally misleading at worst.

I expect more from PBS.
Jon Sticklen, Director
Intelligent Systems Laboratory
Michigan State University


i just had to write and tell you how much i enjoyed this program.i was in a state of awe just watching and learning about a piece of history that changed eveyones lives so much and will probally continue to do so foreever. this program is , and will be inthe future, the median of that historic event, the birth of the computer age as we know it now",. once again, very well done hats off to the creators and players.

jim dymond
manassas va


I only caught Part III unfortunately, but I have to say that for not being a couch potato type, I found myself unable to glance away. I am not even much interested in computers, but this story was so well edited and narrated that I enjoyed the subject matter immensely. I only hope I can review it from the beginning this time.
Anita Theiss
West Babylon, NY


I want to congradulate you for an incredible program that is both fun and very important for everybody today since everything is running around and about computers and internet.

I think that this program is so important , it is probably one of the way we can make sure that people don't get afraid of the internet but learn how to use it as the communication tool it was meant to be.

Keep up the very good work , thank you for making this program available !
Luke Gagnon
E.T.S. - Quebec University
Electrical Engineering Dept.
Montreal , Quebec , Canada


Triumph of the Nerds was one of the most interesting series I've seen to-date. The production was virtually flawless, and Cringely's comment was insightful. I truly enjoyed watching it, and learned a great deal from it. Thanks a gyga !
Martin Belanger
Quebec City, Quebec, Canada


I have now seen most of the series 4 times and would gladly sit down to watch it again if I had the time. The web-site follow up has really helped my learn for a test:( I have tomorrow. Anybody now where I can get an Altair? Are they old junk that people want to chuck or an expensive part of computing history?
Tom Brown


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