YOUR COMMENTS: CONTINUED
An excellent show that I found highly informative. I'm 28 and was too young at the beginning of the PC explosion to pay much attention to the stories and workings behind the industry. Your show filled in the gaps and enlightened me to so many of the subplots and history of what has brought to us where we are today. Thank you for this show and please finance a follow-up production.
Wow! What a show!
It was very exciting to see these Mega companies
rise up and evolve. I think it would have been,
and probably still is, very exciting to work for
Mircrosoft or Apple. Wild!!!!!
I'm changing my title from Creative Director to
Creative Nerd! I love it!
The best presentation I've seen on the subject. Informative, and from what I know, accurate too. Really want to see it again.
Congratulations for the program. I took long time to really watch something valuable and complete about the history of computers. I graduate in 1985 in Lima-Peru with a degree in Economics and recently I am finishing my MBA at Maryland University. My generation in Lima-Peru didn't have the chance to have a PC at home and everything that the program said about what a spreadsheet could do for people like me where we manually or using a calculator took several hours or days to find results and waist energy to them analyze the figures was incredible calculated by the computer. Thanks God, There was such invention. At the begining it was very hard to admit that all the time that I dedicated to find these results where done by this invention. At this point I am trying to understand better how a computer works to feel more confortable. If you can suggest me any video that explain in detail computer components and how to assemble, I will appreciate. Thank you, and congratulations again.
Loved your program...Just wondering how to become a ladynerd?! My first surf was about an year ago- and it really was love "at first byte". I don't have much time to use this machine (I'm housewife) but maybe someday I'll be able to create really cool homepages...and...and...
I just wanted to say that your show kicks major butt! I have yet to get the book, but the show was really cool. I watched it everytime it came on PBS, and being in the bay area, that meant watch it on KQED, KTEH, and KCSM; every time they had it on the air. That must have ten times, at least. Thank you for producting just a kick butt show about computers and their starts. I hope that one day, you will make a CD-ROM about it all . . . hint hint hint. Thank you.
i thought your film was interesting, and i felt a little smarter because i was able to know the history on how the camputer was developed. and when i go to the planetarium (my dad works there) i'm able to talk a little computer language with the computer wizs over there. toni moreno
Instead of taking something intended for one medium (TV) and packing it in an old paradigm, you have exploited the technical possibilities of the Internet and broken new ground. I read through all 17 pages of the e-mail comments and responses from the host of the show. I think of all the Internet sites I have browsed in the last year, this has impressed me the most and seems most capable of being used in the classroom.
From one who was there, your series is absolutely top drawer - from several perspectives. You brought back the anquish of hand-drawn paper tape boot failures, the ecstasy of the first Macintosh GUI experience, and most of what I personally experienced as significant in between ... uncanny.
I think it's funny that with all the technology that exists right now there is so many individuals that can't spell their own name correctly, but have a lot to say.
Great show, very informative.
An extremely well down and entertaining program that still was informational in a chronologically engaging manner. It would serve college and university students well to have such a course integrated into the disciplines of several curricula...if their professors are computer literate themselves! Not only should this be rebroadcast but the author/narrator should be enlisted to involve himself in related projects for PBS and periodic updates on whether the nerds are still triumphing.
west hartford. CT
Your show was really insperational. I am a 14 year old nerd myself, and watching the success and downfall of nerds was really interesting. Now I hate Microsoft and love Steve Jobs, thanks to the intuative info you provided. By the way, I liked having Robert Cringly's humor in there.
The history of the micro-computer could have been told in a dry factual basis. It could have been told with a bunch of gee-wiz graphics and special effects. Either of those approaches would have drawn the attention of the techno-wizzes amoung us. Triumph of the Nerds went a different direction and told a GOOD STORY with intrigue and money and still had the facts. This was the best show on PBS since Ken Burns' Baseball. Shows like this keep me subscribing to KCET!
Van Nuys CA
My mother taped this and after watching and reading all of the Q&A's I've blown the whole day! Thanks, I learned a lot!! Terrific Program!
Really terrific TV show. One of the most interesting and entertaining things I have seen on TV in a long, long time.
Here's a little anecdote for you:
I started college as an electrical engineer, but quickly switched to biology. A few of my classmates who stuck with it went to work for Microsoft right out of school before they went public. One thing you didn't mention was that in addition to free soda, they gave all their employees shares of the company. I heard from one of these guys at our tenth reunion this spring that he had just retired. He didn't say, but I guess it's obvious he's one of the 2000 millionaires Microsoft produced.
Boy did I make the wrong decision.
The program was great. My dad is an incredible computer nerd and he enjoyed it thoroughly. My mom and I liked it too, which proves it's enormous appeal. This show was especially great for the non-Computer Gurus in our family who finally know what dear Father was talking about all this time with interfaces and GUI's. (I've even gone to get the book!) Keep up the great work!
Spartanburg, South Carolina
I accidently stumbled upon the broadcast last night and instantly became glued to the show. I would like to know when it will be aired again as I want it to be mandatory for all of my employees to watch. I have an internet and intratnet company - PMADT, Inc. - and without a doubt, this was the best presentation regarding the history of computers that I have ever seen! Great show.
This was such a great show, I watched it twice! Almost as fascinating as the presentation of the technological developments was the "accidental" aspect of how people missed/took advantage of unique business opportunities. Having lived through this age (starting with a husband who worked for IBM in the early 60's) to my current position in a major (and completely computer-dependent) university research agency, I found the program literate, comprehensive, and with a special blend of personalities and technology development. It was the kind of thing ONLY PBS can do! Yes, I sent money to my local station (over my regular pledge) to say thanks.
This program picked me up and walked off with me. Three hours and I didn't even get up to go to the bathroom! Utterly fascinating, riveting, compelling -- and fun. I kept giggling when I saw a mega-corporation name I recognized with a picture of the grungy student gave it birth. It was like looking at Henry Ford's high school yearbook...or maybe Napoleon's.
It's a modern Homeric epic -- twenty-five years that transformed the technological face of society, done by kids who (mostly) didn't know what they were creating, and in some cases didn't even care. (Multi-billion dollar empires created, and lost, by quirks of personality, vision, and whim -- the mind reels....)
Of course, the fact that I'm raving about the show says as much about me as it does about the program. To me, the personal computer is the greatest toy ever invented, and getting to do what I want it to do is the greatest game. Who else but a nerd would even sit through a three- hour history of the PC, much less fall deliriously in love with it? And who else would be writing this on a PC and posting it via the internet? Right.
My 16-year-old son and I sat through the whole 3 hours. I was glad to have a comprehensive overview of the microcomputer scene to watch, to get a better sense of what's been going on over the last 20 years, especially; to understand some of what's happened that I didn't know about or understand before.
It seemed pretty unbiased to me, for which I was
grateful. I get tired of hearing the "PC is better/
Apple is better" routine.
Fantastic! I was totally riveted to the TV, much to my husband's dismay (yes, it's the woman in this family that's the NERD!). This program was the most comprehensive presentation on the rise of the PC that I have seen. Why else would I stay up until 2am to watch TV (when I could have been on the computer). I can't wait to get the videos so that I can share them with my computer nerd friends.
Thanks again for such an educational and balanced look at the PC industry.
After skimming through your sample of user postings about your show, I started to wonder whether I had to write a sentence or two of total adulation for your show in order to get my paragraph posted. Well, I'm going to refrain from that. It was good, but not the best thing since sliced bread. In any case, two comments. First, I got a nauseating feeling realizing that Bill Gates got rich by riding the 'Bear'. (i.e. selling MS-DOS) I knew he got rich from DOS but your show really made the nausea stick. Second, the host of the show, (Mr. Cringly?) really has no idea where the future of the PC is headed. Let me give him a clue. I'm writing this message on my 133Mhz Intel 586 based PC (which I built from its raw components), using the Emacs editor, in X11 window mode. The Window is being managed by the fvwm window manager which in turn is being run by the Linux operating system (version 2.0). I'm running the Linux port of Netscape and I'm hooked up to the Internet via a ppp connection provided by a regional Internet provider service, talking tcp/ip to the Internet world. As the show points out, the standard rules and in this case the new standard will be something like Linux, an operating system not just written for Intel based PC's. And Linux is *free*!
Triumph of the Nerds must be the greatest contribution to the nerd community, ever. Of all the PBS television that I watch, which is alot, Triumph of the Nerds prevails on top. I've recommended the show to all my friends, and as they all say, "is it posible to say anymore about how much you like it?"
No. It's possible. The Show RULES!!!! Long live PBS, and all the nerds out there.
Be sure to show more about computers, and the internet of course...
Hey, I loved this informative over view of how some of us got where we are with computers and the people behind it all. A very good program!!
Keep up the good work! Love your Web site.
Bill Gates may be the richest man in the world, but he will never be free of the truth. Despite it's dominance, Microsoft has yet to contribute a single innovative "original" product to the computer industry.
Rather than placing Gates on the same plateau as Jobs, Bricklin, Tessler, Metcalfe, Kildall et. al. , let's recognize Bill's true "genius". An exploiter who beat a bunch of visionaries, at a game they were never interested in playing. An empire built on selling inferior software to a consumer base that remains largely ignorant of the products they are buying.
Dan Bricklin has a wealth that Bill Gates never
will. The inner satisfaction that comes from creating
something "insanely great".
This was an incredible presentation encompassing the history and future of personal computing as well as other computer applications. I was so glued to the program that I have decided to purchase the video taped series, offered at the conclusion of the program.
Thank You soooo much and for the sake of
education ------ keep pressing on !
While on vacation, I was channel surfing and stumbled upon the PBS special - Triumph of the Nerds. Much to my family's dismay, I was "fixed" and unapproachable!
During one of the breaks in the program, I scrambled to call a colleague to alert him of this incredible show. To my disappointment, I failed to reach him. I made a note of the PBS homepage address, and after returning home, I immediately looked you up. I have ordered the tapes so that my staff can see and hopefully get as excited as I have.
By the way, my colleague had also seen the program and has order the book.
I encourage any and all "Techo-Nerds" to get their hands on this great program and share it with their friends. It truly will get you -- pumped up!!!
Incredible!! This was the most informative show I've ever seen in my entire life! It kepted me hooked and not one bit of it was borring. This was not just a documentary, this is a show about an incredible documented history that is so unbelievable it has to been seen with ones own eyes. I hope that this is aired more often on PBS also it should be shown in schools or even training sessions for computer related jobs. Excellent narration, this whole show was absolutly incredible!! Give it to Siskle and Ebert for a definate two thumbs up!!!
Costa Mesa, CA
I am a recent female graduate from MIT with undergraduate and graduate degrees in electrical engineering, now working for a small Internet applications company. After reading viewer comments on "Triumph of the Nerds", I feel compelled to add my own.
I must agree with a number of others on the following statement made early in the program:
"It's no coincidence that the only woman in the vicinity looks bored, because this is a boy thing -- the obsession of a particular type of boy who would rather struggle with an electronic box than with a world of unpredictable people. We call them engineers, programmers, hackers, and techies, but mainly we call them nerds."
This and many other implications throughout the show that girls and women are not capable of or inclined to passion for those things technical serve as a great affront to those of us who have struggled to combat not only the general stigma of the characterization "nerd" (which the program did little to dispel) but the very often unfriendly, male-dominated laboratories, classrooms, computer clusters, and boardrooms of today's reality.
This was an otherwise interesting and informative show, but I
had expected more fair and sensitive reporting by a PBS production.
I think this program should become a part of the curriculum for all schools in N. America, to give the kids a very necessary link to how their world of computers came into being. I didn't touch a computer until I was 42 yrs. old (in 1985) when my wife bought a C64. I then taught myself Basic and started seeing where this world was going. Now I sit here in front of a computer with 12 meg onboard ram and a 14.4 modem and marvel at the speed at which everything has progressed, always with a reverence for whence it came. Keep up the good work. Roots ARE important.
Andre G. Germain
Pt. Colborne, Ont., Canada
An exceptional history of the microcomputer industry. I really enjoyed it. I wish you'd repeat the series as I only discovered it by serendipity (channel surfing).
I've mingled with the "nerds" at COMDEX. Here I am with one
of them....(click here).
I've known for awhile that my generation (now in our 20's) was unique in that we are the first generation to NOT have known personal computers, but the past few days I've been particularly aware of how they've influencedmy daily work and home life. Last week I sat engrossed for three hours, twice, to the documentary; I remembered each of the developments and it was a thrilling realization that I have been witness to perhaps the greatest revolution of the 20th century. I loved the indepth look at who invented, bought, marketed, and/or "stole" each component/idea which has has led to the fulfilling of the prophecy of "a pc on every desk." Now, if we can only recognize all the girl nerd wanna-bes out there (I was on the fringe of a group of boy nerds tinkering with programming in the late 70's)...
I thought it was fitting that Steve Jobs, who took pride in "stealing" ideas (in a good sense) and making them better, was upped by microsoft's refinement of windows technology.
Baton Rouge LA
I was surprised to notice that your program, Triumph of the Nerds, completely overlooked the Commodore Amiga line of computers, which _were_ rather significant at the time they were released. While the PC market was marveling over the PC Jr, in the early 80s, the Amiga team was developing a new type of computer, with incredible multimedia capablilities. This no doubt had an influence on computing environment of the time. While the Amiga has managed to fade almost entirely out of existance (though new models have been proposed by the new Amiga Technologies group, no longer under Commodore's management), the technology that was designed so long ago still holds up fairly well today. I own an Amiga 3000 myself, and it is _still_ prefectly usable, and performs quickly and efficiently, on a 16mhz processor. With the PCs architecture, this would be unheard of. Just my two cents! :-)
Fair Oaks, CA
Great show and web pages ***** HATS OFF shockwave was a nice feature on the computer game. I don't know why I'm not a billionaire yet !
I also watched the show twice and concur that
it is probably the best documentary I have ever
seen. I am an electrical engineer and my wife
is an emergency medical technician with no computer
background. We both thoroughly enjoyed the show.
I plan on buying the book for my dad.
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