Triumph of the Nerds: Impressing Their Friends (1996 Documentary)
I’m not sure how I never saw this before but I’m sure glad that I’m viewing it now. This is excellent!
"Triumph of the Nerds: The Rise of Accidental Empires (1996) is a documentary film written and hosted by Robert X. Cringely and produced for British television by Oregon Public Broadcasting. The title refers to the 1984 film, Revenge of the Nerds, and the documentary itself is based on Cringely’s book Accidental Empires. The three-part film first premiered on PBS in June 1996.
The documentary chronicles the rise of the personal computer/home computer beginning in the 1970s with the Altair 8800, Apple I and Apple II and VisiCalc. It continues through the IBM PC and Apple Macintosh revolution through the 1980s and the mid 1990s, ending at the beginning of the Dot-com boom with the release of Windows 95. It includes interviews with many influential figures in the PC industry, including Apple’s Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, and Oracle’s Larry Ellison.
A look at one of the first uses of real time voice chatting in a virtual world. It looks so rudimentary now.
Here is also a intro segment of the same show. This one really hit home for me because the introductions of these old shows are usually what sticks in my mind the most. My best friend and I used to watch CNET Central all the time!
I think I actually remember this product. I might have tried it over my dial up modem.
The bodyless avatar heads floating around with their mouths moving to the voices of the users. LOL
In the mid 90’s my Grandfather got the first CD-Burner that I was actually ever able to play with. It was an external behemoth of a CD-ROM drive and seemed to have magical powers to me. There was a freakin’ laser beam in there burning a CD while you waited forever! It was awesome! My first experience with it was trying to burn some audio CD’s that I had borrowed from my friend. The plan was to have CD quality audio just like the originals instead of doing some crappy cassette tape dubbing. That was the plan. Truth be told, the sound was horrible and had some lag or skipping/ticking about every few seconds. It was pretty much the most annoying sound ever but it was a CD that was burned with lasers! In my grandfather’s house! You can’t get much cooler than that…. well, maybe if the copy of Ride the Lightning was actually usable… but I’m over it.
I found some old friends while digging through some stuff in my parents’ basement yesterday.
The Zip drive was a particular favorite although I no longer have my original purple external one that connected via parallel port and had a printer pass-through. I remember really bragging to my friends over the fact that I could fit like a hundred floppies onto my awesome new Zip disk. The Windows/DOS manual was leftover from my first computer. Some of the other stuff was all hooked up to my first computer.
Remember the internet before Google in the early and mid 90’s. It was really hard to find anything if it even existed in the first place. Eventually we had Alta Vista, Excite, Lycos, Infoseek, and Yahoo but even before then you had your trusty Internet Yellow Pages book. It wasn’t much but it was something. If you are interested in some other Pre-Google ways that we got around on the Internet then check out this video from Net Cafe from 1998.