Triumph of the Nerds: The Rise of Accidental Empires

This film chronicles the rise of the personal computer/home computer beginning in the 1970s with the Altair 8800, Apple II and VisiCalc.

It continues through the IBM PC and Apple Macintosh revolution through the 1980s and the mid 1990s at the beginning of the Dot-com boom. It includes interviews with Apple Computer’s Steve Jobs and Microsoft’s Bill Gates. This three-part film first premiered on PBS in June 1996.

The series was released in VHS format soon after airing but is now out of print. A release on DVD by Ambrose Video in 2002 was noted by product reviewers on and elsewhere to have numerous small but not insignificant segments excised from the program as originally aired for reasons that remain unknown. The older, unedited VHS copies of the documentary are highly prized, but difficult to find.

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  1. “the older, unedited VHS copies of the documentary are highly prized ..”

    Hyperbole and, frankly, horse shit.

    The documentary is irrelevant and of zero interest to most people; of passing interest to some others; only a tiny number of people actually care.

    • irrelevant to your post but the word hyperbole, to me doesn’t look anything like how it should be pronounced…. Just throwing it out there…

  2. a fine documentation on the PC industry from its very launch and up until c.a. the launch of Windows 95. informative and entertaining at the same time. Cringely’s unending well of dry humour no doubt helps it along the way as well.

    a detailed overlook of most (if not all) the major events in the industry. the only thing I personally missed was Bill Gates’s letter to hobbyists.

    worth watching and then some!