IMDb > The Triumph of the Nerds: The Rise of Accidental Empires (1996) (TV)

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Release Date:
12 June 1996 (USA) See more »
Three part documentary that shows the insight look at the history of computers, from its rise in the 1970s to the beginning of the Dot-com boom of the late 1990s. | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
That Other 70's Show! See more (10 total) »


  (in credits order)
Robert X. Cringely ... Himself (host / interviewer)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Douglas Adams ... Himself (author)
Sam Albert ... Himself (former IBM executive)

Paul G. Allen ... Himself (co-founder, Microsoft)
Bill Atkinson ... Himself (designer, Macintosh Development Team)
Steve Ballmer ... Himself (vice-president, Microsoft)
Dan Bricklin ... Himself (VisiCalc inventor)
David Bunnell ... Himself (founder, PC World and Macworld magazines)
Rod Canion ... Himself (co-founder, Compaq)
Jim Cannavino ... Himself (former head, PC division, IBM)
Christine Comaford ... Herself (CEO, Corporate Computing International)
Eddy Curry ... Himself
Esther Dyson ... Herself (computer industry analyst)

Larry Ellison ... Himself (founder and president, Oracle)
Chris Espinosa ... Himself (manager, Media Tools, Apple)
Gordon Eubanks ... Himself (former head of language research, Digital Research)
Lee Felsenstein ... Himself
Bob Frankston ... Himself (VisiCalc programmer)

Bill Gates ... Himself (co-founder, Microsoft)
Adele Goldberg ... Herself (former Xerox PARC researcher; founder, PARC Place Systems)
Marv Goldschmitt ... Himself
Andy Hertzfeld ... Himself (designer, Macintosh Development Team)

Steve Jobs ... Himself (co-founder, Apple Computer)
Gary Kildall ... Himself (founder, Digital Research)
Joe Krause ... Himself (president, Architext Software)
Bill Lowe ... Himself (Head, IBM PC Development Team 1980)
Roger Melen ... Himself
Bob Metcalfe ... Himself (former Xerox PARC researcher; founder, 3Com)
Gordon Moore ... Himself (co-founder, Intel)
Dana Muise ... Himself (founder, Hypnovista)
Doug Muise ... Himself (software designer)
Bill Murto ... Himself (co-founder, Compaq)
Tim Patterson ... Himself (programmer)
Vern Raburn ... Himself (former vice-president, Microsoft; president, The Paul Allen Group)
Jeff Raikes ... Himself (vice-president, Microsoft)
Jean Richardson ... Herself (former VP, corporate communications, Microsoft)
Ed Roberts ... Himself (founder, MITS)
Arthur Rock ... Himself (venture capitalist)
Jack Sams ... Himself (former IBM executive)
John Sculley ... Himself (president, Apple Computer, 1983-1993)
Rich Seidner ... Himself (former IBM programmer)
Charles Simonyi ... Himself (chief programmer, Microsoft)
Sparky Sparks ... Himself (former IBM executive)
Claude Stern ... Himself (Silicon Valley attorney)
Bob Taylor ... Himself (former head of computer science lab, Xerox PARC)

Larry Tesler ... Himself (former Xerox PARC researcher; chief scientist, Apple Computer)
Mark Van Haren ... Himself (programmer, Architext Software)
John E. Warnock ... Himself (as John Warnock)
Jim Warren ... Himself (founder, West Coast Computer Faire 1978)

Steve Wozniak ... Himself (co-founder, Apple Computer)

Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Robert X. Cringely  book "Accidental Empires"
Robert X. Cringely  screenplay

Sound Department
Gene Koon .... sound mixer

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"The Triumph of the Nerds" - USA (short title)
See more »

Did You Know?

Anachronisms: Part 1 refers to the First West Coast Computer Faire where the Apple II was introduced. The Faire was in April 1977, not 1978.See more »
Himself (host:First, they dump the idea of 9 to 5. In this industry, you can work any 80 hours per week you like.See more »
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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
That Other 70's Show!, 2 February 2003
Author: Daniel White from Miami, Florida

The production of the PBS miniseries "Triumph of the Nerds" as documented by journalist and self professed gossip columnist Robert Cringely is a campy trek through the personal computer revolution. The 3-hour narrative covered many of the notable characters responsible for the PC's development such as the inventive geeks, aspiring college hackers, social radicals, corporate marketeers, and leading up to the inevitable war of wills to bring about global, political, and economic change. The miniseries is as much about the personal computer revolution as it is about the one-upmanship ideology of bringing a better mouse trap to market. Piracy is deemed a good thing by the very players that use corporate legal methods to protect themselves from that very end. By means of reverse engineering, misapplications of patent rights, cleverly worded legal disclosure documents, so called `Virgin' engineers and outright theft of intellectual property; it is a sordid affair indeed. The story reads like a checklist in the PDA of Machiavelli's `The Prince'. It seems that `The Prince' is alive and well in the 21st Century.

I would highly recommend this film to any geek or geek-in-training.

Look also for "The Pirate's of Silicon Valley"

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