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13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Sociopaths, egomaniacs and hippies.

Author: Joe Ekaitis from From Television City in Hollywood!, no, uh, Rialto, California
23 January 1999

And we have THEM to thank for all of this.

Your humble author can't help but wonder how Bob Cringely got the likes of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Paul Allen and others in front of the cameras for an honest look inside the slightly twisted minds that begat the personal computer.

At 3 hours in length, "Triumph of the Nerds" isn't just a PBS miniseries. On home video, it becomes an epic. And why shouldn't it be? The personal computer has an impact on our lives equal to that of the light bulb and the automobile. But in the case of the PC, most of the people responsible for its creation and worldwide influence are still alive. These are flesh and blood humans, not fading historical sketches like Henry Ford and Thomas Edison.

"Triumph of the Nerds" was originally produced as a 20-year retrospective on the personal computer. But the PC will be 25 years old in the year 2000. I can't wait to see Bob Cringely's follow up.

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11 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

That Other 70's Show!

Author: Daniel White from Miami, Florida
2 February 2003

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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10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

The definitive TV documentary of the personal computer....

Author: nycovom1 from California, U.S.A.
23 July 1999

Journalist Robert Cringley's 3-hour saga of the personal computer is a sprawling, gutsy masterpiece that tells it like it is, presenting for viewer approval(or disapproval)the characters, places and anecdotes that are part of the birth, growing pains and refinement of "that damn box", as some folks might call it. It's all there: software, hardware, geeks, nerds, money, power, ambition, hunger, anxiety. Highly recommended viewing, without a doubt.

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9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Best computer history documentary

10/10
Author: PeteRoy from Tel-Aviv, Israel
30 August 2003

This 2 parts documentary tells the history of the PC and how it developed from big limited box to small advance GUI based machine. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Xerox P.A.R.K researchers all speak about the PC. With the excellent host of Bob :)

Very well made. A must see if you love computers.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

From Back of the Garage to the Forefront of Technology

7/10
Author: ebiros2 from United States
28 January 2006

This is a story of few very talented people working from their garage launching a mega billion dollar empire. The grass roots development of personal computers in the '70s and '80s are captured in this excellent program. From the development of Altair 8800, Apple II, and launching of Microsoft to the IBM PC, bringing about the change we know today as computer revolution, this program details the early history of personal computer development from an insider's view. All major historical events concerning the early computer revolution is treated fairly and in an unbiased way making this an excellent documentary on history of personal computer development, but it is also presented in a entertaining way that even an average couch potato can enjoy. The major players are all there and there are many good personal interviews which brings insights as to how the event really took place. A priceless piece of computer history in a three hour program.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

One Of Best Technical Documentaries Ever Made

10/10
Author: TheArizonian2014 from United States
20 September 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Triumph of the Nerds: The Rise of Accidental Empires is a documentary film written and hosted by Robert X. Cringely.From his own Silicon Valley garage, author Bob Cringley puts PC big shots and nerds on the spot, and tells their incredible true stories. Like the industry itself, the series is informative, funny and brash. Some of the episode participants include: Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.

This is a terrific three-part video history of the computer industry. More than a pedestrian history of the industry, this compelling program contains animated segments, promotional clips, archival footage, and intriguingly honest interview with wealthy industry nerds. With computers such a pervasive presence in society, this fascinating set holds wide appeal even for computer illiterates.

It is definitely one of the best technical documentaries ever made.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Excellent Documentary

9/10
Author: Preetam Rai (rps@np.edu.sg) from Singapore
7 January 2001

Cringly does an excellent job of keeping one interested with humorous anecdotes and trivia. It must have been quite a task getting these innovators on camera. Cringly should come up with an update. It will be interesting to see his take on Netscape, Napster and scam IPOs.

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1 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Stereotypical and Offensive

4/10
Author: Mike from United States
14 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Highly stereotypical and very offensive to anyone with a computer programming background. Apparently in the 90's it was socially acceptable to make sexist remarks and wildly speculative accusations about anyone even remotely tech savvy. This documentary enforces every false negative stereotype I've ever heard and mocks the very so called nerds that it praises, while demeaning "their way of life" and casting them as "weird social rejects." The narrator himself talks as though he is examining some alien race from another planet, and comments on just how abnormal and socially repugnant their lifestyles are. A few obligatorily pretentious comments from Steve Jobs of course made the cut as well.

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