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

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.


Robert X. Cringely (book), Robert X. Cringely (screenplay)

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Credited cast:
Robert X. Cringely ... Himself (host / interviewer)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Douglas Adams ... Himself (author)
Sam Albert 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 Rod Canion ... Himself (co-founder, Compaq)
Jim Cannavino Jim Cannavino ... Himself (former head, PC division, IBM)
Christine Comaford Christine Comaford ... Herself (CEO, Corporate Computing International)
Eddy Curry Eddy Curry ... Himself
Esther Dyson ... Herself (computer industry analyst)
Larry Ellison ... Himself (founder and president, Oracle)
Chris Espinosa Chris Espinosa ... Himself (manager, Media Tools, Apple)


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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Official Sites:

PBS: Triumph of the Nerds





Release Date:

12 June 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Triumph of the Nerds See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


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 (author): A nerd is a person who uses the telephone to talk to other people about telephones. And therefore a computer nerd is somebody who uses a computer in order to use a computer.
See more »


Spin-off Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

This is where your PC or Tablet came from
19 May 2015 | by crash21See all my reviews

I call "The Triumph of the Nerds" the best PC history documentary ever made. They talk about everything from your first home built PC, up to the Internet. Along with the people explaining everything were the people who actually had a big part in creating some of this stuff; Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, and even the founder of Oracle Larry Ellison.

The only thing I don't like about this is that they still haven't made a decade later version that was promised in the documentary. I would have liked to see some of this compared to what's happening now. Something I would have liked to seen because several of Larry Ellison's comments are coming to life.

No matter what anyone says, this is truly where a great amount your personal electronics did originate.

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