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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)




Credited cast:
Robert X. Cringely ... Self (host / interviewer)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Douglas Adams ... Self (author)
Sam Albert ... Self (former IBM executive)
Paul Allen ... Self (co-founder, Microsoft) (as Paul G. Allen)
Bill Atkinson ... Self (designer, Macintosh Development Team)
Steve Ballmer ... Self (vice-president, Microsoft)
Dan Bricklin ... Self (VisiCalc inventor)
David Bunnell ... Self (founder, PC World and Macworld magazines)
Rod Canion ... Self (co-founder, Compaq)
Jim Cannavino Jim Cannavino ... Self (former head, PC division, IBM)
Christine Comaford Christine Comaford ... Self (CEO, Corporate Computing International)
Eddy Curry Eddy Curry ... Self
Esther Dyson ... Self (computer industry analyst)
Larry Ellison ... Self (founder and president, Oracle)
Chris Espinosa Chris Espinosa ... Self (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




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 »


Steve Jobs: The problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste. They have absolutely no taste, and what that means is, and I don't mean that in a small way, I mean that in a big way.
See more »


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

User Reviews

From Back of the Garage to the Forefront of Technology
28 January 2006 | by ebiros2See all my reviews

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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Frequently Asked Questions

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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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