Triumph of the Nerds
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Written and Presented by: Bob Cringely
All 3 volumes on 1 DVD:
*Impressing Their Friends
*Riding the Bear
*Great Artists Steal
DVD has English Sub-titles that can be turned on or off.
Top Customer Reviews
What troubles me with this edition by Ambrose is that they have apparently sacrificed bits and pieces here and there for some unfathomable reason. The main points are all still there, but some of the side stories and flavors have been cut. Examples include Steve Wozniak's description of his early interest in electronics in finding an old AT&T phone company manual to learn to hack into the phone system to call the Pope. It cuts Steve Jobs' description of his early experiences with Bill Gates, saying that the original version of Word was "just terrible but they kept at it...", and someone whose name I can't remember describing the early mainframes and trying to use one as "you were lucky if your entire city had one mainframe, and, if your company had it, there would only be one." These are the ones I noticed right off, I'm sure there are others and they are minor things, but it's troubling that a company buys the rights to a show and edits it for whatever reason rather than simply giving us the whole deal.
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.
That's not the case. The VHS version and DVD version are identical as far as I can tell, almost certainly both cut from the same master. The VHS version was edited and omits all of the same segments listed in F. McSwiggan's review. The only 100% complete version of this show was the original PBS TV broadcast. There's no point in going out of your way to track down the VHS version on eBay... unless you don't own a DVD player or someone is selling a homemade VHS copy of the original broadcast.
All that aside, it's not as if the edited versions are butchered. They aren't missing that much content, relative to the big picture. They're still completely worthwhile. I say this as someone who saw the original broadcast and then bought both the VHS and DVD when they were released, and was initially disappointed to find that bits were missing. I soon got over it. I really, really love this show. At least once every year or two, I'll pop it in and watch one of the three chapters. Somehow it's become sort of like comfort food to me.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Replaced three twenty year old VHS tapes. Great stories of the early days of PCs I didn't want to lose. This DVD is much better quality than the old tapes.Published 13 days ago by Donald V. Rogers
I was looking to get a history on computers for my middle school class. I looked and came upon this. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Nobody
I was around back in the 70s and 80s and watched this new personal computer boom kick off. It may not be too interesting to the younger generation. Read morePublished 9 months ago by TB in DC
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|Email response from Ambrose Video||
That's a very amusing, and patently false statement coming from them since even Robert Cringely himself has said it was cut up. The numerous cuts are well-documented here in various reviews and having the original that I taped from PBS when it was first shown I can verify them all.
May 28, 2007 by S. Breazeal | See all 5 posts