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Nerds 2.0.1: A Brief History of the Internet [VHS]

4.8 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Robert X. Cringely, Steve Ballmer, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Scott McNealy
  • Directors: Stephen Segaller
  • Producers: Gino del Guercio
  • Format: Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Number of tapes: 3
  • Studio: PBS Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: October 13, 1998
  • Run Time: 180 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305128235
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,380 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Join Robert X Cringely in this much-anticipated sequel to Triumph of the Nerds, as he turns his well-informed and irreverent eye on the intriguing history of the Internet. Go deep into the bowels of the Pentagon to witness the birth of the Internet and follow its rapid rise to the cutting edge of the World Wide Web. On his journey, Cringely interviews the unknown nerds who laid the Internet's foundations, visits the Silicon Valley of India and grills the founders of the networking companies who have made millions from this fascinating new technology.

Amazon.com

Triumph of the Nerds won legions of computer-skeptical and computer-naive viewers with its mix of minutiae and hip techniques. Going one step further into the digital maze, Nerds 2.0.1: A Brief History of the Internet operates as a sequel of sorts to the surprise docu-hit. Just as its precursor chronicled the rise of empires built on computer software, Nerds 2.0.1 collects interviews from key players in the development of the Internet. Fashionably hip in its visual feel, the film begins by amassing data on the net's crowning, collaborative irony: conceived in the Pentagon during the counterculture's smokiest high point by members--dare it be said--of the military industrial complex, the Net developed on the axis of university research networks and Deadhead (as in the Grateful Dead) electronic bulletin boards. Much of the rest has become history, but Internet and computer industry pundit Robert X. Cringley makes the narrative a jumping, attractive embrace of being a nerd. Interviews with Bill Gates, Mark Andreesen, and Steve Case make these three hours (three tapes slipcased in a nice box) fly by. --Andrew Bartlett

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on August 1, 2001
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Parts of these tapes already look like the old Volkswagen in the Woody Allen movie "Sleeper." For instance, the students who started Excite are all caught in their gloriously self-centered success, which didn't last long, it turns out, but did stoke them each with millions.
Cringely is eloquent, in words and in deeds. The shot of him driving in a convertible along a freeway, while holding forth about the internet as a big pipeline, is a great way to cast an image. His patient tracing of how the internet emerged from simple attempts to hook one computer to another, and get them to communicate meaningful information is also very well done, and penetrates to the level of the PhD thesis written in 1959 that laid out the binary math basis for it all in the first place.\
The tension between the hippie beginnings of the communitarian internet, and the later proprietary commercialization of the medium is also profiled, with subthemes like how to lose control of your company, played out in interviews with 3Com's Metcalfe, who also articulated "Metcalfe's law."
These videos stand on their own feet, but also on the shoulders of the book, written by Stephen Segaller, who wrote it, amazingly, for PBS. So look, some good things can come out of PBS after all(!). Segaller's book is, as you might suspect, much more detailed, but only the video takes you to Microsoft's campus, or shows you the inventor of an early wireless internet, Norm Abramson, years later standing on a beach holding a surfboard with his current corporate logo plastered in dead-center. Perhaps another symbol of hippie-goes-Ferrari. The book and the video also touch on the fascinating history of Cisco, and the bitterness of former husband and wife Sandy Lerner and Len Bosack, toward their first V.C.
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Fascinating portrait of a key element in today's society.

Some outdated material, for sure, but even that makes the overall project intriguing as a glimpse into what went for "tech innovation" in the late 90s. These parts almost grant a kind of speculative "Imagine the future, Nineties denizens!" feel that makes for amusing but nevertheless interesting moments a la sci-fi of the 1950s looking ahead to the 80s.

Good times all around, with some surprisingly forthright interviews by folks who either built or are still building the modern tech industry today.
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This video series is an excellent addition to the material available on computer history. It moves at a fast pace and provides interviews with many of the key people in the industry. It does not cover every aspect of computer history, but it does fill in some gaps that other references missed. I encourage anyone interested in computer history to add this video series to their library. Excellent footage, nicely put together. -- Mark Greenia, author of "History of Computing: An Encyclopedia of the People and Machines that Made Computer History" (CDROM).
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This video is amazing!! I love it! Seriously because this video shows how the internet came into being, what was going on during those years and how quickly things were changing back then. They interview many of the people that actually developed many of the standards we know now....but take for granted.

I discovered this video from my local library and rented it soooooo many times. I love this video.

WHY ISN'T THERE A DVD?? Seriously...please...do this!! This video is an important historical video of the birth of the internet and the PC. There is sooooo much that should be preserved in this video. Please PBS....a BluRay would be outstanding and I would pay a premium to own this.
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By PRoy on December 21, 1998
Format: VHS Tape
Cringely manages to succinctly and incisivly present the origins of the internet in a manner which both informs and entertains.
It should be compulsory viewing for everyone who works in the high tech industry.
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Nerds 2.0.1: A Brief History of the Internet is a 1998 three hour documentary film that explores the development the internet.It was written and hosted by Robert X. Cringely. It serves as a sequel to Triumph of the Nerds,a documentary about personal computers.

The documentary explores the development of the Arpanet and email from the Department of Defense in the Military, the Internet, and the World Wide Web in the United States from 1969 to the time the documentary was featured.Also,it discussed the invention of the ethernet at the XEROX PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) during the 1970's.In addition to that,it discussed what created dot-com boom of the late 90's.

I would say that this was a great documentary about the early days of the internet.Many of the dominant companies of the internet that were features when the documentary was done are no longer relevant at present like Excite and 3Com.In fact,it never even discussed Google,who at that time still has yet to be incorporated. Cringley stated in 2012 during the commentary of the Steve Jobs:The Lost Interview that Google has yet to incorporate itself and the check was still in the hands of its venture capitalists.Aside from that,it also features some of the rising titans of the early dot-com bubble wherein Netscape and America Online (AOL) were still dominated the browser wars and the early days of networking companies like Novell Systems and SUN Microsystems as well as software companies like McAffee and online shopping company called Amazon at the point that it has yet to make a profit.Finally,I felt sorry after the founders of Cisco Systems - Sandy Lerner and Leonard Bosack - were politically outmanuevered by the venture capitalists by kicking them out of the company.
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