• Please review our updated Terms and Rules here

Bits & Bytes and other 80's Computer TV shows on the Web

MikeS

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2005
Messages
7,493
Location
Toronto ON Canada
Back in the 80's I worked on several TV shows about computers and I see that some episodes and excerpts of episodes are becoming available on the Web, specifically Bits and Bytes and The Academy (with Jim Butterfield also involved in both of them).

Of course I'm biased, but I think that aside from the historical and nostalgic (and humour) value some of the technical info is even still relevant today; well worth watching IMHO (and if you look closely and don't blink you may even see my name in the credits ;-) ):

http://ww3.tvo.org/program/120129/bits-and-bytes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFZ38Oj22tE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VaBYw3swyg&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1yo5mB5VME&feature=related

(Thanks, Steve!)
 
Last edited:

Ole Juul

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2008
Messages
3,982
Location
Coalmont, BC, Canada
Of course I'm biased, but I think that aside from the historical and nostalgic (and humour) value some of the technical info is even still relevant today; well worth watching IMHO (and if you look closely and don't blink you may even see my name in the credits ;-) ):

I just watched the Bits and Bytes "Communication between Computers". And yes, your credit is there. :)

This is indeed relevant today. It is actually amazing that this stuff was being put out there in 1983 yet today there are few people who understand these fundamentals. In my opinion we are less of a technological society than we were 100 years ago, but perhaps we never really were. The computer savvy generation will probably never happen and that boat sailed. Of course I'm also biased because I don't believe that purchasing a technological item makes one a technological person.
 

lotonah

Experienced Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2008
Messages
203
Location
Penticton, B.C.
I loved this show as a kid. It was smack-dab in my first years working with whatever computer I could get my hands on--Apple, Atari, PET, whatever. I used my first MS-DOS computer that year. This was one of the few computer programs on TV, and one of the few that actually taught you something. I just wish there were more of them!

Now I'm trying to get my daughter into it. She'd rather play games, though. *sigh*
 

MikeS

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2005
Messages
7,493
Location
Toronto ON Canada
...today there are few people who understand these fundamentals. In my opinion we are less of a technological society than we were 100 years ago, ... I don't believe that purchasing a technological item makes one a technological person.
Well, if you look at the interest in the RaspberryPi and Arduino, and read some of the Make and other project blogs, there still seems to be a fair bit of technical interest and knowledge out there. When you consider that most computers are effectively really TVs, stereos, video phones, typewriters, etc. then yes, not surprisingly the percentage of technically-savvy users has gotten smaller since the early days, but there are still lots of them out there. And of course the whole paradigm has shifted more and more from connecting discrete parts to writing software, where you don't have to know or care how a part works, just what it does and how to use it. I think that for better or for worse the definition of 'computer-savvy' has had to evolve along with computer hardware becoming more and more complex and needing high-level tools to work with.

But I agree that almost like the wealth gap the western world is slipping badly in many areas of knowledge, especially compared to some Asian countries; still some brilliant people at the top in universities and labs and some darn clever hobbyists and inventors, but the general population getting poorer in terms of real knowledge (other than the latest Hollywood scandal or music video of course ;-) ).
 

tezza

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2007
Messages
4,720
Location
New Zealand
yes, I enjoyed the computer chronicals when I found them on Youtube. A good snapshot of what was going on at the time.

Tez
 
Top