The History Of Hacking (Discovery Channel 1994)

16 04 2010

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Covering the pre-PC phone phreaking era through invention of the home computer by hackers and the eventual and inevitable industrialisation of the home computer. Good times.

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Douglas Adams – Hyperland (1990)

30 03 2010

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Hyperland is a 50 minute long documentary film about hypertext and surrounding technologies written by Douglas Adams and produced by BBC Two in 1990. It stars Douglas Adams as a computer user and Tom Baker, with whom Adams already had worked on Doctor Who, as a software agent.  Very prescient.





CYBERPUNK (1992)

16 02 2010

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An underground video produced by Marianne Trench and Peter von Brandenburg exploring the meaning of cyberpunk and its cultural significance. The year in which this video was produced (1992) makes it a worthwhile watch as it was just when science fiction and technological reality started to converge. Plus all those early computer generated graphics and that VHS aesthetic really does it for me. (That’s just me though)

Also it features an interview with William Gibson (author of Neuromancer)

Cyberpunk. Mystic Fire Video: Intercon Productions.





Congruent Triangles (1977)

29 01 2010

Bruce and Katharine Cornwell are primarily known for a series of remarkable animated films on the subject of geometry. Created on the Tektronics 4051 Graphics Terminal, they are brilliant short films, tracing Klee-like geometric shapes to intriguing music, including the memorable ‘Bach meets Third Steam Jazz’ musical score in ‘Congruent Triangles.’ In this melding of art and science, the Cornwells create a quasi-hypnotic take on a mathematical construct.





Computer Chronicles (KCSM-TV)

27 01 2010

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Computer Games (1984/Ep 1)

The Computer Chronicles was a US television series, broadcast during 1981-2002, which documented the rise of the personal computer from its infancy to the immense market at the turn of the century. The series was created in the Fall of 1981, by Stewart Cheifet (later co-host), then the station manager of the College of San Mateo’s KCSM-TV, initially broadcast as a local weekly series. Jim Warren was its founding host for its 1981-1982 season. It aired continuously from 1981 to 2002 with Cheifet co-hosting most of its later seasons. Gary Kildall served as co-host for six years (1983 to 1990) providing insights and commentary on products as well as discussions on the future of the ever-expanding personal computer sphere.

See more episodes on cosmolearning.com

1984 series

1985 series

1986 series

KCSM-TV currently faces the prospect of being sold.

Community college leaders want to avoid putting KCSM-TV on the market, but a fundraising effort has fallen way short of its goal.

The campaign had sought $1 million in community donations by Jan. 1 to help save the longtime Bay Area public-broadcasting fixture from possibly being sold.

However, it has yielded only $30,000 so far, according to KCSM General Manager Marilyn Lawrence.

For more information about the television fundraiser, go to http://kcsm.org/interact/savetv





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

22 01 2010

Triumph of the Nerds: The Rise of Accidental Empires (1996) is a documentary film written and hosted by Robert X. Cringely and produced for British television by Oregon Public Broadcasting. The title refers to the 1984 film, Revenge of the Nerds, and the documentary itself is based on Cringely’s book Accidental Empires. The three-part film first premiered on PBS in June 1996. The full transcripts of the documentary can be found at the PBS website.

The documentary chronicles the rise of the personal computer/home computer beginning in the 1970s with the Altair 8800, Apple I and Apple II and VisiCalc. It continues through the IBM PC and Apple Macintosh revolution through the 1980s and the mid 1990s, ending at the beginning of the Dot-com boom with the release of Windows 95.