Triumph of the Nerds

Triumph of the NerdsTo give my kids an education in the ways of the tech world, I dug out my old VHS copy of Robert X Cringely’s documentary masterpiece from 1996, Triumph of the Nerds. Almost to my surprise, they enjoyed it. And why not, it’s a ripping tale, well told. I don’t always agree with Cringley’s pulpit columns, but he does make good TV.

I wouldn’t mind getting hold of this on DVD. But of course, three things stand in my way:

  • It’s not available in Australia. And of course, it’d be wrong to buy an out-of-region DVD release, wouldn’t it…
  • Apparently the DVD is butchered somewhat, cutting out some of the best anecdotes. It may be no worse than my copy, which was taped off the ABC, who had chopped it up into 6 x half hour episodes, but it’d be nice to get the complete version.
  • US$49.95 for a single disc DVD release? Holy crap, is it coated with 24 carat gold? I know PBS is short of cash, but seriously, wouldn’t they raise more by pricing it at a reasonable level?

It’s worth noting that Cringely went on to do Nerds 2.0.1, about the rise of the Internet. I don’t recall that airing in Australia. Where can I buy that one? Not even from PBS, who appear to be out of stock.

What a shame I can’t buy this stuff and dutifully pay the copyright holder with my cold hard cash.

PS. Wednesday 8am Found Nerds 2.0.1 on another (rather fuzzy) tape, so it obviously did air in AU.

3 thoughts on “Triumph of the Nerds

  1. Jeremy

    ABC broadcasted a series of documentaries on the history of the Internet in 1999. Anyone remember what it was? Would love to see it again.

  2. Jeremy

    Ah yes it was, the email where I heard about it, that I still I have kicking around on a CD from Thu, 15 Jul 1999:
    “At 8:00 pm tonight there is a TV show on the ABC called
    ‘Nerds 2.0.1 – A brief history of the internet’ , part 1.
    The presenter is Bob Cringley, who has a web page at

    To which Sam Varghese added some positive comments, such as “Cringely is the best IT columnist
    around and is one of the first Apple employees.” As well as how he wrote a best selling book ‘Accidental Empires’ in 1992, which Triumph of the Nerds was based on.

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