Segments in this Video

Invention of the Personal Computer (04:03)


In the 1970s, Ed Roberts invented the personal computer as an alternative to bankruptcy. It was difficult to use until Bill Gates wrote the first personal computer language. Then two young hackers, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, built the first Apple computer. to impress their friends.

IBM's Culture and Bureaucracy (02:07)

IBM is a large computer company with a culture and bureaucracy of its own. It has a dress code that requires white shirts and garters.

IBM's New Organizational Structure (02:04)

IBM had created a process, and a culture, and it absolutely made sure that quality would be preserved throughout the process.

Time Running Out for the IBM PC (06:02)

IBM was struggling to keep up with the PC industry, so they turned to a small lab in Boca Raton, Florida, run by Bill Lo. Lo told IBM that they could have a product in a year, and IBM took him up on the offer.

Bill Gates' Background (01:56)

Bill Gates was a very competitive person who was not afraid of conflict. By the time IBM came calling in 1980, Bill Gates and his small company, Microsoft, was the biggest supplier of computer languages in the fledgling PC industry.

In Search of a PC Operating System (02:57)

IBM wanted to buy an operating system for their new personal computer, but Gary Kildall and Bill Gates were the only ones who had one. Gates offered to write them one, and they signed a non-disclosure agreement. Kildall was out flying when IBM came to visit, and they ended up choosing Gates' operating system.

IBM Visits Gary Kildall (02:23)

Gary Kildall blew his chance to make a deal with IBM, and Bill Gates took advantage.

Microsoft's Monopoly (04:32)

Microsoft bought the rights to an existing operating system from Seattle Computer Products for $50,000 and renamed it PC DOS. They then licensed it to IBM for $10 per copy and to the rest of the world for $50 per copy. This gave Microsoft a monopoly on the PC operating system market.

The Floridian Project (01:56)

Codenamed The Floridian Project, IBM announced the IBM PC, which became a major turning point in the history of personal computing.

The Killer App (02:44)

One of the reasons the IBM PC was successful was because it had a killer application, Lotus 123.

Reverse Engineering (04:46)

In order to create a new ROM BIOS chip that behaves exactly like the original IBM ROM BIOS, they will need to hire a group of engineers who have never seen the IBM ROM BIOS. They will have to reverse engineer the chip.

Cashing in on IBM's Success (02:45)

IBM's success in the PC industry caused other companies to start making clones.

Boom Time for Bill Gates (04:42)

Microsoft's early success was due to its close relationship with IBM, which allowed them to ride the bear of the computer industry.

Culture Clash at IBM and Microsoft (02:54)

IBM and Microsoft had a culture clash. Gates and Ballmer came to the conclusion together that OS 2 was not going to be a success the way it was being managed.

Windows vs. OS 2 (01:59)

IBM pressured Microsoft to not develop their own operating system and to exclusively develop software for IBM's new operating system, OS 2. Microsoft decided to break off communication with IBM and develop their own operating system, Windows.

Did David Beat Goliath? (04:28)

IBM was the first manufacturer and distributor of the Microsoft Intel PC, which they mistakenly called the IBM PC. This mistake cost them a third of their market value.

Where Did the Idea for Windows Come From? (01:43)

Microsoft's Windows software system, which was released in 1990, pushed Gates past all his rivals and made him the most successful computer entrepreneur in history. The idea for the software came from the hippies at Apple, who had created the first user-friendly PC.

Credits (01:03)


For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

Riding the Bear

Part of the Series : Triumph of the Nerds
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



To begin with, personal computers were just bought by enthusiasts, until IBM, the mighty maker of mainframes, entered the market. By launching its own PC, IBM opened the way for corporate America to embrace desk-top computers. In every one of them was an operating system from Microsoft, a tiny company compared to IBM. But it was Microsoft that would come out top in the end. 

Length: 56 minutes

Item#: FMK237965

ISBN: 978-1-63722-320-8

Copyright date: ©1996

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.