Segments in this Video

The History of PCs (04:53)


Windows 95 was a huge success and made PCs easier to use.

Xerox's Beginnings (01:38)

It all began in 1971 in Palo Alto, just South of San Francisco, when Xerox, the copier company set up the Palo Alto Research Center or PARC.

Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (01:37)

The Alto computer, built around 1973, was the first personal computer and had all the elements of a modern PC.

The PARC Computer Network (04:03)

The personal computer was invented at Xerox PARC, but the management at Xerox didn't understand the vision and didn't capitalize on the invention. Steve Jobs saw the potential of the personal computer and made the industry follow his vision.

Steve Jobs at Xerox PARC (02:05)

The first popular personal computer, the Apple II, was a hit and made Steve Jobs one of the biggest names in a brand new industry. At the height of Apple's early success in December 1979, Jobs visited Xerox PARC and saw the graphical user interface. He came back and demanded that his entire programming team get a demo of the Smalltalk system.

Apple's Alto Computer (03:38)

Apple's early success was due to the work of Steve Jobs, who was ousted from the company. He was brought back in 1997 and turned the company around with the release of the iMac.

Do You Want to Leave Pepsi? (02:50)

John Sculley refused to leave PepsiCo for Steve Jobs, but Jobs stared him down until he agreed to come work for him and change the world. Jobs was a demanding boss who pushed his team to deliver perfection.

The Mac Progresses (04:05)

Apple was in trouble in 1983 because IBM's PC was dominating the market. Steve Jobs pushed his engineers to the limit to create the Mac, which had a graphical user interface that was different from DOS. The Mac was successful because it had killer applications.

Apple's Pirates (05:17)

The Mac team saw themselves as Apple's pirates, but the gang was now being called on to save the ship as the Apple II was losing precious market share.

Apple: We Shall Prevail (04:07)

The Mac was introduced in 1984 as a more user-friendly alternative to the IBM PC, but it failed to catch on with the public. Its downfall was due in part to its high price tag and the lack of applications available for it. However, its graphical user interface and its ability to print exactly what was on the screen helped to make it a popular computer among graphic designers and other professionals.

The Life-Changing Mac (03:15)

Apple's founder, Steve Jobs, was forced out of the company in 1985 due to disagreements with the board of directors. Without Jobs, Apple never recovered and is a very different company today.

Macintosh vs Microsoft (04:10)

Apple was a company in the 80s that made computers easy to use. Microsoft saw the Mac's GUI as a threat and created Windows, which slowly got better. Apple sued Microsoft for copying the look and feel of the Mac's GUI but lost.

The Mac Wins the GUI Wars (03:47)

Apple was doing well until Microsoft released Windows 3, which killed off Apple's hopes that the Macintosh would win the GUI wars.

Windows 95 (02:08)

Bill Gates was a software nerd who became the richest man in the world by setting the industry standard for PC operating systems.

The Next Wave of the Information Revolution (02:05)

The internet is a mailbox, telephone, and television, and is changing rapidly. Bill Gates is making new alliances to stay ahead of the competition.

Larry Ellison's Battle with Microsoft (02:28)

In Atherton, the most exclusive suburb in Silicon Valley, the bachelor billionaire Larry Ellison has built himself a 10 million dollar samurai mansion. Ellison is the CEO of Oracle Corp. and is Microsoft's competition.

Macintosh in Trouble (01:57)

Apple, the company Jobs took from a garage to the Fortune 500, is in trouble. It is now a fading force in the PC marketplace. The documentary Triumph of the Nerds looks at the history of the personal computer, from the early days of the Altair to the rise of Microsoft and Apple.

Credits (00:60)


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Great Artists Steal

Part of the Series : Triumph of the Nerds
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
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At first, PCs were a joy for nerds but a pain for the everyday user. The Xerox Palo Alto research center transformed them into a computer anyone could use. Inspired by their work, Steve Jobs had Apple create the Macintosh, the first really modern pc. But it wasn’t a money-spinner and Jobs was fired from the company he founded. It was a different result for Microsoft’s version of the Palo Alto research. This was Windows 95 and it made Bill Gates the richest man in the world. 

Length: 56 minutes

Item#: FMK237966

ISBN: 978-1-63722-321-5

Copyright date: ©1996

Closed Captioned

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