Posts Tagged ‘Alto’

Triumph of the Nerds – A documentary about the rise of Personal Computers

Saturday, October 8th, 2011

Triumph of the Nerds movie cover

Triumph of the Nerds is 3 parts documentary movie on how the Personal Computer was developed. The movie features interviews with Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, Allan Paul and many other IT veterans who played key roles for the development of the Personal Computer ,

The movie is an interesting watching for people interested into Information Technology and gives some minor insights on the starred interviewed people and their life philosophy. It was interesting times back then and it seems many of the guys who could participate in the PCs were very lucky, where others who made key developments which are de-facto standards today went into history without much being remembered.

Now the trends which these man set in world’s development is not nice. Even though PC brough a lot of fun in our every lives it suddenly started taking over our privacy and made the humanity divided.
The movie is a story of a man motivated by greed arrogancy and exploitation. Even though the movie has historical value it doesn’t even mention about Free Software Richard Stallman and the free software movement.

The movie talks about the development of CP/M the predecessor of Quick and Dirty DOS (QDOS), MS-DOS Windows 1,2,3, Windows 95 etc.

It also tries to picture the events around the raise and fall of IBM and OS/2.

The most notable parts for me in the movie are the showing off of some old computer hardware and Mainframe servers as well as the quick explanation on how Mainframes irons predecessed the PC. Another interesting moment in the movie is displaying Steve Jobs demonstrating the Xerox’s Alto graphical interface. Talking about Jobs it was quite shocking for the world his sudden death just 3 days ago so (R.I.P).

The movie author Robert X. Cringery stress out in the movie the great struggle between the so called “the blue Elephant” IBM and the just emerging early Microsoft Corporation

Triumph of the Nerds slightly mentions Digital Equipment Corporation / DEC or COMPAQ as later known. DEC is company less known in todays world which had historically great impact on computer market, so its a pity the movie part mentioning DEC is so short.

What the movie misses is to aforemention About’s Digital Equipment VMS operating system known under the code name OpenVMS. OpenVMS even of today is believed by many to be the most secure Operating System ever developed.
The movie part that talks about DEC is the second part of movie it shows a nice COMPAQ portable computer.

DEC Compaq portable II Computer

One should admit COMPAQ portable Computer is a really trendy for its time, Also the way it sticks the keyboard to the screen does remind seriously the opening and closing of a modern laptop 😉

The movie includes some interesting, so called crash courses where the movie author gives some insight on elementary computing, so for those new to informatix the movie will surely be educative as well, though for a UNIX gurus this elementary computing scenes will look kinda ridiculous 😉

One serious flaw with this movie is the complete lack of interviews with Richard Stallman and the importance of Free Software for the development of modern PC and the influence of the free software culture on todays latest Macintosh and PC developments.

A related movie which probably most IT geeks already know / seen is Pirates of the Sillicon Valley
, hence large chunk of Triumph of the Nerds gives another point of view on the ideas and stories presented in Triumph of the Nerds

Triumph of the Nerds brings back some good memories of the glorious PC computer past for all of us who had been a DR-DOS/MS-DOS and Windows 3.11 / 95 users.

The day, Today

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

The day started a bit normal. I did my morning excercise, then I prayed. I spoke with Dzemil (A macedonian colleague of mine) and we set up a meeting for 12:30, I ate. I received few calls from the office with requests to do few little things. At 12:30 I met Dzemil at the College restaurant. We spend some time talking with him and another turkish colleague. Then we went to speak with Bozhidar Bozhkov about the applications for Holland, what is the procedure of transfering from the college here to Arnhem Business School etc. Laters I went home and did some work on the servers and red and did my fourth cisco test. I went to my cousin and after that went to Javor, we went out with Ina and Javor for a coffee to Kukla. Afterwards I went home and played with Dynamips. For all that wonder what the hack Dynamips is. Well Dynamics is a Cisco emulator just like VMWare is an OS emulator with the exception that Dynamics is builded to run only Cisco’s IOS. I found that nice Video tutorial Cisco Router Emulation Software Dynamips Video Tutorial, check it out here Here . Since I needed a Cisco IOS image and I’m not a Cisco customer I used torrents to download a collection of Cisco ISO’s and used one of the isos to make it work on my Windows Vista. I have problems running it because of lack of permissions, caused by the famous UAC ( User Access Control ). The solution for me was to use a privileged command prompt and start, both the Dynamips sever and my custom configured which connected to the server and loaded the cisco image. There is also a very nice and extended tutorial on the topic of Dynamips it’s located Here . Alto today tested the previously installed Wireshark. Wireshark is a very nice substitute for iptraf for windows it has a nice and easy to use graphical interface, supports capturing and has lot of traffic analysis possibilities I strongly recommend it to anyone coming from a Linux/BSD background like me and searching for a nice Windows substitute for iptraf. Check out wireshark on the following URL . Now I’m going to change the topic and say a few words for my spiritual state. Today it was a hard day. I was tempted by the devil to think bad thoughts and did sinned for which I search forgiveness. Life it so hard I realize it more and more day by day. Very often old spirits which tormented me for a long time are trying to come back. I haven’t smoked today also and again thanks for that should fly to God who delived me from this terrible vice. As a conclusion I should say that for everything I should thanks to God and pray for him to forgive my unfaithfulness. END—–