WATCHING STUFF: "The Computer Chronicles"

Sometimes the “hiding in plain sight” thing catches even The Cinefamily by surprise. The rather incredible Internet Archive (found at is a humungous repository of free knowlegde that’s different from Wikipedia in that it is an ever-expanding library of deposited materials (rather than a living encyclopedia), all free of charge. Its video section — in which you can either download items or stream them — contains a bounty of weird ephemeral stuff. I just discovered a treasure trove of “The Computer Chronicles”, a long-running PBS show based out of Northern California, about the evolution of the computing revolution. I’m a sucker for old-school tech, as I’m sure many of you reading are as well, so this was quite a find. One episode in particular caught my eye, from 1984, on new computer games.

Watch the entire episode of “The Computer Chronicles: Video Gaming”!
YouTube Preview Image

The show itself isn’t exactly the most whizz-bang presentation you can imagine, but it’s quite charming. I found myself more interested in the personalities of the interview subjects (in this episode’s case, video game programmers) than any kind of nostalgic gadget porn on display. The interview with the Ric Ocasek lookalike and the excitable fellow in the sweater had me very entertained. Check the photo above at the top of the post…

This other image is from a different episode from 1990, regarding early computer video editing systems. I was smitten with this fellow’s Hostess snack cake-style ‘do.