15 episodes

A review of the people, products, and companies featured on "Computer Chronicles" between 1983 and 2002.

Chronicles Revisited Podcast S.M. Oliva

    • Technology
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

A review of the people, products, and companies featured on "Computer Chronicles" between 1983 and 2002.

    15. What Was Bruce Davis Thinking?

    15. What Was Bruce Davis Thinking?

    In August 1987, Apple announced HyperCard, a new type of middleware for the Macintosh that made it possible for anyone to create a polished application combining text, graphics, and hyperlinks. One of the first companies to embrace HyperCard was Activision, the well-known game publisher, which released Focal Point and Business Class, two business productivity tools created by Danny Goodman, who also authored the first definitive book on HyperCard.
    But why would a company known for games like Pitfall! on the Atari VCS and Ghostbusters on the Commodore 64 get into business software for the Macintosh? The answer to that question requires looking back at the early history of Activision and the company's struggles to stay afloat after the collapse of its original home video game cartridge business.
    Computer Chronicles Revisited 27 — Sargon III, Millionaire, and GhostbustersComputer Chronicles Revisited 29 — Locksmith, PC-Talk, and Frankie MouseComputer Chronicles Revisited 92 — HyperCard, Focal Point, and the National Gallery of Art LaserguideComputer Chronicles Revisited 99 — Shanghai, Tower of Myraglen, Earl Weaver Baseball, and Ferrari Formula OneComputer Chronicles Revisited 102 — Macworld Expo/San Francisco 1988Computer Chronicles Revisited 106 — PC-File+, Automenu, HotDIR, ProComm, Artisto+, and StuffItComputer Chronicles #205 — Software Piracy (1985)Computer Chronicles #501 — HyperCard (1987)Computer Chronicles #512 — MacWorld San Francisco 1988 (1988)Danny Goodman Video Computer Arts, Inc.: Business and Financial Plan (Jim Levy, 1979)Pitfall! (Activision/David Crane, 1982)Crime and Punishment (Imagic/Jack Kress, 1984)'The Manhole' (Jimmy Maher, The Digital Antiquarian, 2016)'Atari's Distribution Nightmare' (Alexander Smith & Jeffrey Daum, They Create Worlds, 2023)Podcast Music: 'Scenic Detour' by Melody Ayres-GriffithsDownload this podcast (MP3)

    • 48 min
    14. Touch the Screen! Touch the Screen!

    14. Touch the Screen! Touch the Screen!

    When Computer Chronicles debuted as a national program in the fall of 1983, the IBM Personal Computer dominated what was then still called the microcomputer market. But the PC standard had yet to cement itself as the only approach to small business computers. Hewlett-Packard, one of the original Silicon Valley companies, offered its own MS-DOS machine, the HP-150 Touchscreen Personal Computer. Cyril Yansouni, the general manager of HP's personal computer division, appeared in the inaugural Chronicles broadcast to demonstrate the HP-150 and explain how its touchscreen display and 3.5-inch floppy disk drives help drive the evolution of the micro forward.
    Computer Chronicles Revisited 1 — The HP-150 TouchscreenComputer Chronicles #101 — Mainframes to Minis to Micros (1983)"The HP 150" (Phil Lemmons and Barbara Robertson, Byte, 1983)"Hewlett-Packard Demonstrates the HP-150 Personal Computer" (Boston Computer Society/Computer History Museum, 1983)HP 150 Technical Reference Manual (1984)"Cyril Yansouni: HP veteran takes risks" (Stewart Wolpin, Professional Computing, 1984)"Jesus He Knows Me" (Genesis, 1991)"Read-Rite Gets Its Act Together" (Arthur M. Louis, SFGATE.com, 1997)"The Inventor of Touch Screen Technology" (Mary Bellis, ThoughtCo., 2018)"Touch Screen MS-DOS PC from 1983" (Adrian's Digital Basement, 2020)"Origins of the 3.5in Floppy Disk" (Tech Tangents, 2023)Podcast Music: 'Scenic Detour' by Melody Ayres-GriffithsDownload this podcast (MP3)
     

    • 27 min
    13. Greed Is the Key Word

    13. Greed Is the Key Word

    In 1980, Mattel Electronics released the Horse Race Analyzer, a calculator-type device that promised to help you pick winning horses at the track. Developed by a former cosmetics marketing executive and a college mathematics professor, a Mattel executive claimed you would get a better return using the Analyzer to place winning bets than from purchasing U.S. government Treasury Bills. But at an initial retail price of $100, the device failed to match the success of Mattel's earlier handheld games. Yet the Horse Race Analyzer continued to be sold for more than a decade after Mattel Electronics itself collapsed and even made a brief appearance on a March 1987 Computer Chronicles episode.
    CCR Special 11 — The Mattel Electronics Horse Race AnalyzerComputer Chronicles Revisited 84 — Computer Sports World, Thoroughbred Handicapping System, and Pointspread AnalyzerComputer Chronicles #426 — Computers and GamblingUnited States Patent 4,382,280 — Electronic Horse Race Analyzer (Evan W. Mandel and William Quirin, 1983)They Create Worlds, Volume 1 (Alexander Smith/CRC Press, 2019)Podcast Music: 'Scenic Detour' by Melody Ayres-GriffithsDownload this podcast (MP3)

    • 18 min
    12. A WordStar Divided

    12. A WordStar Divided

    In the late 1970s and early 1980s, WordStar was the gold standard for word processors on microcomputers. The publisher of WordStar, MicroPro International, was one of the first successful computer software companies. But as the early CP/M machines gave way to the MS-DOS-based IBM Personal Computers, WordStar quickly lost market share to an upstart rival, WordPerfect. To add insult to injury, WordStar also faced a split in its loyal customer base thanks to a clone backed by longtime Computer Chronicles contributor George Morrow. While WordStar survived, it never again thrived.
    Computer Chronicles Revisited 85 — WordStar 4.0, WordPerfect 4.2, Microsoft Word for MS-DOS 4.0, and OfficeWriter 5.0Chronicles Revisited Podcast 3 — Quotations From Chairman MorrowAlmost Perfect (Pete Peterson, 2001)'PC Software Workshop: Word Processing' (Computer History Museum, 2004)A Potted History of WordStar (Michael Petrie, 2014)Podcast Music: 'Scenic Detour' by Melody Ayres-GriffithsDownload this podcast (MP3)

    • 21 min
    11. Where Did All the Light Go?

    11. Where Did All the Light Go?

    In 1985, Broderbund released Science Toolkit, a unique combination of hardware and software that enabled students to conduct simple experiments using an Apple II computer. Science Toolkit was an early example of 'Microcomputer Based Labs' or MBL, a concept first developed by Dr. Robert Tinker, a legend in the field of science education. While Tinker's own efforts to commercially develop MBL--later known as 'probeware'--fell short, Broderbund enjoyed success with Science Toolkit in the late 1980s, thanks largely to the company's ability to market and distribute Apple II products to the educational market. This marketing effort included not one, but two glowing reviews for Science Toolkit on Computer Chronicles from Stewart Cheifet and Paul Schindler, respectively.
    Computer Chronicles Revisited, Part 53 -- Reader Rabbit, Science Toolkit, A.G. Bear, and the Melard AccessComputer Chronicles Revisited, Part 62 -- Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow, Information Laboratory, Voyage of the Mimi, and the FactoryComputer Chronicles Revisited, Part 97 -- Byline, Higgins, Julie, and Mr. GameshowComputer Chronicles #315 -- Christmas Buyers Guide 1985Computer Chronicles #506 -- Consumer Buying Guide 1987Broderbund/Synapse Software for Apple and IBM Personal Computers (1985)Technology in a Curriculum for Citizenship (James S. Eckenrod & Saul Rockman, 1986)'A Roundtable Discussion' (Broderbund News, 1987)A History of Probeware (Robert Tinker, 2000)'Mourning Bob Tinker, the Thomas Edison of S.T.E.M.' (Gary Stager, 2017)'Why in North Dakota is Carmen Sandiego?' (Frank Cifaldi, 2020)Video Game Newsroom Time Machine -- Gary Carlston Interview (Karl Kuras, 2021)Podcast Music: --Scenic Detour-- by Melody Ayres-GriffithsDownload this podcast (MP3)

    • 28 min
    10. He Stopped Building Model Trains

    10. He Stopped Building Model Trains

    In the late 1970s, Will Harvey worked a summer paper route to help pay for his first computer, a Commodore PET. After trading up to an Apple II a few years later he developed Music Construction Set, which became one of the earliest hits for a small software startup called Electronic Arts. Harvey appeared on one of the first Computer Chronicles episodes to demonstrate his program while still in high school. He went on to a long career in the tech industry, while Electronic Arts used its "construction set" brand to establish itself as an innovator in entertainment software for microcomputers.
    Computer Chronicles Revisited, Part 3 -- Music Construction Set and the Alpha SyntauriComputer Chronicles Revisited, Part 15 -- Space Shuttle, Excalibur, Pinball Construction Set, and Dr. J vs. Larry BirdComputer Chronicles #103 -- Computer Music (1983)Computer Chronicles #121 -- Computer Games (1984)Pinball Construction Set (Bill Budge, 1982)Lancaster (Will Harvey/Silicon Valley Systems, 1983)Music Construction Set (Will Harvey/Electronic Arts, 1984)'Will Harvey: Musical Hardhat' (Mary Eisenhart, MicroTimes, 1984)Adventure Construction Set (Stuart Smith/Electronic Arts, 1985)Racing Destruction Set (Electronic Arts, 1985)Software People: Inside the Computer Business (Douglas G. Carlston, 1985)The Immortal (Will Harvey/Electronic Arts, 1990)'Playing Catch-Up: Will Harvey' (Frank Cifaldi, 2005)'Game 29: Adventure Construction Set (1984)' (Chester N. Bollingbroke, The CRPG Addict, 2010)'The Six Children of EA' (Alexander Smith & Jeffrey Daum, They Create Worlds, 2018)Podcast Music: 'Scenic Detour' by Melody Ayres-GriffithsDownload this podcast (MP3)

    • 24 min

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