Triumph of the Nerds

What did you think of TotN

Question from E-mail

I share your great enthusiasm for the flexible iMac and concern with current quality issues. I leave you with two question: (1) Which one of you guys, in the very early days, supposedly typed machine code from memory to build an operating system over a few days time? (Myth or Fact) (2) No one has commented on the old documentary "Triumph of the Nerds", what did you think of this show from several years back? (It is a favorite of mine.)


I wrote all my code on paper in hexadecimal. I couldn't afford an assembler to translate my programs into hexadecimal bytes, I did it myself. Even my BASIC interpreter is all hand written. I'd type 4K into the Apple I and ][ in about an hour. I, and many others too I think, could sit down and start typing hexadecimal in for a SMALL program to solve something that occured or something that somebody else wanted. I'd do this all the time for demos. I certainly don't remember which hexadecimal codes are which 6502 instructions any longer, but it was a part of life back then.

I liked "Triumph of the Nerds." It was one of the best shows ever created of that kind. Everyone has the same opinion, so why ask me? I'm not a history expert and couldn't tell you what it missed or got wrong, but it seemed extremly thorough and insightful.