The History Channel aired their special about computers, appropriately called "Computers" and part of the Modern Marvels series, last night. Steve Wozniak was recently interviewed on CNBC to promote the special. The show was in some ways a tribute to the early beginnings of the personal computer, and Apple had a big part in the program. Observer Ed M. sent us his notes on the show:
While at my cousins house this evening we happened to turn on the History Channel. At 10pm on Wednesday, April 11th a special titled "Computers" aired. It dealt with the history of computers from the very first conceptions all the way to current machines. There was also some time allotted to speculating what computers would be like in the future.
Needless to say, Apple was a key focus. More so than Microsoft. They showed GREAT shots of the PowerMac G4 as well as various iMac models. The new "Flower Power" iMac made a great cameo! And of course a whole slew of early Apple machines and great footage of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak working from the garage. Not only that, but Woz also provided a pretty decent interview session where he provided some of the history of Apple and what they set out to do.
The earliest examples of "graphical" interfaces were also noted. Everything from Engelhardis ground breaking demonstrations in 1968, to the "Alto" from the Xerox PARC to the introduction of the Macintosh and beyond. It aired on Channel 269 on DirectTV. A video of the special can be ordered from www.historychannel.com or by calling 1-800-708-1776. The price is $19.95. I think itis worth checking out.
Thatis a pretty ringing endorsement. We would also like to point out that Steve Wozniak specifically declined to characterize Microsoftis use of the Mac look and feel for Windows as stealing. He instead said that it was simply Bill Gates & Co. being crafty and exploiting an opportunity. After all, according to The Woz, Apple gave them prototypes of the Mac so that Microsoft could develop Mac software. Though he didnit emphasize this (or at least the show didnit include any emphasizing statements), Apple desperately needed software for the Mac in order to create a market.
Something else that Mr. Wozniak said that we found interesting was that the Internet was more important than personal computers, although you needed a personal computer to access the Internet. He likened the relationship to the one between streets and cars.
The show will likely air again, though we donit have any announced dates. Thanks to Ed M. for writing in!