Software piracy in the 80s, the early days of the Internet, the war between Netscape Communicator 4.0 and Internet Explorer 4.0, it was all covered by the Computer Chronicles. Invaluable, and most of the time hilarious historical documents, are now available for free on BitTorrent.
The Computer Chronicles is a US tv-series dedicated to technology and the personal computer, broadcasted from the early eighties until 2002.
One of my favorite episodes is the computer chronicles episode about computer piracy in the eighties, featuring Frankie Mouse, the Computer Pirate. In this episode Frankie explains what being a software pirate in 1985 is all about, while showing off with his cracked version of Apple II software.
The famous hacker John T Draper, also known as “Captain Crunch” also makes an appearance in this episode. Draper started hacking telephone lines in the early seventies, something he later taught Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak even before they founded Apple.
The Computer Chronicles collection is available in Mininova’s featured content section. Different formats and direct download links are also available in the Internet archive.
The .torrent file for this episode can be found over here (fixed). Other highlights are:
The Hard Disk (1985)
During the mid eighties applications were getting more complicated and needed more disk space. This episode reviews some of the options, hard disk drives, Bernoulli boxes and tape streamers. (torrent)
Video Game Consoles (1990)
An episode featuring groundbreaking games such as: “Defender of the Crown” on an IBM PC, “SimEarth” on Mac IIci, “Michael Jackson Moonwalker” on a Sega Genesis and “The Legend of Zelda” on a Nintendo.(torrent)
The Internet (1993)
This episode includes a preview of the World Wide Web as used at NASA, an item about the first Internet radio station, and a visit to ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency) where it all began. (torrent)
The Battle of the Browsers (1997)
An in depth look at some of the most sophisticated browsers in the late nineties: Netscape Communicator 4.0, Internet Explorer 4.0, VRML 2.0 and RealSystem 5.0. We know how this war ended. (torrent)
An episode showing off Microsoft’s Office 2000 Developer, LEGO Mindstorms RCX Code Developer, Macromedia Flash 3.0, and Metrowerks CodeWarrior. Also a special look inside Electronic Arts to see what they use to program their latest game WWII Fighters. (torrent)