Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Computer Chronicles

Computer Chronicles was an American half-hour television series, broadcast from 1983 to 2002 on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) public television, which documented the rise of the personal computer from its infancy to the immense market at the turn of the 21st century.

The series was created in 1983 by Stewart Cheifet (later the show's co-host), who was then the station manager of the College of San Mateo's KCSM-TV. The show was initially broadcast as a local weekly series. The show was co-produced by WITF-TV in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. It became a national series on PBS from fall 1983. Jim Warren was the show's founding host for the 1981–1982 season. It aired continuously from 1981[clarification needed] to 2002, with Cheifet co-hosting most of the later seasons. Gary Kildall served as co-host from 1983 to 1990, providing insights and commentary on products, as well as discussions on the future of the ever-expanding personal computer sphere.

The Computer Chronicles format remained relatively unchanged throughout its run, except perhaps with the noticeable difference in presenting style; originally formal, it evolved into a more relaxed, casual style. From 1984 onward the last five minutes or so featured Random Access, a segment that gave the viewer the latest computer news from the home and business markets. Stewart Cheifet, Janelle Stelson, Maria Gabriel and various other individuals presented the segment. Random Access was discontinued in 1997. The Online Minute, introduced in 1995 and lasting until 1997, gave the viewers certain Web sites that dealt with the episode's topic. It featured Giles Bateman, who designed the show's "Web page" opening sequence that was used from that period up until the show's end.

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