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Time Capsule Video / Show - "Bits and Bytes"

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    Time Capsule Video / Show - "Bits and Bytes"

    If you've never watched this, well, then you really should. It's absolutely my favorite old computer show of all time.

    "Bits and Bytes" was a Canadian television series, produced by TVOntario in 1983. It starred Luba Goy as the instructor, and Billy Van as the student. The show consisted of twelve episodes and featured the Apple ][, Commodore PET, VIC 20 and 64, Atari 800, TRS-80, TI 99 and the IBM PC.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XC_T...441A2ED0D0B6A8

    Best,

    David Greelish
    Computer Historian, Writer & "The Oldest - Bright Young Star of Comedy!"

    about.me/davidgreelish
    linkedin.com/in/davidgreelish

    My history of computer history nostalgia book is now FREE! Get your copy - http://www.classiccomputing.com/CC/HB_Book.html

    #2
    Bits and bytes of in for mation turning darkness .... innn lighhhhhht.

    Don't forget the other show that followed it and was directly related. I can't remember the name of that one though.
    Be polite and I may let you live.

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...5NBVfKX5471R9U

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by KC9UDX View Post
      Don't forget the other show that followed it and was directly related. I can't remember the name of that one though.
      It was called "The Academy" and I didn't know about this one until a few years ago. I don't recall it being on after "Bits and Bytes" on TVO. I figured "Bits and Bytes" was for students and "The Academy" was for teachers? Maybe MikeS can chime in here since we recently learned that he was involved in the production. What was the demographic for "The Academy"?

      Since you guys are both a little outside of the TVO viewing area, were both shows broadcast in the US as well?
      Maintainer of http://vintagecomputer.ca

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by snuci View Post
        It was called "The Academy" and I didn't know about this one until a few years ago. I don't recall it being on after "Bits and Bytes" on TVO. I figured "Bits and Bytes" was for students and "The Academy" was for teachers? Maybe MikeS can chime in here since we recently learned that he was involved in the production. What was the demographic for "The Academy"?

        Since you guys are both a little outside of the TVO viewing area, were both shows broadcast in the US as well?
        I don't know how or why, but the series' were, if I recall correctly, broadcast here on one of the local PBS stations, probably late at night or Sunday afternoon or something. It was probably several years after the original broadcast.
        Be polite and I may let you live.

        https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...5NBVfKX5471R9U

        Comment


          #5
          I brought up B&B in a Commodore topic recently.

          This was waaaaaaay ahead of its time, and I think TVOntario deserves a great deal of credit for this program. These were the days when TVO actually still produced quality ORIGINAL programs! Although they made an attempt at sharing the airtime between several manufacturers of the time, the program is VERY Commodore heavy (for obvious reasons! )

          I was just in high school at the time and Ontario school boards had adopted the PET. The first PET I ever touched was actually in elementary school a few years prior. As I recall it, there MUST have been some real coordination between school boards and TVO on this as it was my TEACHER that informed us about this program and asked that we make an effort to watch it at home and then we could follow up on the topics in class. I recall him making VHS (or Beta? Lol) copies of the shows and then replaying them in school sometimes as well.

          I could be wrong but I recall this running on either Sunday or Monday evenings. People just over the border in Buffalo and Western New York would have been able to pick up B&B when it first ran! Just like PBS was a staple for us in Southern Ontario.... Ahhhhh... The good old pre-cable days with analog rabbit ears! Hahaha!

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by snuci View Post
            It was called "The Academy" and I didn't know about this one until a few years ago. I don't recall it being on after "Bits and Bytes" on TVO. I figured "Bits and Bytes" was for students and "The Academy" was for teachers? Maybe MikeS can chime in here since we recently learned that he was involved in the production. What was the demographic for "The Academy"?
            Actually, although you could just watch and enjoy it, Bits and Bytes was also a sort of self-study course; for a small fee you could order a set of related printed materials with additional information and questionnaires etc. and also join a 'forum' for further discussion and follow-up.

            About a year later we produced a sequel, Bits and Bytes 2 (also on Utube), but it wasn't promoted nearly as much as the original and only six episodes were produced.

            The Academy was an interview/documentary show that normally dealt with all sorts of topics, not really aimed specifically at teachers; for Bits and Bytes they linked it to and followed the B&B episodes, so that each episode expanded on the corresponding B&B topic but in a conversational format between the host Jack Livesley and Jim Butterfield, along with relevant video clips and animation. You probably would not have seen it outside of Ontario, since only Bits and Bytes was sold elsewhere AFAIK.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by MikeS View Post
              You probably would not have seen it outside of Ontario, since only Bits and Bytes was sold elsewhere AFAIK.
              It was shown here, each episode immediately after Bits and Bytes. At the time, I found it boring (!) and only watched small parts of two of them.
              Be polite and I may let you live.

              https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...5NBVfKX5471R9U

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by KC9UDX View Post
                It was shown here, each episode immediately after Bits and Bytes. At the time, I found it boring (!) and only watched small parts of two of them.
                Yeah, The Academy was definitely more educational and less entertaining; still, it's surprising how much of the stuff is still relevant today.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by MikeS View Post
                  Yeah, The Academy was definitely more educational and less entertaining; still, it's surprising how much of the stuff is still relevant today.
                  I probably wouldn't find it boring now. If I ever get a chance to sit down and watch it on Utoob, I'll have to do that. Also Bits and Bytes 2: I hadn't even heard of that till now.
                  Be polite and I may let you live.

                  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...5NBVfKX5471R9U

                  Comment


                    #10
                    In British Columbia we only got Bits & Bytes. Loved it. Seeing all of those different machines in one place was probably the genesis of me becoming a collector -- Atari, Apple, Commodore, TRS-80, got 'em all.

                    Showed it to my 12 year old daughter last year... she found it dreadfully boring. Which it probably is, but I loved the way the show explained things. Billy seemed to have a good sense of humour and I quite liked the cartoon explanations.

                    I don't think I saw video of Jim Butterfield until the internet came around. I knew his writing through Compute! magazine, though. Good stuff!

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