Movies I like: Pirates of Silicon Valley


I collect old computers. I have a fairly large collection of 80s machines and I like to tinker with them now and then. Mostly, this is because I grew up with these things and I still enjoy playing one of these 80s games on the real machine as opposed to an emulator. Dead knowledge for sure, but fun it is …

Apart from fiddling with the machines, I also like to read books and watch movies about the rise of the personal computer. Boring, you think? Not quite – there is a lot of drama in these stories. I will post a reading list some time in the future, but for now let me tell you about a movie called Pirates of Silicon Valley. From Wikipedia:

Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999) is an unauthorized made-for-television docudrama written and directed by Martyn Burke. Based on the book Fire in the Valley: The Making of The Personal Computer by Paul Freiberger and Michael Swaine, this film documents the rise of the home computer (personal computer) through the rivalry between Apple Computer (Apple II and the Apple Macintosh) and Microsoft (MITS Altair, MS-DOS, IBM PC, and Windows).

The central story of the film begins in the early 1970s and ends with a birthday toast in 1985 to Steve Jobs shortly before he was fired by CEO John Sculley from Apple Computer.

This is a truly entertaining flick that at the same time gives a pretty good overview of the rise of both Apple and Microsoft. As movies go, the main personalities (Bill Gates and Steve Jobs) are pretty cliche, but it is very entertaining nevertheless. Sadly it is only available on DVD in the US but you can order it through Amazon. Also, the book this is based on is a great read as well – I might post a review later …



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