[torontocbm] Re: Archives of 'Bits and Bytes' and 'The Academy'

  • From: "Mike Stein" <mhs.stein@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <torontocbm@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 11 Aug 2012 11:42:57 -0400

Hi Peter,

I gave my tapes to Steve and he copied them to DVDs; I'll probably see him
this weekend but I imagine you'll hear from him anyway when he reads this

I think Syd B was also talking about putting together a set as a fund raiser
for the museum, but don't know if that ever happened.

Gratifying to see there's still interest in these old shows; I had a lot of
fun working on them, especially with Jim B..

Which machines are you preserving/restoring ? Looks like there may be a DEC in there somewhere; are you on the CCtalk list or the VC forum by any chance?


----- Original Message ----- From: "Peter Dreisiger" <prd@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <torontocbm@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Saturday, August 11, 2012 9:29 AM
Subject: [torontocbm] Archives of 'Bits and Bytes' and 'The Academy'

Hi there,

Sorry for the semi-random email (and from someone quite removed from
Toronto), but I've been searching for episodes of 'The Academy' and 'Bits
and Bytes II' for several years now, and I just came across this email
thread so I thought I'd try to raise Steve Gray or Mike Stein.

The original series of 'Bits and Bytes' also aired back in the 1980s on
the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (roughly, our equivalent of your
CBC) and it's the show that really got me into computing, so it definitely
holds a special place for me.  But in addition to the nostalgia, I still
think that the first series, at least (I haven't seen the second), does an
excellent job of explaining quite a few key concepts in computing — a view
that's been reinforced by quite a few of the messages and comments I've
received since making the 1983/4 series available online at
http://youtube.com/user/bitsandbytestvo (it's even been included in
college course notes on compilers and interpreters, and computer music).
Add to this my interest in learning about, preserving, restoring and
sharing knowledge about the history of computing (including physical
machines that can be used and interacted with) and, well, here I am.

Anyway, I guess I'm writing to see if I am able to get a hold of a copy of
this DVD set (I am, of course, more than willing to pay for time and
materials plus shipping), partly to satisfy my own curiosity (I've seen
neither 'The Academy' nor the second series), and partly to add to
collection (unless someone else wishes to make the other series
available).  Near as I can tell from the messages and emails I've been
able to track down, this show is no longer available for purchase from
TVO, and that the episodes they've made available at
http://archive.tvo.org/program/120129/Bits%20and%20Bytes are, likely, all
the episodes they have in their archives.

Well, if anyone is willing to send me a copy of this archive, please let
me know by email (though I'll also be keeping an eye on this list).

Many thanks in advance,


From http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XC_T5mvuguw

HOLY. HELL! Thank you so much for uploading these, I've been wanting to
watch this series for years, even wrote to TVO a couple of times trying
to buy the series. The second time they actually got back to me to tell
me they don't have it available for purchase anymore. I watched this
series back when it was relevant, and have been requiring a major
nostalgia fix for a very long time.

From http://www.rickstv.com/tvo/feedback2004.html

July 5/04 from Mr. E:

Just got word back directly from TVO Sales department, after asking about
Bits And Bytes' availability. Gone. All gone.
So, now what?
Does anyone.....A N Y O N E .....out there have access to this show??? I
HATE when something like this goes into oblivion, forever to
be forgotten. Just because the information is out of date doesn't mean it
means nothing to people. This show got me into computers in the
first place.

From: Steve Gray <sjgray@xxxxxxxxxx>
To: "torontocbm@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <torontocbm@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2012 21:23:24 -0700 (PDT)

It was interesting to watch those old shows again after all these year. I
vaguely remember watching them at the time but seeing them now knowing
how far we've come (well, some of use are still stuck in time) was a
little weird. Anyway, I was happy to archive them.

I made about 13 sets. Thanks to all that picked them up, and thanks to
those that donated a little extra. Not required, but still appreciated.
I have 3 sets that I am mailing out to various people and hope to get
those out by mid next week. For those that couldn't make the meeting
please email me when you plan to attend a meeting and I will bring your
set with me. If anyone still wants a set I might be persuaded to make a
few more ;-) If anyone somehow got a bad disc let me know and I'll
replace it.


From: Mike Stein <mhs.stein@xxxxxxxxx>
To: torontocbm@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2012 11:08:18 PM
Subject: [torontocbm] Re: Toronto PET Users Group April 19 2012

Yeah, thanks Steve!

As you know, Golan made a set of DVDs of Bits & Bytes a couple of years
ago but he didn't think my tapes of The Academy and B&B II were good
enough; I'm happy to see that you managed to transfer them, and the
parts I've looked at don't look too bad at all.

It's also nice that you kept the Academy shows together with the
respective B&B shows that they followed and refer to, instead of putting
them on a separate disk.

Nice work, and thanks again! Fond memories of working with Jim B, Luba
and Billy on those shows...

As far as putting them "out there", I don't know what the copyright
status would be or, more to the point, if anybody would complain. I see
that TVO have put several episodes up on their archive site; maybe we
should ask them to make them all public...

Other related posts: