John (Mr. Computer) #2

The tape features a demo for the television show "Wired In." While the  program never actually came to fruition, the footage and demos put together are an interesting look into the the technological trends and innovations of the 1980s. In this video, we watch as computer enthusiast Jon, a.k.a. Mr. Computer, speaks with the Wired In crew about the computer industry.

00:00Copy video clip URL This tape begins with color bars.

00:47Copy video clip URL Cut to a shot of Jon at his desk. The filmmaker begins to ask Jon about the piracy within the industry. John states, “Well, I think the difference between the pirates and the traders is simply this: that what I consider to be the real pirates are people who take programs and make copies of them and then sell them.” Jon then goes on to talk about the fact that computer store owners are copying programs and selling them for a profit. He also talks about an instance in which he almost bought a bootleg copy of a program. Jon goes on to state that the actual products available are not the most professional looking and that the lack of professionalism among bigger companies can lead to piracy. “The real products in many cases are not particularly any better than the cheapest copy you can make.”

05:50Copy video clip URL Jon talks about his non-ethical practices in making copies of programs but also states that he doesn’t feel guilty about it. Jon feels that companies will not prosecute him because he isn’t the target. Jon then goes on to talk about the program VisiCalc and it’s reproduction under different names.

08:54Copy video clip URL Jon talks about his reasons for using a code name while communicating via computer. He states that he doesn’t want people to know exactly who he is because of his work within the computer industry. Jon also explains that he uses a girl’s name to get more responses from other people about problems he may come across. He feels that it gives him an advantage in a fairly male dominated area of work.

11:20Copy video clip URL One of the filmmakers asks Jon about the massive amounts of young teens in the industry. John talks about his experiences with children in the industry and their ability to grasp computer technology so well. “The younger kids don’t have these faulty learning habits to unlearn so that they just, they jump right in. They’re clean slates and this is the first mark on them and they learn quickly and retain forever.” Jon then talks about computer technology and it’s effect on the younger generation. He also talks about his own generation’s problems with technology.

15:02Copy video clip URL The filmmaker asks Jon about the future of computer technology. Jon states that we have a long way to go and says that we are in a “horse and buggy” stage of computer advancement. He believes that young people will determine the direction in which computer technology will go.

16:17Copy video clip URL The filmmaker asks Jon about the electronic bulletin board “Pirates In.” John explains that the bulletin board is a “forum for trading.” He then takes the filmmakers through the process of using the bulletin board. John also states that a couple of young teenagers run “Pirates In.”

19:09Copy video clip URL Tape ends.

 

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