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Video of Fall Comdex 1983
Video from Fall Comdex 1983 and how it came about.
Back in the early 1980's at Software Arts, where we developed VisiCalc, TK!Solver, and other products, we frequently videotaped activities to share with others in the company. This is how the transcript of the IBM PC Announcement 1981 came about, and the video excerpt of that shown in PBS's Triumph of the Nerds. We used the "home videotape" equipment of the day, which consisted of a large camera with a thick cable connected to a heavy tape deck. It was "portable," but barely so. There was no image stabilization.

Sometimes I took this to trade shows. You may have seen a short clip of Bill Gates talking to Lotus' Jonathan Sachs that was also in Triumph of the Nerds. That came from an hour and 25 minute tape that Cheryl Moreau of Software Arts and I made at Fall Comdex in 1983. When Lotus bought some of the Software Arts assets these tapes remained with Bob, me, and a few others.

I finally made a copy of that Comdex tape and uploaded it in three parts to YouTube. I also made an "excerpts" video that shows the part with Bill Gates (with audio as he talks about using Xenix for development), a mouse and paint program on an Apple //e in the Apple booth (pre-Mac), and part of a very full demonstration on the full tape of very early Microsoft Windows, pre-1.0. (They had only announced it to the public days before and didn't ship 1.0 until years later.)

These are provided for historical purposes. They are not for commercial use without permission, All Rights Reserved, etc. I think that some people will find them of interest and they should be part of the record available to historians and students. They are from Comdex in Las Vegas, November 28 - December 2, 1983. I apologize for the unsteady-cam and if we didn't show what you would have wanted. We cared a lot about different keyboards for porting reasons, as I recall, so there is a lot of zooming in on keyboards.

As I hear from various people about special things in the videos, I will put them here.

I've embedded the excerpts here:

You can also see the full tape in these three parts:

-Dan Bricklin, 23 April 2012

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