Terminal Madness (A 1980 Documentary About Personal Computers)

Terminal Madness (A 1980 Documentary About Personal Computers)

There is a better quality version of this video here: https://youtu.be/v_fTS3BO-cE

Terminal Madness was produced by Jerilyn Goodman for WMTV in Madison, WI in 1980. It contains interviews with several Madison residents who were exploring various uses for personal computer technology. About halfway through the video there is a segment filmed at my home showing how I had programmed a Cromemco Z-2 computer to control lights and appliances. Back then, I don’t think any of us imagined how far personal computer technology would advance, and become so essential to our daily life.

50 Comments

  1. stikowsky on October 4, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    Computers freeing up time .. I also hope that will happen some day.



  2. Burhan Arslan on October 4, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    Jobs and Gates were in age of one of that young men who are using the computers.



  3. Johnny John on October 4, 2019 at 2:43 pm

    This is not something for the far future date of 1990, this is for 1980!



  4. Harasen on October 4, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    This makes me wish that I could go back in time or an identical dimension with some decades of delay from ours and tell someone about technology in our time.



  5. Chris Rebar on October 4, 2019 at 2:45 pm

    What would be really interesting is a documentary made in 2019 on what impact computers are expected to have in 39 years time – I bet you it wouldnt even be close to what the reality will be



  6. Alex Hetherington on October 4, 2019 at 2:45 pm

    Oh yes everyone has a computer now but what do they do with them.All they use them for is watching porn,playing games for hours ,talking to people sitting in the next room ,cyberbullying and takeing pictures of their dinner and posting it so everyone can see.I wonder what the people of those days would think if they knew that this is how they would be used.



  7. vidyaWolf on October 4, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    3:08 "Are you a wizard?"



  8. mr vhs the vcr man on October 4, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    Internet in 1980



  9. Kaypro on October 4, 2019 at 2:48 pm

    I was only 5 then and remember my classroom had a TI-99. We were taught BASIC in elementary and middle school… mainly on the TRS-80. I am so glad I had that opportunity as it led to other skills.



  10. Chris Rebar on October 4, 2019 at 2:48 pm

    2:56 ICL2900 I think



  11. Florida Trailblazer on October 4, 2019 at 2:48 pm

    We now have computers in our phones, watches and in our bodies:)



  12. Gabriel Gingras on October 4, 2019 at 2:49 pm

    George was living in the future.



  13. Iresh Dissanayaka on October 4, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    I’m gonna grab my laptop and go back in time to 80s.



  14. Evert van Ingen on October 4, 2019 at 2:55 pm

    The guy at the beginning reminds me of El Risitas
    https://youtu.be/Fkk9DI-8el4



  15. BNL on October 4, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    I have a computer on my wrist!



  16. Francisco Arboleda on October 4, 2019 at 2:57 pm

    The commodore pet has such a distinct look.



  17. RedDragonUKTech on October 4, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    Scary how much they got right in this film. I’m always interested to see people’s perspective in the early days of certain technologies.



  18. SaltyBrains on October 4, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    @ 0:46 – That guy got interested when he heard they had colour computers now



  19. Leuchtfeuer80 on October 4, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    11:17 Smart Home of 1980



  20. H Koizumi on October 4, 2019 at 3:04 pm

    1980: Computer is like an internal combustion engine. People don’t know how to apply it until someone implement and demonstrate it.
    Future: *Uses for spreading Memes*



  21. Carlos Adriano Mateus on October 4, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    Music Wendy Carlos.



  22. mike watters on October 4, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    I got my first pc in 1995. The net was starting to speed up. I knew a guy who bought thousands of dollars of goods online using other peoples credit card details. He would rent a house in a dodgy name for 1 month and order the goods to be delivered. He would sit there for 3 weeks and collect the goods. That was when goods would be delivered to any address and not the account holders address only like it is today.



  23. James Robinson on October 4, 2019 at 3:07 pm

    21:26 well



  24. LilZebra on October 4, 2019 at 3:09 pm

    Generation X were the FIRST to use microcomputers, not the Millennials.



  25. Jim Prong on October 4, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    I had my first Computer in 1981. The Sinclair ZX81. I even taught myself how to write programs for it and I was in my thirties.



  26. Jonathan Soko on October 4, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    I’m playing asteroids in 4k 144 fps on my terminal right now



  27. Frank James Bonarrigo on October 4, 2019 at 3:12 pm

    We’ve basically gone from the Middle Ages to now in less than 150 year



  28. Travsticles on October 4, 2019 at 3:14 pm

    Those games 🤦‍♂️ no wonder they played out more



  29. Martin Sanders on October 4, 2019 at 3:14 pm

    00:25 "Well i’ve heard that in the future". Say what?



  30. Scott Hulsey on October 4, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    What if you could go back in time and hand them a smart phone.



  31. mcog 2006 on October 4, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    The sound effects are more like being in a retro arcade.



  32. 39K on October 4, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    I can’t wait until we get a computer in every home, it sounds very futuristic 🙂



  33. fred on October 4, 2019 at 3:16 pm

    hahaha, I can’t get over how ugly these things were back then.



  34. Andreea Savu on October 4, 2019 at 3:16 pm

    Science Fiction



  35. Agent Smith on October 4, 2019 at 3:17 pm

    This was 40 years ago, I wonder how it will look another 40 years from now



  36. MD on October 4, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    I feel so bad that I missed everything from this time ;(



  37. sign543 on October 4, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    I remember when the first kid on our block got a home computer…it was a Commodore 64…and it hooked up to the television (He was Asian…I don’t know if that means anything haha)…and everyone wanted to go over and see what it did. I remember watching what it did…and still having no idea what it did. It played some games and then the dad showed us a home budget program that was a big SNORE….and that was it. I never saw the big appeal. Now…I’m posting this on an iPad Pro, my iPhone 8 Plus is charging beside me, and I have an Apple Watch on my arm. If someone would’ve described this scene to me back then in 1984 or 85…I would’ve laughed and said, “You’ve watched too much Star Trek”.



  38. Harasen on October 4, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    I love the middle parts in this with music getting played.



  39. Mike Wazowski on October 4, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    Damn, I’m old



  40. Nuf GamingYT on October 4, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    who here is watching 5 years later?

    cuz i am



  41. Jennifer Viets on October 4, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    So interesting. I’m a kid and have never seen any of this! Great upload!



  42. Dan Kirchner on October 4, 2019 at 3:22 pm

    computers were more popular than personal hygiene back then



  43. Tom P. on October 4, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    what a great bit of history



  44. repcatcher on October 4, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    Amazing find. Thank you



  45. Lesrevesdhiver on October 4, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    At 3:56 it shows a PET computer. Today, the average computer or cell phone has more processing power than God knows how many PET machines.

    AND, all those disks at 2:54, one single micro-SD card holds more data than every computer and disk in that entire room.



  46. M. S. on October 4, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    I easily have around 20 computers in my home today. Between phones, tablets, smart tv, PC, videogame, e-reader, etc…



  47. Morph Verse on October 4, 2019 at 3:29 pm

    OG PC!.

    The home computer in many ways have evolved into the smartphone age we live in today, small pocket computers that are strong enough to do any task.
    Except for the high demanding video games that are on PC and consoles, but that’s isn’t far off either..

    These days you can even dock your smartphone as a desktop PC and your phone as your regular PC..



  48. rapturekevin on October 4, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    I cant see this computer thing catching on.



  49. Tadpoled on October 4, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    I just love how the people in this video knew what kind of impact computers would have in the future. It’s amazing to see how far computers have come. But it’s unfortunate that people now don’t appreciate and learn how these little machines work.



  50. James Robinson on October 4, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    such hope for the future. all this work and progress to watch cat videos