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SAN MATEO, Calif., Feb. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- PCTV, Inc., today announced that Computer Chronicles, television's premier series on personal computing, will air its 300th episode the week of February 28th on public television stations nationwide. Now in the midst of an unprecedented twelfth network season, Computer Chronicles started out as a weekly users group meeting broadcast locally in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The first program, which aired in 1982, was entitled "From Mainframes to Minis to Micros," and traced the evolution of the PC from its mainframe roots. Special guests on the first program were Gordon Bell -- former Vice President, Technology, Digital Equipment Corporation, Herb Lechner -- Vice President, Information Systems and Administration, SRI International, Menlo Park, CA, and Cyril Yansouni -- General Manager, PC Group Hewlett Packard. The 300th episode is entitled, "OS/2 Warp," and focuses on the latest operating system from IBM.

Over the years, the series has introduced viewer to nearly one thousand computer industry leaders, from Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Jim Manzi to Esther Dyson, Alan Ashton, and Andy Grove. The show has provided first glimpses of virtually every computer innovation, including IBM's entrance into the PC marketplace, as well as introduction of the Macintosh(R), Hypercard(R), portable computers, Windows(R), color printing, and multimedia products.

"During the twelve years and 300 shows, we have seen waves of new technology roll through, and watched various technologies mature and become stable," said Steward Cheifet, president of PCTV, Inc. who created Computer Chronicles and hosts the series. "I remember the first color printer -- it was the size of a Cadillac and took up half the studio. And when we demonstrated the printer, smoke came out of it. Literally."

"Another big change is the growth of PCs as a mainstream topic." Cheifet continues. "In the early days we were really talking to geeks and techies. We've watched that slowly expand each year to include a general viewership of all types of people who are fascinated with the technology."

For the first six seasons of the series, the show was co-hosted by Gary Kildall, creator of CP/M, the first personal computer operating system. Kildall went on to found Digital Research Incorporated which was eventually bought by Novell. Kildall was a much honored industry pioneer who passed away last year.

Computer Chronicles has been sponsored by many of the world's leading computer companies. The first underwriters were Microfocus, a cobol development and translation firm, as well as McGraw Hill and Byte Magazine. Intel sponsored the series last season, and Hewlett-Packard, the international manufacturer of computer products, is the major sponsor for this season, with additional funding by the Software Publishers Association. Hewlett-Packard also sponsored Computer Chronicles during its second season.

For over a decade, computer enthusiasts throughout the US and around the globe have turned to Computer Chronicles for weekly updates on the latest in computer technology. Computer Chronicles cameras have traveled the world, including Austria, Spain, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, France, Israel, and India to bring viewers the most up-to-date information on the global computer industry.

Computer Chronicles, which has been named the Best Computer Television Program by the Computer Press Association, airs on more than 289 public television stations nationwide and is distributed domestically by the American Program Service. The series is also distributed internationally to more than 100 countries via the USIA Worldnet Service, and is now distributed to more than 1 million US military personnel around the world by the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service. Computer Chronicles is translated into seven foreign languages, including Spanish, Arabic, and Estonian. Selected programs are also distributed in Japan with Japanese language transcripts. Major funding for Computer Chronicles is provided by Hewlett-Packard PCs, with additional funding by the Software Publishers Association.

PCTV, Inc. is the world's leading producer of television programming about computers and technology. With headquarters and studio in Newport, NH and west coast studios in San Mateo, CA, the privately held company produces programs for both public and commercial television and cable, as well as technology commericals, infomercials, and corporate videos. PCTV operates an on-line forum for viewers through CompuServe (GO CHRONICLES). The Computers on Television Forum includes program and product information, software demos, and bulletin boards. PCTV, Inc. can also be contacted through its on-line address. (
 -0- 2/27/95

/CONTACT: Crystal Burgos of PCTV, 215-629-1517/

CO: PCTV, Inc. ST: California IN: CPR SU:

BM-DP -- NE002 -- 0909 02/27/95 08:58 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 27, 1995

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