I've yet to make a proper introduction here, but while that simmers a little longer I'd love to share this project of mine with you.

I've collected 18 episodes of the 1983 television show, Whiz Kids, in English and Italian, 13 in French, and 7 in Japanese, and made them available for everyone on the Internet Archive. Some of the English episodes were sourced from a partial PAL DVD release and may be in better quality than you've ever seen them. Please enjoy and share with your friends and associates. It's not too late to become a fan of this very cool but short-lived show that inspired a lot of young people in its day, and continues to inspire me.


@danalog is that the show with Max Gail who used to be on Barney Miller? I remember seeing a few episodes of that.

@Ricardus Yes indeed. In fact I had brief contact with Mr. Gail this week to thank him for his contribution to the show. He was very touched and wants to reconnect with the former Whiz Kids. I'm going to do what I can to assist with that.

@Ricardus First through a Cameo order to support charity, then email. Hoping to interview him soon. Besides my Whiz Kids interest, he's long been involved in initiatives to grow spaces in local communities for networking, learning, sharing, and collaborating.

@danalog Cool. He was always my favorite on Barney Miller.

@Ricardus @danalog he’s fairly active on The Book of Face and always talks to Barney Miller fans. Very humble and appreciative man. Super, super nice. I’ve never personally talked to him but it would be a pleasure. I recently binged Barney Miller and it is probably my favorite sitcom of that era, if not of all I’ve ever seen.

@ultramagnus_tcv Barney Miller was a great show! I recently went back to it too and it's remarkable how well it holds up. The humor was balanced with a lot of heart, with layered characters who grew throughout the series.

@danalog yeah there was an earlier episode called The Harris Incident in which he gets profiled by a couple of white cops. The exact same stuff you can read in antiracism books today came out of Harris’s dialogue then. It’s both amazing and sad.

@RL_Dane So did I! It was so different from anything else on TV, and it made me super interested in learning about computers. Do you feel it had a lasting impact on your life? I connected with the actor who played Farley, Max Gail, recently and would love to share with him the collected memories and thoughts of others who watched the show when it aired.


It was definitely a sweet part of the far-too-short period of history where it was expected that every kid growing up would learn to understand computers on a fairly deep level, and not as mere users.

That mentality lasted from the mid-late seventies to the mid eighties, when budding primary/secondary school curriculum quickly shifted from teaching programming to merely teaching the usage of pre-made applications.

This is an unsung tragedy.

@RL_Dane I think of this film periodically and wish that such encouragement of hands-on, deep knowledge and exploration hadn't been discarded. youtube.com/watch?v=f1DtY42xEO

That is amazing!!
I tried to find more info on that computer. What I could find was that it was an Eliott 405, built/released in 1956 and donated to the school in 1965.
Oh, and it uses magnetic delay line memory at 600 baud, each cartridge storing a single word (!!)
It's a 33-bit word machine (1 bit for parity! 😄), and it's "valve-driven," but I have no idea what that means, and can't find any info on that, thanks to Valve of Steam fame.

@RL_Dane I've been down that same rabbit hole! I believe it was another way of saying it used vacuum tubes, as those were also called thermionic valves by some. The latter was probably a better term in the sense of being more descriptive of function, but I suppose vacuum won out in the end since everyone was already familiar with that concept.

@danalog @RL_Dane
My family didn't get a computer until 1989, but I remember being utterly fascinated by the computers and the technology, but had no ideas what the computers even were.

I would have been 8-10 when it aired (not sure if it aired at the same time here in New Zealand or a bit later, but won't have been much later).

A friend of mine had a C64 and a VIC20 before that and Whiz Kids made me want to do more than just play games. :)

How come archive.org only shows three uploads?

@RL_Dane Those are three archives. One has the English and French episodes, and the two others have the Italian and Japanese. I combined the English and French since there's a shared source between them for a number of the episodes.

@danalog wow, thanks for the flashback for one of my favorite shows when I was a kid.

@danalog 👍 I loved that series! A dubbed version called "Computer Kids" was shown on German TV around the same time I got my #Commodore64 in early 1989. I recently looked for it, but I didn't check archive.org.

@danalog I loved that show. I remember being absolutely outraged when the main kid (Richie?) got a girlfriend. No girls! Only C64!

@nivrig The show only lasted one more episode after that one, so she must've really derailed Richie's computer interests!

@danalog I'm here for it! Whiz Kids was an amazingly empowering show for little me. You're the first person other than myself to bring it up in conversation. Thank you for collecting these!

@chipmcintosh You're very welcome! I'm really happy to be finding out I wasn't the only one who watched it and took it to heart. Among people who grew up in the 70s and 80s, so few seem to have known it, even those who would've enjoyed it.

@danalog Ditto! I've had a similar experience with the extremely short-lived (and admittedly pretentious) "Probe". Probe g.co/kgs/DJa3ta

@chipmcintosh That was another one I enjoyed! From a young age, I had to learn to expect that the most interesting shows wouldn't last more than a season 😓

@chipmcintosh That's another I helped doom by watching. As well as this one, that was like a more playful version of MacGyver 😅 google.com/search?q=the+wizard

@danalog And yes, same here. Me loving a show is the most efficient way to ensure its cancelation.

@thor Do you mean the poster above? Hm, it's not showing mirrored for me. Or do you mean the video? I haven't seen any mirroring there either when viewing on my end, but if there is I'll need to find what's wrong and fix that.

@danalog when i say "picture" that's movie lingo. moving pictures.

@thor Thank you for the report. Is it in multiple episodes or just a particular one?

@danalog ugh, having some trouble seeking in the videos, site is slow for me

@thor Ah yeah, I've never had a good experience with Archive.org's embedded media. I was going to upload to Youtube as well, but I immediately received a global block on the first episode and didn't go further. I'm going to look into other streaming platforms that might provide a better home that's less closely monitored by overzealous IP holders who aren't losing any money from a show they're not commercializing.

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