Bits and Bytes
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|Bits and Bytes|
|Written by||Denise Boiteau
|Directed by||Stuart Beecroft|
|Voices of||Fred Napoli|
|Theme music composer||Harry Forbes
|Country of origin||Canada|
|No. of series||2|
|No. of episodes||18|
|Executive producer(s)||Mike McManus|
|Running time||28 minutes (approx.)|
|Picture format||NTSC (4:3)|
|Related shows||The Computer Academy|
Bits and Bytes was the name of two Canadian educational television series that taught the basics of how to use a personal computer. The first series, made in 1983, starred Luba Goy as the Instructor and Billy Van as the Student. Bits and Bytes 2 was produced in 1991 and starred Billy Van on his own.
The intro sequence featured a montage of common computer terms such as "ERROR", "LOGO" and "ROM", as well as various snippets of simple computer graphics and video effects, accompanied by a theme song that very heavily borrows from the 1978 song Neon Lights by Kraftwerk. The series were produced by TVOntario. The Writer-Producers of both Bits and Bytes and Bits and Bytes 2 were Denise Boiteau & David Stansfield.
The first series featured an unusual presentation format whereby Luba Goy as the instructor would address Billy Van through a remote video link. The video link would appear to Luba who was seated in an office on a projection screen in front of her. She was then able to direct Billy, who appeared on a soundstage with various desktop computer setups of the era. Popular systems emphasized included the Atari 800, Commodore PET, Tandy TRS-80, and Apple II. Each episode also included short animated vignettes to explain key concepts, as well as videotaped segments on various developments in computing.
In the second series, produced almost a decade later, Billy Van assumed the role of instructor and taught a new female student. The new series focused primarily on IBM PC compatibles (i.e. Intel-based 286 or 386 computers) running DOS and early versions of Windows, as well as the newer and updated technologies of that era.
- Program 1: Getting Started
- Program 2: Ready-Made Programs
- Program 3: How Programs Work?
- Program 4: File & Data Management
- Program 5: Communication Between Computers
- Program 6: Computer Languages
- Program 7: Computer-Assisted Instruction
- Program 8: Games & Simulations
- Program 9: Computer Graphics
- Program 10: Computer Music
- Program 11: Computers at Work
- Program 12: What Next?
- Program 1: Basics
- Program 2: Words
- Program 3: Numbers
- Program 4: Files
- Program 5: Messages
- Program 6: Pictures
- Original Music - Harry Forbes, George Axon
- Animation Voice - Fred Napoli
- Animation - Grafilm Productions Inc.
- Consultants - Jim Butterfield, David Humphreys, Mike H. Stein, Jo Ann Wilton
- Unit Manager - Rodger Lawson
- Production Editors - Michael Kushner, Paul Spencer, Brian Elston, Doug Beavan
- Production Assistant - George Pyron
- Executive Producer - Mike McManus
- Director - Stu Beecroft
- Written & Produced by - Denise Boiteau and David Stansfield
- TVOntario's official (but incomplete) archive of the original series via the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine
- Complete archive of the original series on YouTube, including episodes and standalone clips of all of the animations and interviews
- Bits and Bytes at the Internet Movie Database
- Bits and Bytes 2 at the Internet Movie Database
- Fansite with more information about the show
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