robert cringely
Male, 65 years old

Like most "overnight" sensations, Robert Cringely spent more than 20 years working to become the "nerd" he is today. Mr. Cringely, a best-selling author, columnist, futurist and PBS personality was only the 12th employee at Apple Computer back in 1977. After Apple, he taught for several years at Stanford University before becoming the high-tech gossip columnist for InfoWorld, a trade paper read each week by more than 600,000 computer professionals. It was at InfoWorld that Robert Cringely fine-tuned the 3,309 entries in his Rolodex that make him the man with his finger on the very latest on the high tech scene. He has become a household name throughout the industry, where he has long since been known for his wit, insight, and irreverence. All of these qualities were evident in his 1992 national best-seller Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition and Still Can't Get a Date. Accidental Empires became the basis for "Triumph of the Nerds," the highly acclaimed, three-hour miniseries that was a runaway success for PBS in 1996 and has been seen in more than 30 countries. Robert Cringely's latest book, The Microsoft Century, (Viking Press, Fall 2005), is about how technology is changing our economy and our culture in ways that go far beyond the impact of having a computer on our desk or a mobile phone in our ear. Beginning in the fall of 2005, Mr. Cringely will be hosting Genius, a science and technology reality series, in conjunction with Endermol (producers of Big Brother and Fear Factor). The show will have contestants from the United States and the United Kingdom, as well as other countries, and will be shown on both PBS and on Channel 4 in the UK. Mr. Cringely's show NerdTV, which premiered in 2003, is a weekly interview program distributed by PBS purely over the Internet—a first for any TV network. He is also the host of the PBS documentary titled "Electric Money," which took him to financial capitals as well as remote islands around the world to report on the many impacts of e-commerce on mankind and its traditional monetary systems. This production aired on PBS, October 3, 2001. Mr. Cringely also hosted and helped produce other shows for PBS including 1998's, "Plane Crazy," a three-hour series about aviation and human frailty; in 1999, "Nerd's 2.0.1: A Brief History of The Internet" and "Y2K: The Winter of Our Disconnect?" Mr. Cringely writes a weekly column on PBS Interactive ( and is the technology columnist for Inc. magazine. When he isn't writing, Robert Cringely is a well-known and popular speaker and runs his own high tech consulting business. His accomplishments are the result of the skillful blending of his journalistic and computer capabilities.