The Opponent

A literal barrel of sunshine. *Contents may vary.

The Old Timey Computer Show 3rd Anniversary and Survey Results


This is a collation of tweets posted on May 18, 2022 on @OTComputerShow. They are recreated here, with edits for clarity and continuity, for archival purposes.

Today, May 18, marks the three-year anniversary of the Old Timey Computer Show. Since this time last year, the channel has seen incredible growth and the first proper full schedule. OTCS ran its first viewer survey from May 1-15, and this post will focus on the responses.

Main Survey

The survey received 154 responses. Questions were asked about how the respondent discovered OTCS, how they watch it, opinions on the programming, and basic demographic information.

  • How OTCS was discovered:
    • 58% from Twitch recommendations, including searching the Retro category where it resides
    • 23% by a Twitch host/raid
    • 9% from word of mouth
    • 10% search engines and podcast recommendations
  • How long respondents have been watching OTCS:
    • 48% over 12 months
    • 20% at least six months
    • 8% for 3-6 months
    • 24% for less than three months
  • How many hours respondents watch OTCS each day:
    • 47% about 1 hour a day
    • 37% up to 3 hours
    • 8% 3-5 hours
    • 4.5% 5-8 hours
    • 3.5% more than 8 hours a day
  • How respondents watch OTCS, with multiple answers allowed:
    • 82.5% included a desktop computer
    • 21% included a television with a streaming relay or screencasting device
    • 31.2% included mobile devices
    • 3.7% included laptops
  • Whether respondents leave OTCS running in the background or watch it actively, on a scale of 1-5:
    • 1 (Running in background): 8.4%
    • 2: 22.1%
    • 3: 45.5%
    • 4: 18.8%
    • 5 (Watching actively): 5.2%
  • Participation in text chat:
    • 80.5% participate in text chat to some extent
    • 44.2% chat occasionally
    • 24.7% chat sometimes
    • 9% chat frequently
    • A handful of respondents use chat only for bot commands.
  • On a scale of 1-5 regarding satisfaction with the current programming format:
    • 1: 0%
    • 2: 3.2%
    • 3: 18.8%
    • 4: 48.1%
    • 5: 29.9%
  • On the balance between computer and video game content:
    • 79.2% believe there is a good balance of computer content and video game content
    • 12% believe there is somewhat too much video game content and that there should be more computer content

Open questions were provided about favorite and least favorite shows. The most popular shows are Computer Chronicles, Net Café, CG showcases, instructional/training videos, Bad Influence, and GamesMaster. The most common criticism of the channel is linked to the least popular shows, which are unsubtitled non-English shows. Viewers state that they wish to see this content translated or removed from the channel as they are unable to use the channel as background noise. When asked for suggestions for content to include in the future, the most common request was for commercials, records of past E3 conferences, videos about the early internet, and shows about non-computer technology such as telephony and home entertainment systems.


Optional questions were asked about basic demographic information. Most respondents chose to answer these questions. These questions included information on age, time zone, languages spoken, and personal experience with computers and operating systems. Of those who answered demographic questions:

  • Age:
    • 70.2% between 30-45 years old
    • 12.6% over 45 years old
    • 16.6% under 30 years old
  • The majority of respondents are based in the United States, based on a question about the viewer's local time zone:
    • 31.7% Eastern Standard Time
    • 29.3% Central Standard Time
    • 2.4% Mountain Standard Time
    • 17.9% Pacific Standard Time
    • Other answers included Central European Time, Central European Summer Time, and unspecified Australia time zones.
  • Respondents' homes, based on broad geographical location:
    • 68.9% in North and Central America
    • 25.8% in Europe
    • 3.3% in South America
    • 2% in Australia
  • Occupation:
    • Nearly all respondents to the demographic portion of the survey work in technology or engineering jobs, with others answering they are students or not currently employed.

Points of Interest and Common Concerns

It pleases me to see that the most popular show on OTCS is Computer Chronicles. There are 415 episodes in viewable quality available online, and getting all of them encoded and written into the schedule was the greatest programming challenge in OTCS history. I considered inserting commercials between shows early in OTCS history to emulate a broadcast TV channel. I abandoned this idea because most commercials online aren't up to my quality standard, and many have watermarks.

Most importantly, from day one, I wanted the channel to feel like TCM, with no commercial support or sponsors. Adding commercials even to supplement the technology shows would make it feel too commercial and not like a proper educational source. The survey got a number of requests for shows about non-computer technology. Going beyond computers and video games would make the channel prone to drift, which I want to avoid. The reason video game shows are included at all is because it's on Twitch, a video game site.

Even though the channel started as the Old Timey British Computer Show, I included video game shows as a break from the computer shows, which had a tendency to be dry and possibly too boring to watch constantly. The biggest complaint about the channel is all of the non-English content. At least one person even contacted me to say that I was showing Russian television by mistake, even though it was properly labeled like all other content.

The intent of the non-English material is to showcase international perspectives of computer and video game history, which is nearly unknown in English-speaking regions. The majority of this content is from Japan, which I believe is due largely to preservation efforts there. I do want to commission translations of these videos, possibly using Patreon contributions to fund them. Foreign documentaries are highly valuable for getting a different perspective on the development of computer technology in the 1980s and 1990s.

Are you fluent in Japanese?

If you are willing to translate a large number of video game promotional videos and documentaries in Japanese, or know someone else who can, please contact me at gxian1 at minuspoint - com.

The current schedule launched in January and lasts for 250 days. It will finish at some point this September, at which point it will be subject to change. It's the first schedule that shows all of the Computer Chronicles episodes, which has been a long-term goal for the channel.

One other sticking point on the channel is the musical adaptations of video games, which have been criticized by some viewers. The schedule shows only one only every 50 days as an indulgence for myself, and as a break from regular programming. I would like to find more. OTCS is presented as a pseudo television channel, and like real television, not all of the content will be to everyone's liking. The programming schedule is updated at all times, and if you don't want to watch what's on, you're free to check the schedule and return once it ends.

This concludes the three-year anniversary retrospective. Thank you for watching the Old Timey Computer Show, and thank you for your support.