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WANTED: Old Microcomputer Article

Is anybody out there
who remembers an article published before the IBM PC
explaining how to take pictures / make films of what
is appearing on an old (pre-VGA) microcomputer screen?

I have just searched, but did not manage to find anything.

I remember, when LOGO was popular, that a microcomputer
magazine (BYTE?) published an article explaining how to
produce a film by shooting what was appearing on the
screen of one Apple II, one frame at a time (I seem to
remember that the LOGO program was producing the
images and transmitting a signal to the camera to
record it, etc).

Also, anything about making a "pyramid" between the screen and the camera.

Yours Sincerely,
Mr. Emmanuel Roche, France

0
Mr
9/29/2016 8:08:25 PM
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I have BYTE magazine until 1985 when I cancelled it because it became infested with PC chatter. I recall an issue of BYTE with a cover story about LOGO; odds are its in that issue.

I think ARCHIVE.ORG has a lot of the old magazines downloadable in PDF. Each issue has an index listing, (if someone has submitted it). That might be a quicker way to find the article you're seeking.

However, your timing is lucky as I'll be digging in the garage near where my BYTE magazine collection is sealed and stored. I was going to open the BYTE storage and put one issue back into my collection after chatting online with a clown about the TRS-80 Model 1 expansion port awhile back. So while I'm there I'll look for the LOGO issue.

I've been reading the old Kilobaud magazines from the late 70s, I'll check their index too.

LOGO - The language that gave us crop circles and a fool's proof of UFOs.

JDallas
0
9/29/2016 10:15:52 PM
On 09/30/2016 00:15, Jay_in_Dallas wrote:
> 
> I think ARCHIVE.ORG has a lot of the old magazines downloadable in PDF. Each issue has an index listing, (if someone has submitted it). That might be a quicker way to find the article you're seeking.

Yes, they do: https://archive.org/details/byte-magazine

HTH
-- 
Torfinn Ingolfsen,
Norway
0
Torfinn
9/29/2016 10:41:00 PM
Here's a URL where you can download the early BYTE issue focused on LOGO. I scanned the index but didn't see an article like you described, but it still might be there:

https://archive.org/details/byte-magazine-1982-08

JDallas
0
9/30/2016 1:44:18 AM
I found a description in the ARCHIVE.ORG Byte magazine indices, when scanning for the word "Video" that sounds somewhat like it might be the article you're looking for:

BYTE.MAGAZINE.INDEX.V05.N01: January 1980
-----------------------------------------------------------------
p.20 MAKING COLOR SLIDES WITH AN INTECOLOR MICROCOMPUTER
[author Alan W Grogono]
An Intecolor intelligent color terminal (or other color-based computer) is used to generate color images that can be directly photographed. Slide production from a video image is relatively cheap, and the image can be altered during the design process with a minimum of effort.

Friday afternoon, I'll check the article two BYTE magazines mentioned as see if they have the other aspects you describe.

JDallas
0
9/30/2016 6:18:53 AM
Hello, Jay (and Torfinn) !

Many thanks for your answers.

I just searched online during 2 hours, without finding. I abandon.

Jay: the article that you found does not go into details. Thanks to your link, I was able to have a look to it. Its reference is:

- "Making Color Slides with an Intecolor Microcomputer"
  Alan Grogono
  "BYTE", Vol.5, No.1, January 1980, pp.20, 22, & 24

But this 3-pages article is just a high-level presentation of what is needed.

In my memory, the article was explaining, step by step, what was needed to take pictures of a microcomputer screen (by building a "pyramid" between the screen and the camera) and (with enough images) generate a small film.

When I wrote "(BYTE?)", it was just the first microcomputer magazine that came to my mind, following the "Circuit Cellar" series of Steve Ciarcia (but I am almost certain that it is not him who wrote this article).

So, the hunt continues...

Yours Sincerely,
Mr. Emmanuel Roche, France

0
Mr
9/30/2016 11:17:58 AM
Your comment about it appearing as a smaller version (3 pages only) made me think the author may have submitted articles to other computer magazines, and perhaps one printed it his topic in greater depth.

I just did a quick search on BING during lunch, for "Alan Grogono computer films," and found that he did a PART 2 of that series in the December 1980 issue of BYTE magazine. The index description is:

p.96 GRAPHIC COLOR SLIDES, PART 2
[author Alan W Grogono]
This month we demonstrate the use of subroutines to generate equation plots, histograms, regression and monthly analysis graphs.

This afternoon, I'll be digging out my BYTE magazine collection anyway, and will read the, now three, articles from BYTE and scan for other possible articles.

As I mentioned before, I'm read some of the old Kilobaud Magazines from '77 and '78 and will search there too. "Alan W. Grogono" may be the key if finding the article, but of course someone else may have continued with the same ideas. I'll do some more searches this weekend.

JDallas
0
9/30/2016 5:32:03 PM
As to the pyramid for the camera to photograph the computer display, I do recall a BYTE magazine article written by someone at SubLogic(?) about writing code for 3-D views that used pyramids in drawings to show how a scene would render - something different than you describe but I'll see if any other article in that issue picked up on photographing scenes.

I remember that BYTE Magazine issue because I implemented the 3-D matrix equations in the SubLogic article to plot images of star positions from the Yale database of the brightest 9000 stars on my Miniterm Associates, Merlin graphics card with the "Super Dense" daughter card option (320x200 pixels B&W).

I did a rough traversal through the Milky Way and due to the long rendering time, had the screen dumped to my Paper Tiger graphics printer, instead of photographing the screen. I still have that printout sequence in my Vintage Computer room. :)

JDallas
0
9/30/2016 5:43:21 PM
Alan W Grogono wrote three articles for BYTE magazine in 1980, about doing slides from computer displays.

January: "Making color slides with an Intecolor microcomputer"
November: "Graphic Color Slides, Part 1"
December: "Graphic Color Slides, Part 2"

The November issue may be where you memory of an article originates. Right after Grogono's article is another one about using an Apple II to render 3-D images. So it may be a blended memory of two articles.

http://pichon.emmanuel.perso.neuf.fr/revues/byte/byte_1980.php

I'm going to pull these BYTE magazines out of my collection now.

JDallas
0
9/30/2016 6:47:50 PM
I looked through all pages of those three 1980 BYTE magazines... dead-end. No diagram about a pyramid between the camera and the graphics display.

I'll check the Byte issues on LOGO and the 3-D Viewport calculations tomorrow but I don't expect to find your article.

JDallas
0
9/30/2016 8:16:42 PM
On 30/09/2016 13:17, Mr. Emmanuel Roche, France wrote:
> Hello, Jay (and Torfinn) !
>
> Many thanks for your answers.
>
> I just searched online during 2 hours, without finding. I abandon.
>
> Jay: the article that you found does not go into details. Thanks to your link, I was able to have a look to it. Its reference is:
>
> - "Making Color Slides with an Intecolor Microcomputer"
>   Alan Grogono
>   "BYTE", Vol.5, No.1, January 1980, pp.20, 22, & 24
>
> But this 3-pages article is just a high-level presentation of what is needed.
>
> In my memory, the article was explaining, step by step, what was needed to take pictures of a microcomputer screen (by building a "pyramid" between the screen and the camera) and (with enough images) generate a small film.
>
> When I wrote "(BYTE?)", it was just the first microcomputer magazine that came to my mind, following the "Circuit Cellar" series of Steve Ciarcia (but I am almost certain that it is not him who wrote this article).
>
> So, the hunt continues...

I remember clearly the article you describe, and should be on a BYTE of 
the 1970s-early 80s vintage, but also I don't remember what was. the 
pyramid has a function similar to the cones used in looking into radar 
scopes of the 1940s and 1950s, the pyramidal shape was because the 
monitor screen is rectangular and not round.

Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.


0
dott
10/2/2016 7:07:19 AM
Maybe this article gets closer to your description by content:

BYTE Magazine, May 1978, Volume 03, Number 05
=======================================
From the URL: http://pichon.emmanuel.perso.neuf.fr/revues/byte/byte_1978.php
"Taking photographs of your video display is an inexpensive alternative to buying a printer or other hard copy device for your computer. However, it's not always as easy as it sounds. Dr Dwight D Egbert gives some valuable tips on the subject in The Photograph Is Also a Hard Copy."

The index says its on Page 10. I have this issue in my collection and will read it later.
You might use the Archive.org PDF download URL: (189.1MB file size)
https://archive.org/download/byte-magazine-1978-05/1978_05_BYTE_03-05_Graphics_in_Depth.pdf

JDallas
0
10/7/2016 8:45:04 PM
On 07/10/2016 22:44, Jay_in_Dallas wrote:
> Maybe this article gets closer to your description by content:
>
> BYTE Magazine, May 1978, Volume 03, Number 05
> =======================================
> From the URL: http://pichon.emmanuel.perso.neuf.fr/revues/byte/byte_1978.php
> "Taking photographs of your video display is an inexpensive alternative to buying a printer or other hard copy device for your computer. However, it's not always as easy as it sounds. Dr Dwight D Egbert gives some valuable tips on the subject in The Photograph Is Also a Hard Copy."
>
> The index says its on Page 10. I have this issue in my collection and will read it later.
> You might use the Archive.org PDF download URL: (189.1MB file size)
> https://archive.org/download/byte-magazine-1978-05/1978_05_BYTE_03-05_Graphics_in_Depth.pdf

perhaps is this; at p. 12 is described the construction of the "pyramid".

M. Roche, is this what you actually sought ?

Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.


0
dott
10/8/2016 9:53:08 AM
Piergiorgio wrote:


> perhaps is this; at p. 12 is described the construction of the "pyramid".
> 
> M. Roche, is this what you actually sought ?

Unfortunately, not, Piergiorgio.

1) There is no explanation of the dimension that the "pyramid" should have, given the geometry of the screen and the characteristics of the lens

2) There is no discussion of how to take pictures of the screen

3) There is no discussion of how to make a short film, with enough "frames" per second

4) There is no discussion of how to automate the production of such short video films, using (as I remember) the LOGO language (so, it must have been for the Apple II micro).

The hunt continues...

Yours Sincerely,
Mr. Emmanuel Roche, France

0
Mr
10/8/2016 6:15:44 PM
PhotoCRT.WS4
------------

- "How to make photographs from your home-computer displays"
  Don Leavitt
  "Popular Photography", Vol.91, No.5, May 1984, p.41

(Retyped by Emmanuel ROCHE.)

Two simple-to-operate systems (NPC ScreenShooter and Kodak InstaGraphic)  give 
you good image quality at low cost

Now  that there are nearly 3,000,000 households with personal computers  --  a 
figure that is growing by leaps and bounds -- there is more interest than ever 
before in low-cost methods of making photographs of computer video displays.

Up  until  now, the available methods for making  hard-copy  documentation  of 
computer  displays  have ranged from ink-jet color plotters  to  sophisticated 
computer-operated  electronic film printers such as Polaroid's Palette  system 
(ROCHE> Digital Research had a GSX-86 screen driver for it...) and the  large-
format Dunn cameras.

Although  these systems provide results ranging from adequate (in the case  of 
ink-jet printers) to excellent (in the case of electronic film printers), they 
have  certain  important  drawbacks. As you might  expect,  the  most  obvious 
problem  is that the better the quality of your finished picture, the  greater 
the cost to produce it. As you might *NOT* expect, the better the quality, the 
longer  it takes to get your picture. In addition, the better the  quality  of 
your image, the more complicated the software required to produce it.

If  you do not want to spend several thousands dollars on an  electronic  film 
printer,  you  can get an ink-jet printer for under $500, but you  lose  image 
resolution.  In any case, even the best ink-jet printers rarely duplicate  the 
image resolution on the computer monitor.

So,  for  the majority of personal-computer owners who would  like  a  simple, 
cheap, quick, and effective way of getting good-quality pictures, neither  the 
electronic  printer  nor  ink-jet  devices  makes  any  sense.  But,  now,   2 
manufacturers  have introduced systems that meet the needs and budget  of  the 
average home-computer user.

The  "ScreenShooter" by NPS Corporation and the "InstaGraphic CRT  System"  by 
Eastman  Kodak  Company are 2 systems designed  for  the  graphically-inclined 
home-computer  user.  Each  system  uses basically the  same  idea:  a  simple 
mechanical  and  optical setup, consisting of a cone-shaped hood  and  related 
close-up optics, enables the computer user to quickly and easily photograph  a 
color monitor with either an instant or a 35-mm SLR camera. The narrow end  of 
the  hood  is fitted over the camera's lens, while the broad  end  presses  up 
against the screen of a 12-in. or 13-in. monitor. The hood serves 2 functions: 
it fixes the distance between the camera optics and the monitor, and it  keeps 
the  camera  square  to  the  monitor's screen,  so  that  the  image  is  not 
photographed at an angle.

Although the 2 systems are similar in overall concept and operation, they vary 
significantly in design, ease of operation, and photographic flexibility.

For  example,  although  both units have a camera attached to  a  metal  frame 
containing  a  Kodak screw (ROCHE> A 1/4-inch screw, with 20  threads  to  the 
inch.)  secured  to  the  base  of the camera,  the  metal  frames  are  quite 
different.  The  Kodak  system uses angle  brackets,  which  offer  relatively 
limited  flexibility in positioning the camera-and-lens combinations. The  NPC 
system  uses a movable track that allows you to use several different  instant 
cameras  as well as a wide variety of 35-mm SLR camera-and-lens  combinations. 
Furthermore,  the  design of the NPC camera-mating device makes it  easier  to 
align the camera squarely with the screen.

The  Kodak  system  includes an InstaGraphic camera,  which  is  a  dedicated, 
permanently-modified,  ColorBust-50 Instant Camera that takes Kodamatic  film, 
Kodak  Trimprint  film, and Kodak Instagraphic film. The  latter  is  designed 
specifically  for photographic computer-graphic displays. If you want  to  use 
the Kodak systems with an instant camera, the included Instagraphic camera  is 
the  only one that you can use because the close-up optics are mounted on  the 
camera. Furthermore, this camera's exposure electronics have been modified  by 
the addition of a resistor to allow it to take the longer exposures which  the 
Kodak system requires when shooting computer-graphic displays.

With  NPC's  "ScreenShooter",  the  camera does not  need  to  be  permanently 
modified, because NPC's close-ups optics are mechanically mated to their  hood 
assembly, rather than to the camera itself. So, when you have finished  taking 
pictures  of a video display with the "ScreenShooter", you can quickly  remove 
the  camera  from the hood assembly and use it to take pictures in  the  usual 
way.

Another benefit of the flexible NPC design is that it can be used with a range 
of  Polaroid instant cameras, without modifications, including the  600,  640, 
660, LMS 600, and OneStep 600.

Field-testing  of  both systems revealed that the Kodak hood design  makes  it 
somewhat  difficult  to  use. Specifically, the screw end of  the  Kodak  hood 
flares out into a fairly large flange. Kodak wants you to attach supplied foam 
strips  and  spacer  bumpers to the flange, to shape the  hood  to  the  frame 
surrounding your screen.

Unfortunately,  because the foam is spongy, it can cause the hood  to  wobble. 
This  is an important issue, because the Kodak system requires exposure  times 
of  up to 2-1/2 seconds. As a result, there is a greater potential for  camera 
jitter.  Another  design issue is that, on some computers where  you  have  an 
integrated keyboard and monitor, it is very easy for the rather wide flange on 
the Kodak hood to accidentally hit the keys and alter or erase the display.

The  NPC hood, on the other hand, is designed to fit directly over the  curved 
glass of the computer screen, so that it forms a secure seal. Furthermore, the 
overall  design  of  the hood assembly is quite rigid,  which  also  minimizes 
motion during exposure. In addition, the NPC system, when used with Polaroid's 
600 film, needs much shorter exposure times, further minimizing the impact  of 
camera jitter.

As  far  as image quality is concerned, I found in my tests that  the  biggest 
variable  was in the color of the phosphors used in the screens  of  different 
computer monitors. Since most of these monitors are not intended for receiving 
broadcast TV signals (ROCHE> The IBM PC, contrary to 8-bit microcomputers, was 
designed  to  an (American) TeleVision screen...), they vary quite  a  bit  in 
their  color display. As a rule, these variations are very difficult  for  the 
human eye to detect. For example, you can have 2 different monitors whose reds 
may  look  the same to the human eye but which are, in fact,  very  different, 
photographically  speaking.  Most color films tend to  exaggerate  such  color 
distortions.

Due to this phenomenon, when comparing pictures of the same display taken with 
Kodak  Instagraphic  film and Polaroid 779 CRT film, I found it  difficult  to 
develop any conclusive opinions about the relative performance of both  films. 
It  appeared  that  the Kodak film reproduced the images quite  well  in  most 
cases.  But,  to  get optimum results, I had to use  an  85B  color-correction 
gelatin filter supplied by Kodak for use with their system. Unfortunately, the 
95B filter absorbs quite a bit of light, and makes exposure times even  longer 
than they already are.

Polaroid film did not require filtration, and generally took no longer than  a 
1/10-sec.  exposure  time, which was good for image sharpness.  However,  with 
some  computer monitors, the Polaroid film had a bit of trouble  tracking  the 
more subtle colors in the display.

It  appeared to be a toss-up between these films, as far as their capacity  to 
reproduce color-graphic displays. From my tests, it appeared that the best way 
to  use  these  systems  for  instant results was to  use  a  35-mm  SLR  with 
Polachrome 35-mm Instant Color Slide Film. The image technology of Polachrome, 
wherein  a positive black-and-white imaging system is exposed and  the  viewed 
through  a color screen embossed into the film base, makes it  a  particularly 
desirable medium for photographing color-computer displays. As a result of its 
unique optical format, Polachrome film has a relatively easy time  reproducing 
the kinds of subtle variations in color that one sees on computer displays.

Of  course, if you are willing to wait for your slides, or wish to make  color 
prints  of  your  computer  screens,  you  cannot  beat  a  properly-filtered, 
conventional color-slide or color-negative film in a 35-mm SLR camera.

For 35-mm use, Kodak provides an extension bracket which is attached to  their 
instant-camera  mounting  bracket  via a Kodak screw. You  attach  your  35-mm 
camera to the extension bracket. The design of the Kodak system limits its use 
to 35-mm SLRs that are fitted with 50- or 55-mm micro or macro lenses.  Lenses 
significantly longer than that (80-mm and up), lenses without macrofocus,  and 
nearly  all  macro-zoom lenses will simply not fit. And,  in  those  instances 
where  you might use an extremely short-barreled macro-zoom lens, it  is  very 
difficult to both focus and take advantage of the zoom facility.

In the NPC movable-track system, however, it is very easy to attach any  35-mm 
SLR and to use almost any lens, fixed or zoom, that has macrofocus. The design 
of the NPC track makes it easier to focus the lens and zoom it in and out.

The NPC "ScreenShooter" system, priced at $159 (including Polaroid OneStep 600 
camera), will be available through computer stores and selected camera stores. 
(...) The Kodak Instagraphic CRT System (including modified Kodak Instagraphic 
camera),  costs  $200  and  is  available  through  Kodak's  Audio-Visual  and 
Professional dealers.


EOF
0
Mr
10/9/2016 10:34:50 AM
Nice "Popular Science" mention, page 64 of the April 1984 issue:

https://books.google.fr/books?id=3DsQAAAAAAMBAJ&pg=3DPA64&lpg=3DPA64&dq=3DN=
PC+"ScreenShooter"+system&source=3Dbl&ots=3DbiYzRTbMsC&sig=3D4rqpsXCNUrRODu=
_kzkBw9Q6tZg8&hl=3Dfr&sa=3DX&ved=3D0ahUKEwjGi9Sutc7PAhUsC8AKHX60Cj8Q6AEITDA=
J#v=3Donepage&q=3DNPC%20%22ScreenShooter%22%20system&f=3Dtrue

1) Explains nicely what the Polaroid Palette was.

2) Mention of NPC "ScreenShooter" (and picture of use).

Yours Sincerely,
Mr. Emmanuel Roche, France

0
Mr
10/9/2016 8:33:25 PM
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