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Laser F/X On-line Newsletter - Digest

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July, August, September 1998

Items removed from the on-line Newsletter pages during the third quarter of 1998.

NOTE: Links on destination sites are often changed.  We provide the digest pages for archival purposes and the links to external sites were working when the material was originally published but may no longer be working.

What's New

New products and services of interest to lasersts. Submit your new product information and images in .gif or .jpg format to our E-mail or contact us.

Laser Production Network moves

Laser production network is pleased to announce the opening of our new bigger and better facilities and offices in North Miami. Our new contact information is:

20209 NE 15th Court
North Miami, Florida, USA 33179
Tel: 305-690-6885 Fax: 305-690-6881
E-mail: info@lasernetwork.com

"Show Gun" by National Laser debuts at Laser F/X '98

In a new effort to capture the market for the low end user in the laser show industry, National Laser Company announces their new argon ion laser, the "Show-Gun". A model 004 tube installed in a completely refurbished ALC 60X head. This high power tube produces up to 200 mW of all line argon output at 8.5 amps. The output can be non-polarised or polarised for use with a PCAOM.
Packed with power this permanently aligned, internal mirror tube is designed for trouble free operation in light show applications. The tube had been designed for easy drop-in replacement and retrofitting of the popular 60X type lasers.
The blazing "Show Gun" will be on display at the Laser F/X Conference in Burlington, Canada May 16-18, 1998.
For more information, contact Debra Hampton, National Laser Company, 801-467-3391 X104 laser@nationallaser.com http://www.nationallaser.com/

New Wave Inc. announces Sync-Master controller

New Wave Inc. announces Sync-Master live show controller designed for Pangolin Powered systems. Imagine being able to assign anything Pangolin can do, to a single button.... now imagine having 254 buttons all on line, all real-time, always ready

Software features:

  • May be used with any Pangolin System for Windows with 16 megs of computer Ram.
    Has 64 buttons x 4 pages with pause, blackout and fadeout.
    Each button may trigger: A timeline event, an animation sequence (frames), scrolling text, a TTL output (or a chase sequence of TTL's).
    A separate scrolling text page with many new features.
    22 TTL "hot" buttons with "Quick chase"
    Module page allows loading with one simple click (also timed to CD, Wave and Midi).
    Complete Palette editor (saves as well!).
    Master intensity.
    4 programmable screens (size and position).
    Playback and scan rate adjustments.
    Frame viewer.
    Instant test frames.
    Safety password for screen adjustments etc. (great for installs / night-clubs).
    Many quick keys (intensity, scrolling frames, display frames)
    DMX compatible Send / Receive (coming soon…)

Hardware (console) features:

  • 64 high quality tactile keys with built in LED's.
    7-segment LED displays.
    Master blackout / fadeout / and pause keys.
    Programmable chase
    Audio trigger (line input and internal mic.)
    Master key lock
    Lamp with dimmer
    RS-232 output (talks to the computer)
    Comes in Black and silk screened.
    Available for 120 or 230 volts.

The Sync-Master software includes free lifetime updates. The power comes from you - the users, so we are open to any suggestions for add-ons or modifications !!!

Price: Software only: $1000 Console: $1800
Package (Software & Console) $2500
DMX option call - All prices are in US dollars, FOB NewWave, St-Laurent, Quebec, Canada.

For a free demo version of the SYNC-MASTER software please e-mail us NewWave@aei.net


National Laser Company (NLC) will exhibit its Model 800 laser at the CLEO '98 Conference in San Francisco, California. The advanced design air-or water-cooled argon laser is available in a variety of wavelengths and features an internal mirror design that produces up to 1 Watt multiline, multimode.
Based in Salt Lake City, NLC is one of the world's largest manufacturers of small argon lasers, accounting for 30% of 1997 world wide sales of ion lasers with a power output of less than 1 watt.
The unmatched price/performance ratio of NLC lasers makes them the superior choice," said Debra Hampton, NLC's director of sales and marketing.

Debra Hampton laser@mail.aros.net Web: http://www.nationallaser.com/


World Scan

Laser display happenings from around the world. If you would like your show or installation information here, please E-mail to our E-mail or contact us.

Notorious Sphinx Photo

This photo appeared on the front page of the Boston Globe Tue, 26 May 1998. It shows a YAG laser projecting over the Sphinx in Egypt. Further Inquiries revealed that Centrak Lasers performed the show. - Scan of newspaper Courtesy of Cambridge technology

es-Lasersystems merges

Beginning June 1st 1998, es-Lasersystems changes its name and logo to MediaLas Laserproducts GmbH. This the result of more and more partnership with MediaLas Events and es-Lasersystems in the last years. For this reason MediaLas Events and es-Lasersystems merged to one company, MediaLas Laserproducts GmbH.
The goal is to serve you better and faster with high quality laser technology.
You are still able to get our products directly from us (Europe and non-US-countries) of from our distributor Holo Spectra, Inc. (US). Our complete contact info is:

MediaLas Laserproducts GmbH
Neue Rottenburger Str. 37
D-72379 Hechingen / Germany
Ph. +49 7471 91661
Fax +49 7471 91666
Web: Company: http://www.medialas.com
Components: http://www.showlaser.com

E-mail: contact@medialas.com

Lasers go Bowling

In an article entitled "Glow bowling: More than flash in the pan", USA Today talks about the latest trend in Bowling - which includes lasers in the allies.

06/04/98- Updated 11:41 PM ET

Glow bowling: More than flash in the pan

Who says you can't teach an old sport new tricks?
Bowling, long the butt of jokes and a bastion of the beer-drinking, blue-collar crowd, is not only hot these days, it's glowing.
Glow bowling - also called Cosmic Bowling, Xtreme Bowling and laser bowling - has been around a couple of years, but this summer it's picking up steam as the nation's bowling centres play even more new tricks on young and hip bowlers looking for the next thrill.

Full text of the article can be found on the USA Today site CLICK HERE

Pangolin issues Y2K compliance statement

Orlando, Florida: In a statement issued on 31 May 1998, Patrick Murphy, President of Pangolin Laser Systems announced: "We are pleased to state that Pangolin's Lasershow Designer for Windows software is fully Year 2000 compliant. You do not need to worry about any LD-related problems in the year 2000.
There is only one date-related function within LD. This is in the Showtime program. Today's version of Showtime will not run after the year 2033. For those interested in the technical details, here's why:

When you create a show element (show, module, scene, effect), Showtime makes an identifier based on two numbers: the date/time created (year, month, day, hour, minute, second) and the QuadMod serial number. This ensures that every show element is unique.
For example, if you create an effect called "Logo fly-in", and someone else creates an effect with the same name, there is no conflict. Showtime does NOT look at the name, but instead looks at the identifier (date/time + QM serial number). Uniqueness is guaranteed for two reasons:
1/ you cannot create two effects within one second on the same QuadMod
2/ even if two people create an effect at the exact same moment on different QuadMods, the serial number will be different.

The date range used in the identifier code is valid from 1980 until 2033. Thus, there is no date-related problem until 2034. At that time, you will get an error message when Showtime starts up, indicating that your computer's clock is set incorrectly. (You can see this if you change your computer's clock to 2034 and then start Showtime.)
If LD for Windows software is still in use by 2030, then we will begin in that year to work on the "Year 2034 problem".

Just to restate, LD is fully Year 2000 compliant. Any problems which may occur will be due to the Windows operating system. The only date-related function in LD is the one described above, which will not be a concern for three decades" said Murphy.
Pangolin is the first, and to-date only, laser graphics software company to release a statement on year 2000 compliance for their product.

Spain's Eye to the Universe
LOBO inaugurates Europe's largest urban culture and leisure centre

For one day it was the main topic in Spain's media landscape: In the presence of the highest political prominence the first building of a new cultural and scientological city was inaugurated. The avantgardistic and nature oriented architecture of the park was designed by the famous
Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the creator of the new radio tower in Barcelona as well as of the Expo-area in Sevilla.
The "Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias" stretches along a former river-bed in the south of Valencia. Like gigantic calyxes Calatrava placed the buildings in a park scenery dominated by water. In the nearest future about three million visitors per year will be able to meet with all facets of arts, culture and science. After being completed the area offers a "cultural palace" with more than 5.000 seats, which will secure Valencia its place under the worlds greatest opera and festival houses. Only within a few steps a science and technology museum of nearly incredible size is being built. And if this was not enough a oceanographic museum is being developed situated in an overdimensional water basin where the visitor can promenade through the oceanic fauna and flora in an underwater town with restaurants and connecting glass tunnels.

The centre of the park is dominated by the "Hemispheric", a building of 90 m length and 50 m height. When reflected in the surrounding water it strongly reminds of an oversized eye. Logically, Calavatra designated a mechanism which opens and closes the "eye lid" over its full breadth. The interior of the eye consists of an IMAX-Dome combined for the first time with planetarium techniques. As a symbol for the whole park this building was inaugurated on 16th April.
The internationally experienced multimedia artist Albert Ripoll I Coca was entrusted with the inauguration ceremony. With the German company LOBO from Aalen and the Caballer pyrotechnique company from Valencia Ripoll I Coca has taken on board two strong partners which are known to be very experienced in great outdoor presentations. 

The goal was to demonstrate the population of Valencia und the spectators of several television stations the great architecture and the designation of the building in a futuristic spectacle. For external reasons the whole conception and realisation had to be completed in only 1 ˝ weeks what, as a consequence, ended in a one-week series of night-shifts for all persons concerned.
On the technical side, 7 tons of fireworks, 70 kW sound equipment, 3 PANI-xenon slide projectors, 2 Barco 9020 video projectors and overall 600 kW of light for the illumination of the scenery were available. A central O.B. van allowed the audience watching television as well as the waiting present crowd to participate very realistically by means of several Jumbotron screens. Since Albert Ripoll I Coca wanted to inaugurate a futuristic park with futuristic technology he designated central importance to a technically and artistically ingenious application of the most progressive show laser techniques. At the SIB in Rimini where traditionally every year all celebrities of the laser show business assemble the Spaniard met with the German company LOBO which had already made a name for itself all over the world with its innovative technical solutions and and their laser spectacles.
With LOBO´s laser truck concept Ripoll I Coca could use of an approved solution with nearly 60 W white light laser performance and a complete back-up system, guaranteeing sufficient laser performance as well as the best operation safety.
On the 16th April at 9 p.m. the time had come: Instead of the invited 1000 VIPs three times as much arrived unexpectedly. In front of the park a vast crowd pressed closely together. Live transmitted by television the Spanish Prime Minister Eduardo Zaplana stood in front of the Hemispheric, applauded by the public, pressed the famous red button and sent laser beams into the sky which - apparently reflected by the firmament - hit the centre of the ball and thereby initiated the spectacle with an explosion of light and colours. Suddenly, an eye drawn by laser and video awakened, looked down on the crowd until the pupil changed into a globe which directly precipitated onto Valencia and the city of arts and science.

LOBO´s Art Director Alex Hennig: "The burlesque shape of the building was like an invitation to play with shapes and colours. One time we sketched with the laser the striking silhouette of the architecture, then we shot out of the eye lids nearly endless laser eyelashes into the sky; at other times, the laser accentuated the essential parts of the video projection on the surface of the oversized eyeball."
After a classic concert of the British music genius Michael Nyman accompanied by laser and fireworks the monumental spectacle came to its end. Only a few laser beams skimming over the firmament - to be seen in a distance up to 80 km - alluded to the magnificent inauguration ceremony.

Photos courtesy of LOBO - http://www.lobo.de


Lisbon's Expo '98, with the theme of "The Oceans, a Heritage for the Future," runs through Sept. 30, with exhibitions from 154 countries sprawled over 150 acres. Highlights include the Pavilion of the Future, which takes as its theme "Saving the Life of the Planet,'' and the focus of its presentation lies in a two-part program titled ONE OCEAN. The program's pre-show, a four-minute, high-definition video, is a moving depiction of the impact of environmental destruction on the seas. The main program, a stunningn10-minute 3D production - complete with mist and laser effects - continues the theme with even greater efficacy.
ONE OCEAN was produced by the Lightspeed Design Group of Bellevue, Wash., and clearly conveys the message that the world's oceans are under constant threat of destruction, and that the nations of the world need to take greater care of this valuable, irreplaceable resource.

Ask Dr. Divergence

Dear Doctor,
We recently play a very elaborate joke on one of our staff.

The Set-up: About four months ago, as a joke, my boss (and Harry's) told Harry the next laser show we would be getting from LFI would be a "Spice Girls-Hansen" combo. You see, Harry REALLY despises both of these bands. Before Dave (my boss) could fess up, I asked him to hold off so I could 'elaborate' and he agreed. We even called LFI to back us up in case Harry called to complain.

The Preparation: I put Mmm-Bop on a tape as the opening song for the show and set it to a cycloid, but not just any old cycloid, a really BAD cycloid. Everything from bad blanking to over-scanning to noisy transitions to off-beat tempos that drifted. At the end of the song a message was to pop up saying "Gottcha Harry", but it was inverted and up-side-down (we have two buttons on the console to correct this when it happens). We even had our publications person print up a few posters and a label for the tape, complete with LFI staff names Harry was familiar with.

The Climax: One week before a new Metallica show was to open, Dave called Harry and said the tape was in, and since we were 'unable' to get any add time on any of the hard rock stations, we were putting Spice Girls-Hansen in in its place. This means Harry has to come in and do long hours to prep the other visuals for the show on short notice (he's a college boy).
So in comes Harry, less than thrilled, ready to work. A bonus to all of this is that just before he goes into the theatre to look at the tape for the first (and last) time, he finds a gift certificate I bought him and asks if this was for all the jokes I have played on him in the past. My lips said 'Yes', but my mind said 'No..Its for the one I am about to'. As Harry goes into the theatre, my boss wanted to follow him but I said not to. Harry wasn't going to make it through the first minute of the song.
Sure enough, a few minutes later Harry comes stomping out of the theatre saying "Dave, we got a problem...We can't run this show... Its awful!!" We tell him it can't be all that bad, besides, we have already started advertising. He starts to panic so we agree to go in and see for ourselves.
Harry starts playing the tape, and of course there is a glitch, then a flicker, etc. Harry starts pounding on the table to the music and screaming about timing, over-scan, and so on. "Where am I supposed to go with the show when they start with a cycloid?!?", "What were they smoking?!?", then some expletives. I asked him if he wasn't at the end of the show, Dave said we could cover it with 3D visuals, Harry just sputtered and lost the power of speech.
Finally, the message came up and Harry almost screams "They couldn't even get the simple text right!!!" and he hits the inverts. It took him three or four seconds before he said "Gottcha Ha...", and the he got up and left. Dave was laughing so hard I thought his head was going to explode. I couldn't see straight and had to sit down because my knees were starting to buckle.
Sometimes I will be sitting at home and just start to chuckle, my wife is starting to worry.

That all being said, we really do work hard. Really!

Steve Cooper - Science Centre of Iowa

Dear Steve,
Who said it has to be all work and no play? Sounds like a great practical joke to me.

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