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35mm Slides and Audio Visual Presentations
Before the early 1990's, almost all presentations were made using 35mm slides and one or more slide projectors (unless that is the presentation was being made using an overhead projector or a flip chart).
I worked in all these areas, but the most enjoyable part was putting it all together during the programming stage. There were many competing and incompatible computer control systems (see, nothing has changed!) for driving the slide projectors - in effect fading up or down the projector lamps at a specified rate stepping the projector forward, or backward to the next slide. Many systems from North America and across Europe were developed and most died by the wayside because the computer operating system it was based on - PCM, MS-DOS, Apple - was not up to the job or the programme was not flexible or too difficult to operate. Electrosonic in the UK, Dataton in Sweden and Audio Visual Laboratories (AVL) in the USA ended up being the leaders. AVL was probably the most popular, but only Dataton survives as a projection system today. Electosonic now specialise in other types of control systems.
In the early days the medium for conference presentations was, slide-tape - the synchronisation of one or more (usually very many more) 35mm slide projectors to a sound track - for presentation to all kinds of audiences. The high quality of 35mm (and sometimes large format) slides have never been surpassed, but with the arrival of the recession of the late 80s, followed by advent of Mr. Gate's stable Windows 3 (TM) operating system and his Office suite of software, it put basic creation media into the hands of the end users (and their secretaries).
Throughout the 1990s the vast improvements in data projection technology has made it the norm for business people around the world to turn up at a conference, plug in their laptop computer and present to large audience using Microsoft PowerPoint, or similar software.
The recovery of the economy also restored the work for us old creative and technical presentation technicians. Professional services are now used to create outstanding presentations and experienced presentation engineers are required for the seamless integration of large-screen, large audience multimedia business presentations.
23 May, 2006
© Nigel Sadler 1995-2008
email: nigel at herriott-sadler dot co dot uk