[hackerspaces] first time seeing tron

Stewart Dickson mathartspd at gmail.com
Tue Sep 4 17:42:55 CEST 2012

Hello, Frantisek,

Well, I was a computer programmer in a very interesting place in 1982,
when "TRON" came out.  (Directly from graduating the Bachelors in
Electrical Engineering in 1981).
It was AT&T Bell Telephone Laboratory, Naperville, IL -- (Not New
Jersey) -- I was employed by Western Electric Company/AT&T
Technologies.  But, the rest of Bell Labs was available by network
extension.  AT&T/Bell Labs had their own satellites in 1982.   That
was how the data network was run.

I was interested in computer graphics, and so I soon discovered that
Bell Labs had several Information International Inc. (III -- or
"Triple-I") FR-80/Comp80 vector-graphics microfilm printers -- the
same kind of printers used to render the digital imagery for "TRON".
In Illinois, the camera heads they used with the FR-80/Comp80 shot to
B/W positive 35mm unperforated film.  The vector graphics display had
a huge addressable resolution -- Like 40,000 points in any direction
-- and could resolve 33 lines-per-millimeter on 35mm
film -- I measured it using a microscope.   It was good enough to
create optical diffraction gratings and Fresnel Zone Plates
lenses/single-point holograms).  The FR-80/Comp80 with the 16mm cine
camera head, suitable for rendering animation was located
in Holmdel, NJ, but was available via the data network.  You got your
film back in inter-office mail.

In those days -- prior to the US Department of Justice Consent Decree
of 1984 -- The networks were all open.  After 1984, the walls came
down, like Berlin.  The loss of freedom in the name of Security and
division of Intellectual Property.   I had never heard this term

Remember that the Billy Kluever/Robert Rauschenberg Experiments in Art
and Technology took place in cooperation with Bell Labs:
http://www.fondation-langlois.org/html/e/page.php?NumPage=306   (1966-1980)
Remember that AT&T launched Telstar in 1962 in a cooperative venture
with NASA.  (AT&T had to pay the entire bill for the launch.)
Telstar's transistors were subsequently cooked by radiation in the
magnetosphere due to above-ground nuclear tests.

Remember that numerous luminaries in the Arts came from Bell Labs --
Max Mathews (Radio Baton), Kenneth Knowlton (ASCII Art),
Lillian Schwartz.  Lillian flat outright denied to me that she ever
made Art at Bell Labs -- Although she was commissioned to make films.
Kenneth has related to me the stories of official corporate denial of
ASCII-Art until it made the popular press.

-Stewart, http://us.imdb.com/Name?Stewart+Dickson
http://boingboing.net/2011/06/17/jeff-bezos-co-to-bui.html	http://longnow.org/clock/prototype1

On Tue, Sep 4, 2012 at 9:16 AM, Frantisek Apfelbeck <algoldor at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Hi to all,
> I have seen for the first time The Tron, great movie!
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tron
> Wishing for a moment to be a computer programmer back then but alas I was
> just one year old ...
> I just wonder if the “master control program (MCP)” was a kind of vision of
> “Windows” coming? Or was it a "generalisation" of "control versus free?"
> Sincerely,
> FA
> Frantisek Algoldor Apfelbeck
> biotechnologist&kvasir and hacker
> http://www.frantisekapfelbeck.org
> "There is no way to peace, peace is the way." Ghandi
> _______________________________________________
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