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Subject: Some Interesting Statistics
While at Digital Equipment Corporation, one of the things I did was to establish a Film Library. When I started the library, videotape wasn't at all widespread, but film was something that had been widespread since World War II. Many schools had 16mm sound projectors, and would screen educational some companies produced "industrial films," which were lent to schools, and specialized groups like technical societies.
Digital's Film Library started, strangely enough, because of a television program. In the pre-PBS days, there were "Educational Television" stations, and one of them produced an televised a program that concerns how one of Digital's computers, a LINC-8 system, was used for automation in medicine. The program was recorded on 16mm film, and the Advertising Department had several copies.
It happened, after I joined Digital, that I found these films. As it happened, in my previous work at Chrysler Space Division, I'd done a bit of filming, and had acquired some professional production equipment. Using that, over the years, I built up the Film Library, adding four films of my own to the collection. (Other films originated from various sources, showing such diverse things as cartography and maritime satellite navigation using Digital's computers.)
Eventually, as Digital was in its latter days, I left, taking with me copies of the films I created in video format. (Naturally, I already had 16mm prints.)
In time, it occurred to me that the films could be lost in the mists of time.
Frankly, I was and am proud of these films, and hoped that they could continue to be viewed by others. With some help, I got copies placed in Archive.org and YouTube. My industrial films were aimed primarily at colleges and societies. The films are:
· Along the Shorelines of the Skies (link: https://archive.org/details/Shorelines), showing how a PDP-8 computer calibrated space-probe spectrometers.
· Computer Augmented Chemical Analysis (link: https://archive.org/details/Chemical_20140328), 1974, showing how a PDP-12 computer helped chemists determine he molecular structure of a potential antibiotic.
· Clear! (link: https://archive.org/details/Clear_201403), 1975, showing how a PDP-8/m computer is used to handle the rental of airplanes, and
· Pulsebeat of the Universe (file: https://archive.org/details/Pulsebeat), 1973, showing how a PDP-12 system is used by radioastronomers studying the neutron stars known as pulsars.
As of now, at Archive.org, the most popular film is Along the Shorelines of the Skies. The least viewed is Pulsebeat of the Universe. Both are Space oriented. On YouTube, the most viewed is Computer Augmented Chemical Analysis. The least viewed is a tie between the two Space films. The least technologically oriented film, Clear!, fits at neither extreme.
Given that computers have come a long way, it's interesting to see what most caught viewers' interest at the two websites.
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