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The Digital Film Library - by Steve Kallis, Jr.


Steve Kallis, Jr. has sent in so much good Digital applications history via the Film Library that we gave him his own webpage.  Thanks Steve!


In the late 1960s, when I joined Digital, the company had copies of a short film, on 16mm film.  These were copies of a program broadcast on public television, illustrating the use of a company computer, a LINC-8 system.  The program, LINC With Tomorrow, featured the system being used by a medical facility to interview incoming patients about their medical history.  There were several copies of the film.


In the mid 1960s, computers were unfamiliar to most of the public, and the thought of lending films to schools and professional societies that showed applications of computers would help familiarize audiences on how Digital's products could be used in a variety of applications.


As it happened, I owned motion-picture production equipment, and proposed creating a few films that  could show other applications.  From this was born the Digital Film Library.


In addition to Linc With Tomorrow and the films that I made, we kept a lookout that showed other applications of the company's computer, and we found several.


The Digital Film Library was maintained through most of the company's history.  In the company's final days, the library closed.


Although most of these films were lost in the mists of time, I received videos of the four films I did for the Library.  In time, I was able to get these transformed to MP4 format.  Rather than having them lost, they're now available for viewing, or downloaded for retention on the Archive.org website.  The films are:

  • Along The Shorelines Of The Skies (https://archive.org/details/Shorelines), which shows how a PDP-8 computer was used to calibrate ultraviolet spectrometer used  on rockets atmospheric and space probes.

  • Computer-Augmented Chemical Analysis (https://archive.org/details/Chemical_20140328), which shows how a PDP-12  laboratory system was used at a Dow  Chemical facility to determine the chemical stricture of a potential antibiotic.

  • Pulsebeat Of The Universe (https://archive.org/details/Pulsebeat) shows how a PDP-12 computer was used to study neutron stars called pulsars in a radioastronomy facility in Massachusetts, and

Regrettably, those are the only ones I could share.  But for nostalgia, the above can provide Deccies with a return to the thrilling days of yesteryear.



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