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Evolution of Entertainment Era (EEE)

Jan 3, 2008 2 comments
As a school going kid, i was fascinated by video games, entertainment gizmos like 8 bit handheld portable games, side scrolling animation cartoons, and so. Now, I'm just recalling the advent of those entertainment devices/technologies in a chronological manner. I'm being nostalgic about writing for those days gaming devices and technology.

The Coleco Colecovision console, released in 1982, was as powerful as the most powerful PCs at that time. The Sega Genesis released as MegaDrive in Japan in 1988, marked Sega's entry into the Video gae market. Did you know that Sega released Sonic the Hedgehog in 1991 as a direct response to Nintendo's Super NES gaming System? Nintendo's release in 1993 of the Famicom, in Japan, marked the second age of home video games and the start of Nintendo's Dominance in the gaming world.

In 1950, mathematician Alan Turing wrote the first chess program. In 1952, Alick Glennie, who wrote the first compiler, defeated Alan Turing's chess program, Turbo Champ. He was the first person to beat a computer program at chess.Alex Bernstein wrote a chess program in 1957 for an IBM 704, which could do 42000 instructions per second and used 70k of memory. It was the first 'proper' chess playing program.In 1962, Alan Kotok wrote the first MIT chess Program for his B.S. thesis project. He was assisted by John McCarthy of Stanford. In 1970, the first all-computer championship was held in New York and won by CHESS 3.0(CDC 6400), a program written by Slate, Atkin and Grlen at Northwestern University. On November 22, 1996 a USSR chess programme began a correspondence match with he Kotok-McCarthy MIT chess program. The match lasted 9 months and was won by the Soviet computer.

In 1951, Charles Ginsburg, known as the father of the Video cassette recorder, led a research team at Ampex corporation in developing the first practical videotape recorder. The first VCR(Video Cassette Recorder) was made in 1956 and was the size of piano. The first video taped material on a TV show was "Douglas Edwards and the News", broad-cast on CBS on NOvember 30, 1956. The first commercial blank videotape was offered by #M corp. in 1957. It was priced at $307 per reel. In 1963, Philips demonstrated its first'Compact Audio Cassette' using BASF 1/8-inch tape. The mass production of compact audio cassettes began in 1965 in Hanover, Germany, as did commercial sales of pre-recorded music cassettes, known as music cassettes.

Akio Morita along with Masaru lbuka founded the TOkyo Engineering Corporation in 1946. This was later renamed Sony. Sony's name takes from the Latin word 'sonus', meaning sound, and the English word 'Sunny'. Akio Morita, Masaru lbuka and Kozo Ohsone invented the portable 'Sony Walkman' audio cassette player. It was released in 1979. 'Walkman','Pressman', 'watchman', and 'Discman' are SOny trademarks. Sony's first foray into the gaming market in 1988, when it embarked on a deal with Nintendo to develop a CD-ROM drive for the Super NES. Sony acquired Psygnosis, a relatively unknown European developer, for $ 48 million. It was renamed Sony Interactive Entertainment, and is responsible for some of the Playstation's best games, including Wipeout and Dsetruction Derby. According to a survey in May 2000, one out of every four house hold in the Untied Staes had a Playstation.
In 1985, Sony and Philips produced the standard for CD-ROM disks, which would use the same laser technology as the audio CD.
The still video or digital camera was first demonstrated in 1981. It used a fast-rotating magnetic disc two inches in diameter and recorded on it upto 50 images formed in a solid-state device in the camera. In 1988, CD sales surpassed LP sales for the first time, leaving the CD and the audio cassette as the two dominant consumer formats.

On August 6, 1998, the first HDTV set went on sale on safe for $ 5,499 to the public in San Diego. It was a 56-inch Panasonic set that was developed at the company's research and development centre in San Diego, and manufactured in Tijuana.

The IMAX system has its roots in the EXPO'67 in Montreal. A small group of Canadian filmmakers and entrepreneurs-Graeme Ferguson, Roman Kroitor and Robert Kerr-decided to design a new system using a single, powerful projector, rather than the cumbersome multiple projectors used at the time. The IMAX dome, then called Omnimax, debuted a the Reuben H FleetSpace Theatre in San Diego, California, in 1973. Disney released Fatasia 2000 in the IMAX film format with 6-channel digital sound on Januaory 1, 2000.

The first HD car radio was sold on January 5,2004 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. From March 6, 1999, HBO began HDTV satellite movie broadcasts, starting with "US Marshals" at 8 pm. In 1998, The Last Broadcast, a film by Stefan Avalos and Lance Weiler, premiered as "the first desktop feature film", produced and exhibited digitally, co-sponsored by Texas instruments using its DLP digital cinema projector.

In November 1997, San Diego's was founded by Michael Robertson with 3000 songs available for free download. In the next 12 months, it became the #1 music site on the Internet with 3 million hits monthly.

DVD players were introduced in Japan in 1996 and later in the US in 1997. By 2003, in the US DVD rentals increased 51.2% and VHS rental dropped 29% from the previous year; DVD sales increased 42.2% to $12.1 billion, and VHS sales dropped 34.8% to$2.4 billion, accoridng to Video Store Magazine.

In 1992, the use of computer-generated graphics in movies took a step forward with Disney's release of 'Tron'.Dick Tracy, released June 15, 1990 was the first 35mm feature film distribute with a digital soundtrack by Cinema Digital Souns (CDS), developed by East man Kodak and Optical Radiation Corp.

In the stop- motion kind of animation, one must move each joint of each character for every frame, which means yo need to stop the camera and move anything that is moving for every frame. The biggest drawback of this kind of animation is that it is very time consuming. The longest example of stop-motin animation was The Nightmare Before Christmas, directed by Henry Selick. This movie lasted for 74 minutes, which required a total of 106560 frames! Each of these had to be filmed individually. The characters in the movie were puppets made of foam rubber. Producing the entire movie required a total of 300 puppets for the 74 roles.

In 1993, Jurassic Park released on May 30 as the first film with DTS sound, developed by Terry Beard, founder of Digital Theatre Systems in Westalke Village, CA partly owned by steven spielberg and Universal Pictures. This digital sound film format records six tracks on separate CD-ROM disks, synchronised by an optical time code track recorded on the film, co-existing with a backup optical sound track similar to Dolby stereo. MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group) develops standards for digital video and digital audio compression. It operates under the auspices of the Internatinal Organisation for Standardization (ISO).
In 1986, Steve Jobs purchased the computer graphics division of Lucas Films Ltd for $10 million, and established it as an independent company 'Pixar'. In 1995, amidst great fanfare, Pixar Animation Studios and Disney released the first full-lenght computer-generated film, Toy Story. Toy Story director John Lasseter had won an academy award for a previous computer-generated short film, Tiny Toy.

The sci-fi flick Gog(1954), in which a nuclear 'brain' takes over a secret laboratory, was the first film to feature a computer the main character in movie.

The first true digital camera for the consumer was introduced to the world in 1990. It was the Dycam MdelI, and it produced black and white photos at a resolution of 320x240 pixels. The camera was capable of storing 32 compressed images on 1 MB of built-in RAM. The images could be downloaded, suing a cable, to a PC or a Mac.

The world's first portable video recording system, the DV-2400 Video Rover was launched by Sony in 1967. It filmed in B&W only, and required a separate unit for play back. In the late 1980s, Sony introduced their professional ProMavica MVC-5000. Mavica was short for "magnetic video cam", and that's really what it was. It was a professional level digital camcorder that had the ability to take freeze-frame pictures, and not a still digital camera.

In 1992, Sharp , in its quest to make filming easier , introduced the first colour LCD screen, so videographers could see the display on a screen, with out having to squint through a viewfinder. Today, this is standard feature on all camcorders.

Philips developed the first wearable CD player. It was manufactured attached to a jacket, in 2003

... more on next time.. thank you for reading


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