Space agency shows off imagery
by churning out prints
that are longer than a bus (AP)
Kris Capraro rolls up a photograph that was taken by the Opportunity rover on Mars and printed at the Image Processing Laboratory at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.
Today’s technology is a far cry from 1965, when scientists actually used crayons to color tiny strips of paper to create Mars photos. Their crayon color choices were based on long strings of digits representing the 21 pictures transmitted by Mariner 4.
Ha! by 1978 when I started working in image processing, using the NASA ILIAC supercomputer at Moffett Field, California (which we connected to by a 150 baud acoustic coupler modem), we had wide carriage printers and felt tip pens! We could print 7 foot strips of 14" wide paper, color them (earned $4.25/hr to breath felt pen fumes for hours), and then hang them on the wall taped together side by side, to "see" our pictures!"
By 1983 I'd been writing GIS and image processing software based on JPL's VICAR (Video Image Communications and Retrieval), an IBM 350 mainframe programming environment, and converting them to 16bit minicomputer code with primitive line printer and dumb terminal graphics. A bit of a prima-donna in that geekish world, I was hired by the Multi-Mission Image Processing (MIPL) division at JPL in 1983, my "Mecca." my playground became:
to this "Mecca" I moved to do my part to bring about "1984", and I was known at work as the "Famous Potato" because of my Idaho plates on my 1961 Fiat 1200 sedan that I commuted to work in.
(Hey, that's the best picture I could find!)
Anyway, I did my (miniscule) part to bring image display, the PIXEL, into your life, (a dubious addition to your life?) I hope I don't have to spend too much time in purgatory for it...
And 1984? well, that project is still underway, we've all brought it much closer to completion, albeit behind schedule.
hat tip to A Brief History of ‘Pixel’
(hey, I still have ref#52!)