Sunday, June 17, 2018

All This And Toys, Too!

December 1994: The Royal Father took this picture on a Saturday afternoon while getting a tour of the KRGV studios. I couldn't come up to St. Louis for Christmas vacation that year, so the family came down to me.

Photos from my past and the tales they tell.
Here you see me where I spent a lot of my working day, in the control room building graphics. I'm sitting in front of a Chyron Infinit! character generator, one of the top systems of the day. I loved using it. I think I landed the job because I couldn't wait to get my fingers on the keyboard, and the management knew it. They wanted a news producer who wouldn't be intimidated by technology. Check that box right there.

I also built graphics using the control board you see on the far left, a nearly-ancient Ampex switcher with three MLE's. That console to the right is an absolutely-ancient NEC DME-II, a fancy name for a system that took video and squeezed it into boxes or slid it on and off the screen. You stored the setups for it in bubble memory cartridges. Yes, bubble memory. Look closely at the bottom left corner, and you can make out the joystick for the other video effects machine we had: an Ampex ADO. It did everything the DME did, but with an extra dimension, meaning you could tilt video on an X, Y, or Z axis. Instead of bubble memory, you saved setups for it on an old-school 5 1/4" floppy disk.

I used both of these machines in combination with the Infinit! to make stills because we didn't have a fancy paintbox graphics system. I'd build them through the board and save them on an electronic slide store machine. You can see the little black control panel for it on top of the switcher.

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