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March 21, 2018

Meet Steve Sasson, inventor of the digital camera

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Who knew?

Excerpts from Monica Hesse's Washington Post front page Style section story about this pretty much under the radar innovator follow.

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In 1975, as a young engineer who had no interest in photography but had taken a job with Kodak because he heard Rochester was nice, he invented the digital camera [above and below].

"Nobody really knew what we were working on in that lab," Sasson says. "It's not that we were trying to be secretive, it's just that nobody cared. 'Why would anyone want to look at images on a screen? What's the point of an electronic photo album?'"

On a recent morning, Sasson... showed off his 35-year-old creation. It's about the size of a toaster. It could be used to perform biceps curls, but holds only about .01 megapixel. "Sixteen NiCad batteries," Sasson says, pointing to the nickel cadmium batteries through a mess of exposed wires and nubby tabs called potentiometers.... Sasson compares himself to a guy who invented a really good pen, which wouldn't necessarily make that guy a good writer. All of this is to say that the guy who invented the digital camera doesn't really know anything about photography.

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The camera was an afterthought, a "filler project" Sasson [above, holding the camera] was asked to look into when not working on his main assignment of building a lens-cleaning machine. Its first image was an impromptu snapshot of a lab technician from down the hall. When it appeared on the television screen a minute later, the white office walls showed up, and so did the technician's black hair. Her face, her clothes and everything else were a muted swamp of gray. The technician looked at the historic photograph of herself on the screen and shrugged. "Needs work," she told him.

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Below, a page from the 1978 patent.

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Below, the playback device and a TV.

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I find it interesting that at the same time Sasson was creating his device in Kodak's Elmgrove Plant in Rochester, New York, Jobs and Wozniak were putting the finishing touches on their Apple I.

One of the 200 Apple I computers built between July 1976 and August 1977, complete in its original packaging, brought $213,000 at a Christie's auction — in 2010.

You could look it up.

Wrote Ben Rooney in the Wall Street Journal, "The lot included a letter from 'Steven Jobs' and the return address on the packaging was his parents' house."

Steve Wozniak was present at the auction; speaking afterwards he said, "I gave them away for free. It was really just an attempt to help people move the world forward."

March 21, 2018 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Abbreviations.com — "The web's largest resource for acronyms and abbreviations"

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One-stop shopping: what's not to like?

March 21, 2018 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

World's First LED Gum Health Stimulator

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What took so long?

From the website:

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This is the only device that stimulates circulation inside your mouth to help maintain healthy gums.

Using technology developed by NASA, the mouthpiece employs eight infrared (880nm) and eight red (660nm) LEDs that produce safe infrared heat that penetrates deep into gingival tissue, boosting circulation to help promote oral health.

Lightweight, portable, and simple to use, the cordless mouthpiece offers convenient one-button operation for the recommended 10-minute treatment.

For those who use light-reactive whitening gel to brighten their teeth, the mouthpiece also has 12 blue LEDs that allow you to simultaneously get a whitening treatment as you treat your gums (gel not included).

Features and Details:

• Internal battery recharges in 4-6 hours via AC adapter

• Includes hard plastic travel case

• 4.5" x 2.25" x 1"

• Weight: 3 oz. 

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$99.95.

March 21, 2018 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

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