January 11th, 2013 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Retro GIF, scanners, video capture, video digitizers, Jim Maxey, Event Horizons BBS, BBS, GIF, IBM PC, EGA, T-EGA, Videotex, NAPLPS, Videotex Systems, Bob Gillman
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From 1983 to 1996, James "Jim" Maxey operated a very successful Oregon-based BBS called Event Horizons. Through that board's file section, Maxey made available thousands of GIF images in many categories, from landscapes to pornography, that he had created using a video digitizer board and conversion software called T-EGA.
Bob Talmadge wrote an excellent profile of Jim Maxey's BBS years for his site BBSDays.com. I recommend reading it if you're interested in learning more about Maxey's BBS. Also, Jack Rickard of BoardWatch magazine mentioned Maxey's early 1990s image-related BBS activities in an article he wrote for Wired issue 1.04 in 1993.
The early and pioneering nature of Maxey's color graphics files for IBM PC computers ensured that his digital pictures, which he called "MaxiPics," spread far and wide to other BBSes at the time. This is one such picture, and it depicts a house and yard in autumn. The 640 x 350 EGA format file dates from 1987 and was likely captured from a video source — more on that in a moment.
[ Continue reading [ Retro GIF of the Week ] Digitized Autumn Leaves » ]
October 23rd, 2012 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Retro Scan, announcement, scanner, Epson
As a small administrative note, I'd like to mention that the scanner I've used for our Retro Scan of the Week column since its inception in 2006 crapped out on October 15th, 2012.
It up and died. The scanning head got stuck a few times, then the scans started returning blank white images. It's the digital equivalent to coughing up blood.
I've used the scanner, an Epson Perfection 2480 Photo, to scan thousands upon thousands of images, so it's amazing it has lasted this long. It would be amusing to see how many miles the scanning mechanism has traveled since I first received the scanner as a gift from my dad in 2004 or 2005.
I might be able to fix the unit, but I thought of a better solution. My father happened to have the exact same scanner model, which he hasn't used in many years. I picked it up on Sunday, dropped it in place of the old scanner, and it's like nothing has changed. So Retro Scan of the Week is saved.
Of course, new flatbed scanners cost about $50 these days, so it may be time for an upgrade. I'll think about it, but for now, the Epson Perfection 2480 Photo rides again!