LASERS! && Freemont Street LED array (was Re: Cray J932SE (was Re: Straight 8 up on Ebay just now))

Swift Griggs swiftgriggs at
Wed Jul 20 09:54:07 CDT 2016

On Tue, 19 Jul 2016, ethan at wrote:
> I live in Virginia but go to a number of events every year. I dabble 
> with music a little, have some synths and midi hardware (and of course 
> an Atari ST setup, and a luggable Pentium 200 with a SB/GUS and Voyetra 
> Sequencer!) Also dabble a little with saxophones but it's been a while!

I knew it! Piano, bass, violin, and guitar, here. I play them all badly 
but guitar a little less badly. I've been an amateur for about 10 years 
and I've been taking guitar lessons for about three years, now. 

Sax, eh? Cool. I've never tried a reed-based instrument.

You have all the cool sound gear you need if you have an ST and a machine 
with a GUS! Well.... maybe an Amiga with Octamed or Protracker, but Scream 
Tracker and Impulse Tracker also rocks fairly hard with a GUS, so never 
mind. :-)

As you can tell, I like trackers. I wrote a few MOD/IT/S3M files "back in 
the day".

> Hmm interesting! No 
> mention of freemont street but their current market is digital signage. 
> That would have been one of the earliest LED video screens ever!

Ah... I finally found some mention of it. Check this out:
"The light and sound spectacular runs on a master show controller and 
three sub-systems. The controller runs Stage Manager 3000 software on an 
Amiga computer originally installed when the show began in 1995. Murphy 
said the master controller sends commands to the video-display controller, 
light console and digitally automated audio system. The audio system, a 
recently upgraded LCS Matrix 3 system, distributes 550,000W of sound 
through 220 remote amplifiers located throughout the outdoor mall."


> I'm sure you know the thing about Garth/Dana Carvey? Him mentioning the 
> Unix book in Waynes World was a nod to his brother, his brother founded 
> NewTek the company behind the Amiga video toaster and the current NewTek 
> Tricaster stuff?

I did know some of that story, but not all. That's really cool. 

> Also, you can put together your own freemont-street-living-room at not 
> totally insane prices now. I put together this LED video screen [...] 

Whoa, very neat. When I was in college I used to run shows out of an old 
machine shop in an industrial part of town. It started as just a practice 
place. However, I knew a bunch of artists. They weren't just other college 
kids but artists who are pretty well known in the area and responsible for 
large public works etc... They all had daughters, you see... Anyhow, they 
talked me into letting them setup some art "openings" at this same little 
dinky venue I had going. One of them was an electrical engineering student 
who would come up from Texas Tech and cover the place with LED matrices 
that he had built. It was really impressive tech for the 1990s. He could 
do things like color cycling, and display static frames, but not 
animation. It always brought in lots of folks (200-800 per show usually) 
who were impressed by our tiny art shows with the "Light Room" display. 
People gave canned food or $$$ to get in and we raised a bit of food and 
money for charity that way, too.


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