Few people have heard of it, yet many consider John Blankenbaker's KENBAK-1 to be the first commercial personal computer.

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Lasergraphics Film Recorder: Breathe new life into an old slide projector

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There are many devices that scan slides to create digital copies, but the Lasergraphics Personal LFR Pro film recorder does the opposite: it outputs a digital image onto old fashioned 35mm film. This may sound slightly crazy at first, but there are several excellent reasons to do it.

A similar process is used when making a modern feature film. The original footage is usually shot on 35mm motion picture film and digitally scanned into a computer-based editing system. The resulting files are then edited together digitally. The final result is color corrected and printed back to film using a high resolution film recorder.

Slide The Lasergraphics Personal LFR Pro film recorder does the same thing with individual 35mm slides. This allows artists to manipulate photos in Photoshop or create images completely within a computer. The resulting slides can be projected using low-tech (cheap!) slide projectors with results that rival high-end digital gear.

The LFR Pro features a fixed 35mm camera back that captures images off a high resolution internal CRT monitor. It can capture an image at up to 4K resolution (4000 horizontal pixels) in approximately 40 seconds with 36 bits of color per pixel. The unit is self calibrating and offers nearly distortion-free transfers.

Believe it or not, slides also make excellent archival media if you use a classic film stock such as Kodachrome. The unique Kodachrome process was developed in the mid 1930s, and many slides from the 1940s and 1950s still look much the same today as they did the day they were shot. In fact, many industry specialists believe that properly stored Kodachrome film should last a century or more. It has the added bonus of being visible to the naked eye, unlike digital files.

This massively cool device comes with a serious price tag. Each unit is custom built to order and costs $5,995.

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