Thursday, January 27, 2011

Scots wha hae'

Eighty-five years ago, the birth of television. From Wired Magazine...

Although Scottish inventor John Logie Baird's studies were so rudely interrupted by World War I, he was nonetheless determined to get moving images working outside of a lab once back home. TV... as much as you could call it that... was primitive then. Experimentally primitive. Like, shadows cast by silhouettes primitive. There was room for improvement.

So Baird seized upon a prior invention, a device called a Nipkow disk, which let electric light shine through narrow slants as it spun. The result was again on the primitive side, was an image produced by lines that scanned one at a time. Sort of like TVs now, only instead of 1080 lines of resolution, Baird was cranking out 30.

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