Before I get started with this month's article, about the recent AIIM (Association for Information and Image Management) show, I must digress. I feel the need to define the word MULTIMEDIA.
At the AIIM show, I asked a well known vendor if they were demonstrating any new multimedia applications. They showed me a networked computer system capable of displaying images from an online automatic microfilm retrieval and scanning unit, an off-line microfilm reader, a hard disk drive or a file folder full of papers. It took me awhile to figure out why this system was considered to be multimedia. I thought I must be missing something. It turns out that they define this system as multimedia because it is capable of handling multiple media types, both paper and film.
This definition appears to be quite pervasive as I was on a long bus ride at Comdex Fall '92 and in conversation, asked a fellow rider to give me an example of a multimedia presentation. He told me that a presentation using overhead transparencies and a slide projector was multimedia. He also added that sound did not count as part of the multimedia equation.
These definitions however, are quite limited and not exactly what I mean when I use the term multimedia in my continuing article titled "Multimedia Project". I feel that multimedia is the usage and blending of the conventional forms of "media" -- radio, print and television (ie. sound, text, still and moving images) along with their digital spin-offs in unique ways in order to teach, train, entertain and sell.
The largest attended AIIM show ever, was held on April 5th through 8th, 1993, at the McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois. There were over 33,000 attendees, over 80 seminars and over 300 vendor displays. These displays covered the range from microfilm equipment to new optical disk jukeboxes and digital scanners.
Hewlett Packard and Sony each announced their own new 1.3 gigabyte removable optical hard disk drive. In a 5 1/4" unit they can store 1,300 times more than the original IBM PC/XT hard disk drive and the media is removable.
Watermark Software, Inc. announced a product which empowers Windows users to image enable conventional document applications such as electronic mail, word processors and spreadsheet software. This software allows images to be stored, manipulated and distributed by other application software.
Scanners were used in all types of applications and the individual units ranged in from a $400, 3 pages per minute unit from Plustek to a $16,000, 72 pages per minute unit from Bell & Howell.
Kodak is extending their product line by using the optical storage technology used in the Photo CD system, for storing and distributing digitized information. For approximately four cents per megabyte, each write-once disk can store up to 550 megabytes of data. With this turn-key, on-site CD authoring system, people can create and distribute their own CDs.
© 1993 Rick Smith All rights reserved.