While everyone was freaking out, I heard screams of "Quick, get me a fire extinguisher!" and "Get this on film!"
That's what it sounded like. Actually there was a nice shower of sparks and so much smoke it sent the photographer and staff running for cover. What I'm describing here is my SC1224 color monitor picking a most inopportune time to not only go on the fritz, but to do it in true 50's science fiction movie style. But let me regress a little here.
This is the city Los Angeles, California. Over 465 square miles of constantly interfacing humanity representing computer users of every creed.... It was the morning of April 21st. I was busy in my downtown office when I received a call. They needed my ST to shoot the crystal ball inset for the cover of this issue. I didn't have the time to head down to Culver City, the location of the studio, so I asked ST-Log's art director Ed Herch whether he and the photographer could come in and take the photos at the Beverly Hills location.
After attempting several trial shots, the lighting just couldn't be adjusted properly, so we headed over to the photo studio. Oh, I forgot to mention, it was one of those rare days in Southern California when it was raining.
We arrived at the studio with my 1040 and monitor. While our photographer, Ladi Von Jansky, was positioning the camera and lighting, I proceeded to set up my equipment. But...when I pressed the power button on my monitor, it was Fourth of July time! While everyone was freaking out, I heard screams of "Quick, get a fire extinguisher!" and "Get this on film!"
So then someone asked if it's supposed to do that. My response was, "What do you think this is, a PC clone?" Another recommended I try it again. What the hell. I turned it on again. This time just some crackling and buzzing sounds. So what happened? Did the rain get at it? (It wasn't raining when I carried it into the studio.) Was it plugged accidentally into 220V? (We checked, and it wasn't.) Was it the ride down in my rental car through the trials and tribulations of LA traffic? (Could be!)
Well, I had a couple of spare monitors. Trouble was, they were home. So someone asked "Why not go home and get one...?" Fine. No problem. "I live in Massachusetts!" was my answer to that. "Fine! We'll wait for ya." Well, I called The Federated Group, which is run by Jack Tremiel's son, Gary. As you may recall, this chain numbers nearly 70 stores, and is fairly big throughout the west and parts of the midwest. They carry consumer electronics products such as televisions, audio components and computers. The chain was purchased by Atari last fall.
Gary was only too happy to help, and set me up with a monitor from their nearby Federated store on Olympic and Bundy (being new to LA, I knew where Olympic was—I had gotten lost around there a couple times...but never heard of Bundy.) ST-Log Art Director Ed Herch and I showed up at the store, with the manager expecting us. He quickly loaned us a store demo 1224, and we went on our way.
We set the monitor up, turned it on (carefully!) and shot the photo. All that time and effort—just for that little crystal ball on the cover! Gee...I can hardly wait 'till next month.
—Lee H. Pappas