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9th July 2005
KEN ABOUT......... QUICKTAKE and other pictures
Ken Ross

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  Certain parts of this article requires Netscape or similar for frames and colours ~ sorry.


An addition to the family is a Quicktake 100 digital camera. Using "Get Info" on the Macintosh reveals the copyright statement, showing that the copyright is jointly held by Apple Computer Inc and Eastman Kodak (Japan).

The QuickTake 100 was the first in a series of three digital cameras produced by Apple during the '90s. Based on a Kodak design and launched in 1994 the product line had a relatively short lifespan, with only three models; the 100 model, the 150 model and the redesigned 200 model.

A mac printer cable is used to connect the camera to a printer or modem port on pre-iMac machines.

There's no way to expand the memory on the 100 model, so it will only take 8*(640x480) pictures, or 32*(320x240), or a suitable combination thereof.

On the back of the camera is an LCD panel with battery status & exposures taken displayed with 4 small icons which are associated with the 4 buttons around the side of the panel.

At this point there's a graphic representation of the back panel using tables and colours.

Ed: This may be the bit that doesn't display too well in the IE browser. As I am not sure what it is supposed to look like I cannot say!

  pictures taken  
flash on/ off /auto
  [          ]  
 o o
exposures left / picture size 
erase camera Battery status delayed exposure

To switch on the lens cover is pulled over and it wakes up with a 'hollow clonk' that's very feelable. Taking a picture produces a shutter noise that belongs in an Austin Powers movie!.

On the side there is a sliding panel that hides the PSU socket and the connection port.

As my example came sans software I had to find some elsewhere. On the Apple site they've a wide variety of older system software & device drivers but, for some obscure legal reason, they don't have the Quicktake software up there for download.

I'd got the install disks from Macdriver musuem some time ago. It turns out that the QuickTake installer is not very smart as it replaces some critical files with older stuff. This breaks not only itself but other things also. It's better to use the QT150 software, as it still works with the QT100 camera, but is compatible with later operating systems.
(However, other people have reported no problems whatsoever with their systems ~ your milage may vary as they say!)

Luckily, on the developers section of the Apple FTP site, away from the prying eyes of the general public, lurked a forgotten about complete kit for the beastie ~ (even to the extent of having lumps for things of the evil empire! Ed: Microsoft?) ~ so dropping the bits needed into my system folder got things sorted.

(The kit, stripped down for both PPC and 68K macs, can now be found in the download files in iMacChat at groups.yahoo.com)

There's a program that enables the Quicktake to be controlled from the desktop and pictures saved to a desktop folder. On the PowerBook 160, using OS 7.5, the camera can be mounted as an external read only drive.

An extension is needed for accessing the photos, as the camera uses a new file format, QuickTake, which uses QuickTime to decompress images. Quicktime 1.6 is the minimum recomended but I found that Quicktime 2 was far better. Images may be saved in TIFF, PICT and JPEG compressed picture formats.

The power requirements for the Quicktake camera are somewhat on the hefty side!

The power adaptor it uses is the same as my Powerbook 160 ~ 7.5V @ 2.5A ! Experimenting, I found that it'd run happily using the power supply unit (PSU) from the Zip drive, (5V @ 1A), with the low battery icon flashing away. Luckily, lurking in my odds and ends drawer was a within limits Agfa switched mode PSU that just needed the correct plug fitted.

Battery power is taken care of with 3AA sized batteries. Whilst I waited for my heavy duty Ni-MH's to charge up I tried out some disposables, (which are properly disposed of for recycling), from a 99p store. These drained away before my eyes within moments of turning the Quicktake on.

Having the ability to control the camera from the desktop and empty it's memory into a folder onto the controlling Mac would enable a far better result for stop motion animation, as there would be no fingers disturbing the camera for each take.


Also now lurking in the groups.yahoo.com / iMacChat files is the Mac software for the Jamcam. For various reasons I couldn't upload a big lump to the file area so I had to experiment.

The end result was, first, the creation of a normal stuffit archive that was then run through MacRAR to split it into lumps that could go up. This was followed up there by a RAR unarchiver to restore it. Just applying the RAR compression to the plain Jamcam app produced a file that was very small but when unarchived didn't work as a lot of it had vanished somehow!


It has been somewhat of a disconcerting time with the announcement that Apple is forsaking its PPC heritage to take up with Intel chips.

There's a number of factors in play here.

OSX (etc.) is UNIX based so the PPC chip is less important to the architecture than it used to be.

And the most important factor of all..........

Every so often Apple turn round and say to a 'Mac generation' of users ~ sorry we don't support your machines any more so please go and buy a new one!

Ed: Isn't that last factor a bit like the evil empire in Redmond? The computer news channels were putting forward another reason for the change. Namely that IBM couldn't make a fast chip that would run cool enough on the Apple mobile computers. Apple have a history of threatening to move to Intel and suddenly IBM produce what they need. This time it looks more serious. The problem now is how do Apple expect to sell any machines in the intervening period before the switch? Big price cuts will be necessary.

All is not bleak. Once your Apples have moved to Intel, it will be easier to run Linux. Then you will not have to upgrade on Apple's say so!


A film to watch out for is the 1956 classic, 'Earth vs The Flying Saucers'. This features stop motion work by Ray Harryhausen, in which a vital interpreting job is done on an analogue mechanical computer, (lots of gear trains grinding away), with the output being written on a plotter in joined up italic handwriting.

The beastie in question is Vannevar Bush's Differential Analyser, invented and constructed in the early 1930s. The differential analyzer also appears in George Pal's 1951 classic When Worlds Collide.

http://www.science.uva.nl /museum/vbush_tbl.html has a link to download a lump of the film EvFS in Quicktime Mov format.

http://web.mit.edu/mindell/ww w/analyzer.htm also has information about the Differential Analyser.