Archive for October, 2011

Remembering Steve Jobs

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Apple Co-Founder Steve Jobs Dies At 56

Innovative Leader Built World’s Most Valuable Tech Company, Touched Countless Lives

This photo, which was scanned to digital by Apple Inc., shows founder Steve Jobs at the 1977 introduction of the Apple II computer – the first popular home computer, and the first to come with a keyboard and color monitor. The Apple II was also the first of many revolutionary technology products that Steve would bring to the market, forever changing the way we work, create, communicate, learn, and interact with the world. On October 5th, Jobs died after a long battle with a rare form of pancreatic cancer.

Last Tuesday’s somewhat lackluster iPhone 4S announcement was soon put into perspective when it was announced that Apple’s ingenious, charismatic, and much-loved leader had passed away. The company released a statement saying:

We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today. Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve. His greatest love was for his wife, Laurene, and his family. Our hearts go out to them and to all who were touched by his extraordinary gifts.

Jobs, who was only 56 years old, transformed not only the computer industry but also the music industry, the cell phone industry, the portable gaming industry, and more. He left a legacy of blockbuster products such as the original Macintosh computer, the iMac, the iPod, the MacBook – the world’s number-one notebook computer – and of course the ubiquitous iPhone and iPad. Jobs also revolutionized computer animation with Pixar, a company he formed in 1986 after purchasing a small animation firm from Lucasfilm’s effects division, Industrial Light & Magic.

After struggling with health problems for nearly a decade, Jobs resigned his post as Apple’s CEO in August, 35 years after co-founding the company in the garage of his parents’ home in Cupertino, California. Jobs’ story is one of incredible persistence and constant innovation. Forced out of his own company in the mid 1980s, Steve immediately poured himself – and his personal fortune – into two new projects, one of which became Pixar. As his second computer company, NeXT, struggled to get off the ground, Jobs refused to let financial woes and a hesitant Hollywood prevent Pixar from taking off. After the studio’s first feature film “Toy Story” became a monumental success, Pixar went public and Jobs’s money troubles were over; he became a billionaire overnight. Pixar was later bought by Disney for $7.5 billion, making Jobs the biggest shareholder in the entertainment giant.

After years apart from Apple, Steve was brought back in to a struggling Apple in 1996, when he made major changes to the company and eventually was reinstated as CEO. The next year, a near-bankrupt Apple introduced the iMac desktop computer, and the company’s amazing comeback had begun. Apple Inc. is now the most valuable technology company in the world. Jobs truly believed that technology was a tool that should be used not only to crunch numbers, but to unleash creativity and to enrich the lives of people everywhere.

Jobs is survived by his wife, their son Reed Paul, their daughters Erin Sienna and Eve, and his daughter Lisa. To see more Steve Jobs photos that have been scanned to digital by the Los Angeles Times, visit Los Angeles Times.

ScanDigital is a proud sponsor of L.A Cancer Challenge 2011!

Friday, October 28th, 2011

ScanDigital is a proud corporate sponsor of the LA Cancer Challenge 2011. This great Los Angeles event is an annual 5k/10k walk/run to raise funds for Pancreatic Cancer research. Each year, The LACC raises thousands of dollars in the hopes of finding better methods of identifying Pancreatic Cancer and treating this devastating disease.

On October 30th, members of ScanDigital will be showing their support by running (and walking) the 5k/10k event. If you are in Los Angeles and would like to participate, you are more than welcome to join Team ScanDigians! You can sign up here. If you are not available to join us on October 30th but would still like to help find a cure for Pancreatic Cancer, you can make a donation on the Team ScanDigian page. We do our best to be involved in the community and show support for great causes. If you don’t have any Halloween weekend plans, we would love to see you there!

Rare Marilyn Monroe Photos Featured In New Book

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Lost Marilyn Monroe Photos Document Life On And Off Set

‘Marilyn, August 1953: The Lost Look Photos’ Captures Rare Moments

On November 4th, a new movie called “My Week With Marilyn” hits theaters, starring Michelle Williams as Hollywood’s most iconic beauty, Marilyn Monroe. Her legacy never fading, Marilyn has remained one of the biggest pop and cultural icons for nearly 60 years. Her fans are as enthusiastic as ever, and the American Film Institute recently named her the sixth greatest female star of all time.

The first photo seen here, which was scanned to digital by book publisher Calla Editions, shows a 27-year-old Marilyn posing for a rare portrait with her then-fiancé, baseball legend Joe DiMaggio. The photo is from a recent book called “Marilyn, August 1953: The Lost Look Photos,” which has been receiving enormous press in anticipation of the new movie for its collection of rare, never-before-seen photos.

Taken both on and off the set of the film “River of No Return” in Banff, Alberta, Canada, the photos were captured by Look magazine photographer John Vachon, who was on assignment to photograph Marilyn and other film stars who were filming on location at that time. Three films were being made in Alberta that summer, and the magazine wanted to capture private moments of the stars in that wonderful setting. Already America’s new sweetheart and one of the hottest stars in Hollywood, Marilyn was to be the main feature of the article. She had already appeared twice on the cover of Life magazine.

This was an important time for Monroe, and her role in “River of No Return” was an important career move. She had become a star largely because of the success of “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” the musical comedy in which she played a lovable, ditzy, and somewhat dimwitted character that would define much of her career. Her only “serious” dramatic role to date was in the less successful thriller “Niagara,” and Monroe was anxious to prove her abilities as a serious actress. Her performance in “River of No Return” earned her those bragging rights, though she would continue to be typecast as the lovable bimbo in many future films, such as “The Seven Year Itch” and “Some Like It Hot.” Though not the serious acting she wanted to be doing, these films proved Monroe to be one of the all-time great comic actresses.

Vachon worked with Monroe for two weeks, capturing hundreds of photos while the star was on leave from the set for an ankle injury. Only three photos were used in the article, and the rest were hidden away – until now.

To see more book photos that have been scanned to digital, check out the slideshow at the Huffington Post by visiting Huff Post Entertainment.

New Android Phones Take On iPhone 4S

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Two New Android Flagships From Motorola And Samsung

Can They Steal The iPhone’s Crown?

Although many Apple fans felt a bit let down that the newly-released iPhone 4S didn’t get a full redesign, the big A has already declared the new smartphone to be its most popular yet. Over 4 million people bought the device during its first weekend on the market, shattering all previous records, and leaving fans of Google’s competing Android phones wondering what’s next. This week, Google responded with the announcement of brand new flagship models from Android leaders Motorola and Samsung.

Motorola, makers of the first Droid-branded phone, announced the Droid Razr – a super-thin device that shares its moniker with the company’s svelte and wildly popular flip-phones from about 5 years ago, before smartphones were the norm. At just 7.1mm thick, the Droid Razr is thinner than any other smartphone ever made, including the iPhone 4 and 4S. It is also lightweight at just 4.5 ounces, yet it has powerhouse features such as a dual-core 1.2GHz TI processor, 1GB of RAM, and a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display. According to Moto, the Droid Razr will be the first smartphone able to stream HD digital video transfers from Netflix. Motorola used a combination of stainless steel, sculpted glass, and Kevlar (the woven material used in bullet-proof vests) to make the phone so thin without sacrificing strength. The device also features a splash-resistant nanotechnology coating.

When Google launched the Nexus One from smartphone manufacturer HTC in January of last year, it started a tradition of using the Nexus line of phones as a sort of showcase for its latest iteration of the Android operating system. The newest version, called Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich (each version is named after a dessert) features a variety of new capabilities and user interface features resulting in what Google is calling “an entirely new look and feel.” The showcase for Ice Cream Sandwich will be Samsung’s new Galaxy Nexus, a flagship smartphone by any standards.

The first thing you’ll notice about the Galaxy Nexus is its enormous display. At 4.65 inches, the display is the biggest you’ll find on a smartphone. It also has the highest resolution; boasting 1280×720 pixels, this is the first truly high definition smartphone display. Under the hood you’ll find a 1.2 gigahertz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage. According to Samsung, the phone’s advanced camera experiences zero shutter lag, and can automatically piece together panoramic shots. Though not as slim as the Droid Razr, the Galaxy Nexus features a sleek, gently curved design that is sure to please.

Dennis Ritchie, Computer Programming Pioneer, Dies At 70

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Dennis Ritchie Dies, Father Of C Programming Language

Ritchie Co-Created UNIX, Influenced Entire Computing World

The photo seen here, which was scanned to digital by Bell Labs, shows pioneering computer-scientists Dennis Ritchie (left) and Ken Thompson working on a PDP-11 computer in 1972. A legend in the world of computer programming, Ritchie died last week at the age of 70. The photo below, which was scanned to digital by Wired Magazine, shows Ritchie and Thompson as they receive a National Medal of Technology from President Bill Clinton in 1999.

Dennis Ritchie was the father of the C programming language, and co-developer (with Thompson) of the UNIX operating system, a foundation upon which much of the modern computer world us built. His father Alistair had worked at Bell Labs, and Ritchie joined the company after earning degrees in physics and math at Harvard University. He worked for Bell for his entire career.

Without getting overly technical, it is difficult to fully describe the significance of Ritchie’s work with Thompson at Bell Labs. Together they worked to simplify operating systems, making the software easy to move from one computer to the next. These breakthroughs made possible the open-source sharing of ideas as we know it. Various versions of the C programming language are still used in for web development and other computer tasks that were simply unthinkable when the language was developed un the late 1960s and early 1970s. It is the basis of nearly every programming and scripting tool. The UNIX operating software is the backbone of countless modern operating systems, from the popular open-source Linux, to Apple’s Mac OS X and iOS. Basically, every bit of software that allows you to read this blog has at least a trade of Dennis Ritchie’s legacy in it.

Ritchie’s former coworker and fellow programming legend Rob Pike, who now works at Google, explained the significance of C and UNIX to Wired Magazine. “Pretty much everything on the web uses those two things,” he said. “The browsers are written in C. The UNIX kernel, that pretty much the entire Internet runs on, is written in C. Web servers are written in C, and if they’re not, they’re written in Java or C++, which are C derivatives. Or Python or Ruby, which are implemented in C. Even Windows was once written in C. It’s really hard to overstate how much of the modern information economy is built on the work Dennis did.”

Because Ritchie passed away so soon after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, many are comparing and contrasting their respective achievements. Although Ritchie was not a household name or a public figure, many experts assert that Ritchie’s contributions were at least as significant as those of better-known figures such as Jobs and Bill Gates. Martin Rinard, who is a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT and a member of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, summed up Jobs’s and Ritchie’s achievements succinctly. “Jobs was the king of the visible,” he said, “and Ritchie was the king of what is largely invisible. Jobs’s genius is that he builds these products that people really like to use because he has taste, and can build things that people really find compelling. Ritchie built things that technologists were able to use to build core infrastructure that people don’t necessarily see much anymore, but they use everyday.”