About Tom Duncan
My name is Campbell Thomas Duncan, which is why I use the logo. It was Computing & Television Design.
I am a retired television producer with a software love. It all started with a TRS80 and machine code. Then along came the Commodore Amiga which we used for inserting computer generated graphics into television productions when I was working for a University in Queensland, Australia. Windows 95 came along and the WEB started and so did my shift in software. Delphi became the tool of choice and after leaving the University I produced interactive CD's with software I wrote in Delphi. Then tablets and B4A started a complete change in my programming style. My wife and I have 2 Nexus 7 tablets and 2 Ipad's to play with. I am not a good software developer but I try and use what I have and what people have as an end to a product. This B4J project could not have been developed if not for people like Erol and the many users of B4A and B4J. Especially to Robert Linn who has helped in so many ways, not only with his great How-to's but his personal comments on what to do. So much of a shame that I live in sunny Queensland and he lives in Germany. Distance and time zones are a pain.
See more on my computing life in Computing. Will give you a basic life of me and Computers.
I do feel like a learner but this is what I love to do, keeps my mind active and out of my Lyn's hair.
Web site design has always been a passion to me. Never good at it but loved having one up and going for myself. I now have my own running on a linux server somewhere. www.ctd.com.au This has been my main site but the thought of having my very own server running from home has been a dream. I started with the WAMP server idea and used a php powered CMS called Typesetter. Works well but then along came B4J and it's websocket demos. This was too good to be true so I started on the idea of developing my very own Designer for the web server. So this is how my local server came to pass.
Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education (DDIAE) - Toowoomba Later to become USQ
In 1985 we left the bright lights of Brisbane and moved 100 kilometers West to Toowoomba.
I led their media section. Our prime work was to promote the Institute and to create teaching material for their ever enlarging Distance Education section.
Our major problem was graphics. When I arrived all graphics were produced on cardboard then we put then in front of a camera for use.
Not a good thing but the best at the time.
Sony had produced the 1st Character Generator computer. Finally we had electronic graphics to use.
Late in 1995, we then found out about a domestic computer that with the correct hardware could be interfaced into our production area.
It was the Commodore Amiga 1000. (wow what a life change.)
In 1997 I received my first email from an American University friend. The whole department came to my office to have a look at this wonderful thing. This was text based, well before the days of the Internet as we know it. We were part of ArcNet which was an academic network only. Little did we know then what would happen a few short years later.
"The Commodore Amiga 1000, also known as the A1000 and originally simply as the Amiga, was the first personal computer release by Commodore International in the Amiga line. It combined the powerful 16/32-bit Motorola 68000 CPU with one of the most advanced graphics and sound systems in its class, and ran a preemptive multitasking operating system that fit into 512 KB of memory."
In 1994, as Commodore filed for bankruptcy, Byte magazine called the Amiga 1000 "the first multimedia computer... so far ahead of its time that almost nobody - including Commodore's marketing department - could fully articulate what it was all about".
In 2006, PC World rated the Amiga 1000 as the 7th greatest PC of all time. In 2007, it was rated by the same magazine as the 37th best tech product of all time.
This, along with the genlock card changed our whole life. Finally we could have great graphics and very good animation. Deluxe Paint I-V was our prime graphics software, along with SCALA as the display software.
Deluxe Paint V
Deluxe Paint V on the Amiga, showing the famous "Venus" picture (a detail from The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli), included with the program as a sample picture.
In 1991 the Amiga CDTV was released. This had a cd as well. cd's in these days were a very new device. The CDTV came with a couple of Cd's to show it off. My boss Leslie Richardson and I had the idea of using this device to produce interactive cd's for teaching.
Over the next year we produced a cd with software that I wrote.
To master the CD we sent our 1 gig 5 1/4 hardrive to England where they created a cd for us. Cd burning was not available in Australia at the time. From memory it cost us $100 for the blank cd.
This cd was then used as a test device for an Engineering training course.
With the demise of the Amiga CDTV we changed to what would become a major part of my life. Windows 95.
We tested Windows 95 from the early beta days. Learning to love the idea. We did hate 3.11 but 95 had that edge.
We could even burn our own cd's with our very, very expensive cd burner.
Non Linear Editing
Our multimedia editing was done on Sony Umatic, BVU and later BetaCam machines.
In 1995 I went to a trade event for Television in Sydney and saw a wonderful thing. "NON LINEAR EDITING". What a revelation, being able to edit a television program on a computer and have it non-destructive as well.
Most of the systems were around the $100,000 mark but one group had a system that they were building and using software called Speed Razor.
Non Linear Editing
Speed Razor is fully multi-threaded, nonlinear video editing and compositing software for Windows that delivers full screen D1 uncompressed quality video, fully field rendered NTSC or PAL. It features unlimited video and audio layers, and real time audio mixing for up to 20 audio layers with DAT quality output. It works with almost all editing hardware, and is offered in real time dual stream or single stream configurations.
In 1996 we ordered and purchased one of these systems. Now editing had become a dream. We could do whatever we wanted, just still had to keep the client happy.
In 1997 I had an unfortunate breakup with my then wife Anne. It meant I needed to leave Toowoomba and start afresh. This I did and moved to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.
A long term friend and media producer offered me a job. This I took up gradely. To make life easy for myself I purchased a Pentium 2 computer with a huge 40gig hard drive (5 1/4") as well as SpeedRazor. This I used for the next few used. It had Windows NT4 as it's operating system. Later this was updated to Windows 2000.
Has been many years since it has been turned on. Today when I was taking these pictures I noticed the wasp nest beside the floppy drive. Must make sure I fix this before I try and fire it up again.
The hardware has a RGB, Composite and Digital input and outputs. This machine cost me $17,000. But at the time was a great machine and well worth it.