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I am looking for information on Polardid palette model 72-10
-- Robert Larsen (email@example.com), June 23, 1999
Me too! Any luck yet?
-- Mike Carambat (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 01, 2001.
-- Dean (email@example.com), September 04, 2002.
I am looking for information on Polardid palette model 72-19 & Raster Plus Windows The (original) Palette, Palette Plus. Polaroid originally entered the film recorder business with the production of the Polaroid Palette video film recorder. This unit attached to the video output signal from IBM PC's, and copied the computer screen onto film. Consequently the resolution of the image on film was exactly the same as the computer's monitor. The earliest Palettes were designed for the CGA video adapter card, which was a video card with a top resolution of only 320 x 200 with only 4 colors. Later the Palette Plus was released, to support the IBM EGA video adapter card, which had 640 x 350 resolution and a whopping 16 colors. With extremely low resolutions like these, the slides these Palettes produced were, of course, awful. The video Palettes have two 9-pin D-type connectors, each with 2 rows of pins, on the back. One connector is for connection to the computer's video output, and the second one sends the video signals on to the next device, usually cabled to the computer's monitor. This way it was not necessary to disconnect the monitor in order to connect the film recorder to the computer's video output. The video Palettes also have an RS-232 Serial connector to allow control of the film recorder from the computer (mainly to tell the film recorder when to take a screen picture - no picture data was transferred via the RS-232 serial port). Because the resolution of these old IBM video cards was so low, there was no need for fancy optics, and so the 35mm camera portion (generally referred to in the film recorder industry as a "camera back") on the Palette and Palette Plus was a flimsy plastic number. The 35mm camera back was removable, and could be swapped with an optional instant Polaroid 3-1/4 x 4-1/4 sheet film back, for instant Polaroid prints. Polaroid Palettes were marked with the model numbers of the form 72-xx, including 72-19, 72-20 and 72-25 (there was also a model 72-10, which had two RCA video connectors on the back instead of the two 9-pin D-type connectors, and was designed to copy TV-type video, not computer output). Both the original Palette and the Palette Plus are completely worthless now, since there are no longer any video cards manufactured with resolution lower than VGA (640 x 480), and the signals and voltage levels (analog) for the VGA and above video cards are incompatible with the old CGA/EGA signals and levels (TTL), so the original Palette and Palette Plus will not synch up to any modern computer video.
The Digital Palettes. Polaroid replaced the original Palette with the "Digital Palette" series. With these film recorders, the image is created ("rasterized") in the computer, and then sent down to the film recorder in digital form. In this way, the resolution of the film recorder can be higher than (and independent of) the computer's video card and monitor. All modern film recorders are digital.
The first Digital Palette was the Model CI3000. This unit had a quoted resolution of "2K". This meant that there were (theoretically) 2048 pixels across the wide dimension of the image, compared to 640 pixels on a VGA display, or 1024 on an XGA display. The CI3000 had a standard IBM PC-type parallel (Centronics/printer) connector on the back, and the digital data was passed down to the film recorder from the computer just like to a printer, using a special "printer driver" installed on the computer. Since Macintosh computers had no parallel printer ports, the CI3000 was an IBM-only device. Next came the Digital Palette CI5000. This unit had a quoted (again theoretical) resolution of "4K" = 4096 pixels across the wide dimension of the image. The CI5000 had both a parallel printer connector and SCSI connectors on the back, so connection to either a PC or a Macintosh was possible. The last model in the Digital Palette line was the HR6000. This unit also had a quoted resolution of 4K=4096 pixels, and both PC parallel/printer and SCSI inputs. The CI3000 and CI5000 were discontinued by Polaroid when the HR6000 came out, although third-party software to drive the CI3000 and CI5000 is still available - see our Software Drivers section for more information.
The biggest problem with all the Polaroid Digital Palette models, was that they were all just modifications of the same low-resolution original Palette video film recorder. Polaroid simply replaced the video circuitry with digital interface circuitry, but the original units still had the same low-resolution CRT tube and the same flimsy plastic camera back. While Polaroid did make some improvements over the years to the Digital Palettes, it is just too much to expect a film recorder originally designed for only 320 x 200 resolution to output 2048 pixels, much less 4096. The result was a very soft, "unfocused" slide compared to competing brands. It is doubtful if any of the Polaroid Digital Palette models had a true resolution much greater than 700-800 pixels. While Polaroid did sell a lot of Digital Palettes, the unaware purchaser could have gotten a much better film recorder with a Lasergraphics LFR, LFR Plus, or Personal LFR, a Montage FR1 or FR2, or even a Mirus Turbo or Agfa ProColor.
The ProPalettes. The Polaroid ProPalette film recorders were completely redesigned from the ground up, using a bigger and better CRT tube, and better electronics. The ProPalettes were the first film recorders produced by Polaroid which were in any way competitive in quality to other lesser known brands like Lasergraphics. The ProPalette 7000 has a quoted resolution of 4K=4096 pixels across the wide dimension of the film, and the ProPalette 8000 has a quoted resolution of 8K=8192 pixels. It is doubtful if either of these actually fully meet these resolution specs, but they are much closer than were the Digital Palettes. Both machines have both parallel/printer and SCSI inputs. It is too bad Polaroid did not come out with these models years earlier, fewer Polaroid customers would have been stuck with Digital Palettes. ProPalette 7000's and 8000's may become available at very cheap prices from dealers trying to unload them due to Polaroid's bankruptcy, but we urge caution until the issue of whether anyone buys Polaroid's film recorder operation is settled; if nobody does, there may be NO technical support and NO repair service for any Polaroid models, even those under Warranty.
The Bravo. Recognizing the poor image quality of their Digital Palettes, Polaroid was an early investor in the long-since defunct Mirus film recorder company. Polaroid sold some Mirus and Mirus Turbo film recorders under the name "Polaroid Bravo". These units look like a shallow rectangular box; if you lift the lid on top of the unit, the camera back will be seen pointing straight down toward the floor. Polaroid pulled out of the Mirus deal years ago, probably because the Mirus units weren't much sharper than the Digital Palettes, if at all, and in addition were SLOW. The Polaroid Bravo film recorder units are identical to the Mirus and Mirus Turbo units, and all comments on our Mirus page apply.
OEM models. Some Polaroid Digital Palettes were relabeled and sold by other companies. In particular, GCC Technologies sold some Digital Palettes under their label. Lanier may have also sold some private-labelled Digital Palettes. The specifications, software support, etc., for these are identical to the Polaroid models.
Software Drivers The Computer Graphics Group carries current driver software to interface most Polaroid film recorders to both Windows and Macintosh computers.
Windows Computers Zenographics SuperPrint. Early Polaroid Digital Palettes were supported under Windows by SuperPrint from Zenographics. The last version of SuperPrint to support the Polaroid Digital Palettes was Version 5. SuperPrint Version 5 ran under Windows 3.1, 95, and NT 3.51 and 4. SuperPrint is now a frozen product - that is, Zenographics is not going to do any more development of SuperPrint to accommodate current or future releases of the Windows operating system or application programs (PowerPoint, etc.). For those Digital Palette owners with versions of SuperPrint older than 5.0 and who can restrict themselves to running under one of the above listed operating systems, the Computer Graphics Group can supply an upgrade to SuperPrint Version 5.0, or it is available directly from the Zenographics web site at: www.zeno.com/order. However, for Digital Palette owners who are using SuperPrint, we recommend switching to Raster Plus Windows (see below), because it is an ongoing product with continuing product development. And we recommend exclusively Raster Plus Windows for ProPalette owners.
Graphx Raster Plus Windows. Graphx Raster Plus Windows was supplied for Windows support with more recent Polaroid film recorders. It runs under Windows 95, 98, NT 4, 2000, and XP (no NT 3.5). The Raster Plus Windows software supports all Polaroid Digital Palette and ProPalette models, with certain restrictions. Under Windows 95/98, parallel/printer connection only is supported for the CI3000/S, while both parallel/printer and SCSI connections are supported for all other models. Under Windows NT4/2000/XP only SCSI connection is supported for the CI5000/S, HR6000, and ProPalette 7000 and 8000 - the parallel/printer input is not supported. The CI- 3000 is not supported under Windows NT4/2000/XP because it has no SCSI input.
Raster Plus Windows Specifications: Runs under Windows 95, 98, NT4, and 2000 (no NT 3.5) Directly prints over 20 file formats without having to open the original application, including: Postscript Level 3, Postscript Level 2, EPS, PDF, TIFF, JPEG, GIF, BMP, PCX, TARGA, and native Photoshop PSD. Includes drag-and-drop capability. File-Print from any Windows application. Raster Plus installs a Postscript printer driver for the FR2 film recorder, so you can just pull "File" down to "Print" and shoot your slides. Since the driver is a Postscript driver, even slides with embedded EPS images will print correctly. File-Print over a network from client Windows 95/98/NT and Macintosh computers (see Prerequisites below). Automatic hot folder printing of supported file types from any source on the network. Automatic scaling and rotation of images. True preview of any file before imaging if desired. Unattended printing of multiple images from multiple sources.
Raster Plus Windows Prerequisites:
Windows 95 or 98: Pentium class processor, 150 MHz or faster 32 MB Ram 50 MB program and 50 MB scratch Hard Disk space Montage FR2 with SCSI interface only supported - not parallel interface Windows NT or 2000: Pentium class processor, 200 MHz or faster 64 MB RAM 50 MB program and 50 MB scratch Hard Disk space Montage FR2 with SCSI interface only supported - not parallel interface Network Printing: Windows 95/98: If Raster Plus and the Polaroid film recorder are installed on a Windows 95 or 98 server PC, File-Print is available only from Windows 95/98/NT clients on the network. No File-Print from Macintosh clients. Windows NT: If Raster Plus and the Polaroid film recorder are installed on a Windows NT Workstation, File-Print is available only from Windows 95/98/NT clients on the network. To also File-Print from client Macintoshes, you must either install Raster Plus and the FR2 on a Windows NT Server, or install them on a Windows NT Workstation PC with PC MacLAN from Miramar systems also installed on it. All versions of Windows: hot folder printing is also available (Raster Plus automatically prints any files of the supported types listed above if they appear in the designated hot folder, regardless of source). Allows printing from Unix workstations, etc. Raster Plus Windows is not available for Windows 3.x.
A summary of the Polaroid film recorder models and their corresponding support software is shown here. A free evaluation copy of Raster Plus Windows is available at www.graphx.com. The evaluation copy has all the features of Raster Plus, but will only image for 14 days before you have to buy it (and you can't just set your computer's clock back - it knows that the time has expired, and also will not allow you to reinstall it). Raster Plus Windows for the Digital Palette CI3000/S, CI5000/S, and HR6000, and ProPalette 7000 and 8000, is list priced at $995. You can buy it at the Graphx web site, but you will have to pay the full list price. Call the Computer Graphics Group at (800) 999-2034 for our current Raster Plus Windows pricing information.
Macintosh computers Palette for Macintosh, SiPrint Assistant, and Palette Export for Macintosh. These three software packages were the standard Macintosh software complement for early Polaroid Digital Palette film recorders. Palette for Macintosh was a Chooser-level Driver, SiPrint Assistant was a spooling utility for unattended batch imaging of specific file types, and Palette Export for Macintosh was a Photoshop plug-in to print images directly from Photoshop to the Polaroid film recorder. None of these Macintosh software packages support printing Postscript or EPS images, such as are created by Quark, Illustrator, and Freehand. Palette Export for Macintosh is still available on the Polaroid web site, but the Palette for Macintosh Chooser driver and SiPrint Assistant spooling utility are no longer available. Ongoing support for Palette for Macintosh and SiPrint Assistant was discontinued by Polaroid when Polaroid switched to Professional Output Manager (see below) as their standard software driver.
Professional Output Manager/Raster Plus Macintosh. Later Polaroid Digital Palette film recorders with SCSI interfaces for use with a Macintosh were optionally supplied with Professional Output Manager (POM) software from Visual Business Systems (VBS) as their Macintosh device driver software for Postscript support, at extra cost. POM supported the printing of Postscript images. Later, Polaroid dropped support for Palette for Macintosh and SiPrint Assistant, and made POM their standard and only software driver for the Digital Palettes. VBS has been purchased by the folks at Graphx, who re- released the POM software as Raster Plus Macintosh. The old POM software is no longer supported. Graphx manufactures driver software for a number of devices besides Polaroid film recorders, including other brands of film recorders, as well as photo quality and large format printers, and they are still very much in business. Raster Plus Macintosh supports all Polaroid digital film recorders with SCSI interface, including CI5000/S, HR6000, and ProPalette 7000 and 8000. The CI3000 is not supported on the Macintosh because it has no SCSI input.
Raster Plus Macintosh Specifications:
Directly prints Postscript Level 3, EPS, PDF, TIFF, GIF, JPEG, PCX, Native Photoshop PSD, PICT, and Scrapbook file formats, without having to open the original application. File-Print from any Macintosh application. Raster Plus Macintosh installs a Postscript printer driver for the Polaroid film recorder, so you can just pull "File" down to "Print" and shoot your slides. Since the driver is a Postscript driver, even slides with embedded EPS images will print correctly. Automatic hot folder printing of supported file types from any source on the network, including Windows and Unix systems. Automatic scaling and rotation of images. Thumbnail previews of all images available. True preview of any file before imaging if desired. Unattended printing of multiple images from multiple sources. Raster Plus Macintosh Prerequisites: Power Macintosh, running System 8.5 or greater, or 9.x (not OS X) 40 MB of Ram for imaging 100 MB of free hard disk scratch space plus 15 MB hard disk space for Raster Plus FilmMagic Pro. FilmMagic Pro is a widely-used Macintosh software package for many other brands of film recorders as well as Polaroids. Its manufacturer, Inkwell Software, is also still very much in business. However, FilmMagic Pro only supports the ProPalette 7000 and 8000 models.
FilmMagic Pro Specifications:
Directly prints Postscript Level 3, PDF, EPS, TIFF, JPEG, GIF, PNG, PCX, TARGA, PICT, Scrapbook, SUN raster, and SGI file formats, without having to open the original application. Includes drag-and- drop capability. File-Print from any Macintosh application. FilmMagic Pro can install a Postscript printer driver for the Polaroid film recorder, so you can just pull "File" down to "Print" and shoot your slides. Since the driver is a Postscript driver, even slides with embedded EPS images will print correctly. File-Print over a network from client Macintosh computers. Automatic hot folder printing of supported file types from any source on the network, including Windows and Unix systems. Automatic scaling and rotation of images. Thumbnail previews of all images available. True preview of any file before imaging if desired. Unattended printing of multiple images from multiple sources. FilmMagic Pro Prerequisites: Power Macintosh, running System 8.1 or greater, or 9.x (not OS X) For network printing, OS 8.6 or greater for both server and client Macs, and Apple Open Transport Version 2.0.3 or greater (Open Transport 2.0.3 is included with the FilmMagic Pro CD) 64 MB of Ram for imaging at 4K, or 128 MB RAM for imaging at 8K 50 MB of free hard disk space after installation of FilmMagic Pro Raster Plus Macintosh for the supported Polaroid film recorder models is list priced at $995. A free evaluation copy of Raster Plus Macintosh is available from www.Graphx.com. The evaluation copy has all the features of Raster Plus Macintosh, but draws a black "X" across each image. FilmMagic Pro for the Polaroid ProPalette models is also list priced at $995. A free evaluation copy of FilmMagic Pro is available from www.inksoft.com. The evaluation copy has all the features of FilmMagic Pro, but draws black lines across all the images it produces. In both cases you can purchase the software at the manufacturer's web site, but you will have to pay the full list price there. Call the Computer Graphics Group at (800) 999-2034 for our current pricing information for these two packages.
Comparison. Raster Plus Macintosh and FilmMagic Pro have many comparable features. If you have a CI5000 or an HR6000, Raster Plus Macintosh is your only option. FilmMagic Pro has more direct Macintosh networking capabilities; it can broadcast itself across a Macintosh network as a network printer, so that other Macintosh users will see it in their choosers and can simply File-Print to it. With Raster Plus Macintosh, remote users have to Print to a "hot folder", where Raster Plus picks up the files and images them.
Software Summary A summary of the Polaroid models and their available support software is given in the tables below. Contrary to the information frequently posted by sellers of used Polaroid film recorders on eBay and other web sites, current driver software for Polaroid film recorders is not available for free download on Polaroid's web site or anywhere else! (except for demo versions as described above). If you want to output from any Windows or Macintosh computer from any application other than Photoshop, you will have to purchase the software to do so.
Software Summary - Polaroid Film Recorders
For Windows PC's
Model Software Support Windows 3.1 Windows 95 NT 3.51 Windows 98 NT 4 Windows 2000 CI3000/S SuperPrint Version 51 Raster Plus Windows SuperPrint Version 51 Raster Plus Windows (none) (none) CI5000/S HR6000 SuperPrint Version 51 Raster Plus Windows2 SuperPrint Version 51 Raster Plus Windows2 Raster Plus Windows3 Raster Plus Windows3 ProPalette 7000/8000 (none) Raster Plus Windows2 (none) Raster Plus Windows2 Raster Plus Windows3 Raster Plus Windows3
-- (EMOORE2586@ROGERS.COM), July 18, 2003.