Slide divide

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Local artist, teacher and activist, Jennie Shanker sent out a digital all points bulletin yesterday about a change we all knew was coming — the passing of slide technology. Yikes.

Shanker’s information– obtained from the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers — says that Eastman Kodak Co. will discontinue production of slide projectors and accessories in June, 2004. That would be the CAROUSEL, ETKAGRAPHIC, EKTALITE AND EKTAPRO slide projectors and all accessories. Small quantities of these items will be available through the end of 2004 and the company says it will service and support slide projectors until 2011.

Shanker checked this information with Kodak’s Glenn Prince, Account Manager, Government Markets, who confirmed it.

You’ve heard of the digital divide, well now we’ll have the slide divide. The haves will pony up the dough, point and click on their digital cameras, burn images on cds and project them via computer. The have nots will rely on cameras, slides and machines that’ll be throw-aways in a few years.

No more slide sheets with those grant applications? No more jurying shows by slides? How about a Kodak Foundation grant to support everybody’s transition to the new technology?

And just in case you need more about the future coming fast and furiously, see today’s Philadelphia Inquirer story by Markus Verbeet chronicling how digital camera sales at deep discounters like Best Buy are beating up on small mom and pop camera shops in Philadelphia. Abbey Camera is no more (they closed a year ago) and Quaker Photo, which Verbeet compares to a 5-story museum, has several dozen obsolete darkrooms now empty or used for storage and a staff of 30 (down from 120 working in three shifts in their halcyon days).

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