Barbizon’s Electrician’s Handbook App is Awesome

When I started out in this business, I was a lighting tech for a few years before getting on the bigger gigs as a designer.  I always, always had four things in my tool bag (other than tools) – a copy of Ugly‘s, a copy of the little card that High End Systems made for the Studio Color, a PowerBar, and a copy of the Barbizon Electrician’s Handbook.  When Tobin at Barbizon told me about the Electrician’s Handbook APP, I was so excited to get my hands on it, for old time’s sake!  Old time’s sake became regular reality again when I can now have that little bugger on my iPhone.  It’s also available for Droid, too.

There is one addition that makes me giggle – if you have an iOS 4 phone, your LED flash on the back of the phone now works as a flashlight!

That tickles me in a way that if it were actually tickling me, I’d probably say something like “yeah, that’s the spot, that feels goooood.”

Check out some screen grabs of the handbook app, and WHY DO YOU NOT HAVE THIS YET?!  It’s FREE!

Nice.  Thanks, Barbizon!

Daniel Murfin’s ShowTool LD 1.2 – and I have SIX Free Copies!

showtool ld

Daniel Murfin, a lighting designer and programmer, has released an iPhone app called ShowTool LD – a piece of software that has a dipswitch calculator, DMX calculator, gel calculator, and beam calculator rolled up into one application.  Daniel is charging $3.99 for this app, which is available in the iTunes Store.

Daniel is @murfin on Twitter, just as an FYI.

From Daniel’s website on ShowTool LD:

The beam calculator comes in 2 modes, Simple and Accurate. It also allows for specifying two angles for Pars etc.

In Simple mode simply specify the beam angle and then adjust either the throw distance or beam diameter to see the other calculated live in front of you.

In Accurate mode the vertical height and horizontal distance of the lantern from the centre of the beam can be specified, giving much more advanced results.

The gel cuts calculator provides powerful functionality for calculating the number of cuts and wastage from all major gel manufacturers and a wide range of frame sizes.

Specify your own frame size, or use the lantern picker to choose from a huge selection of lanterns from around the world. Want a lantern not listed, will be added upon request).

The dip switch calculator allows inputting of DMX values and sets up the dip switches live in front of you! Works with both 1 = All off and 512 = All off dip switch setups.

You can also set the channels required per fixture to increment by that value and see at a glance how many fixtures per universe are possible.

Further integration with the DMX Calc, see below.

The DMX calculator allows you to set the local address and universe to see the global DMX address, or set the global address to see the local address and universe simply and swiftly.

As with Dips Calc you can specify channels per fixture, but in addition this will update a list of 12 fixtures with the local DMX, universe and global address, starting from the address you initially specify.

Need to set the dips for a fixture? Simply click the button for each fixture and the Dips Calc will load showing you just how to set the switches.

All features provide full metric and imperial options as well as providing international number formatting support.

More great features and utilities planned, with free updates for all users.

Daniel, being the super awesome dude that he is, gave me six free codes for this software, so let’s have a little contest!  Where does Daniel live?  I bet you could find the answer on his website, and when you do – send me an email through the contact form telling me what you found! I’ll pick six winners tomorrow, so make sure that you leave me your contact info! Good luck!

MSA Remote for iPhone and iPod Touch – A Language Everyone Can Speak

I just ran across  a post from Create Digital Motion talking about the new software for the iPeople out there – a controller application that lets you interface with programs like Ableton Live and VDMX.  The software is called MSA Remote.  My fascination with these programs stems from a large scale belief in light art created by a handful of users in a group, perhaps collectively designing a show’s lighting or video – don’t get me wrong, I’m all for showcasing my own work on a project, but some applications of this technology could revolutionize the way we think about control.

The software specs:

– Multitouch information sent using standard TUIO protocol for instant integration with existing TUIO clients
– Accelerometer data for each axis (x, y, z) is sent
– 64 faders (8 pages of 8 faders)
– 64 triggers (8 pages of 8 triggers)
– 108 key (9 octaves) VELOCITY SENSITIVE polyphonic keyboard. Yes, the harder you hit the keys, the greater the velocity.
– Settings are automatically saved and restored
– Multitouch area orientation can be set as desired
– All information on protocols are documented in the app

Check out a video on the MSA Remote app:

MSA Remote + VDMX + Ableton Live from Memo Akten on Vimeo.

Wybron Is Releasing Something Awesome for iPhone


Okay, I’m in Seattle.  I land on the tarmac at SeaTac, I fire up my iPhone, and I get an email from someone telling me about a cool new iPhone app from Wybron that *could possibly be* released this next coming week.  Maybe.  Perhaps.  Or so I heard…

So instead of getting a nap like my adorable snoring wife who’s asleep here next to me – we went to bed at 2:30am and got up at 4am to fly to Seattle – I am more interested in sharing the news of this new iPhone bit of coolness.  This new application from Wybron appears as if it’s going to be a visual reference for gobos – variable spin and focus parameters is all I know of right now, but as soon as I get more info, you can guarantee I’ll share it with you!


Light Writer – Photography Effects for iPhone

Did you ever have one of those persistence of vision (POV) gadgets?  I had one that had 4 LEDs on a stick that moved back and forth very, very fast, and would spell out programmed sentences and images.  I think I won it at a Dave and Buster’s or something like that.  You know, the same concept as these things:


Well, the other day I read a post at Hack N Mod about an iPhone app called Light Writer – it’s a POV device that you can use to do some light painting – I believe that this is the first one I’ve seen that doesn’t used LEDs.  It’s pretty cool!  I took a picture and did some shameless self-promotion:


I think it was a buck, or $0.99.  Here’s a direct iTunes link to the Light Writer app.  Thanks for posting about it, Hack N Mod!

Mike Zinman’s TCP/IP Remote

tcpipheaderI just got to my hotel here in Hampton, VA – and I got news that Mike Zinman is about to release a new iPhone app!  The newest release in the ZinmanCo line is the TCP/IP Remote – a software control using the iPhone to control automation, media, lighting, and control systems.  Assignable macro buttons, hot keys, and talk to anything that receives a TCP or UDP message.

From the website:

For IT professionals, systems integrators, and anyone looking for customizable control of any software or hardware capable of TCP/IP and UDP communications.

Includes a full functional Terminal, 25 assignable “hot keys,” and 12 one-touch macros for common entries.

You can label any of the 12 macros and 25 hot keys, which makes this app very versatile for any type of application.

Use it for any device that can receive TCP/IP & UDP messages.


Compatible with iPhone and iPod touch
Requires iPhone 2.0 Software Update


For Lighting & Media Systems:

* MA Lighting Systems (GrandMA)
* Martin Maxxyz Manager
* ETC Pharos Lighting Systems
* GLPs Creation
* Interactive Technologies Cueserver
* Coolux Pandoras Box Media Server & Player
* Coolux Media Manager

For Automation & Show Control Systems:

* Crestron Systems
* AMX Systems
* Control4 Systems
* IR Trans Systems
* GlobalCache Systems

Check it out!



ZinmanCo’s PocketLD 1.1 Released

Mike Zinman from ZinmanCo – the guy who brought you great iPhone lighting products like GelCalc, iSwitch DMX, and PocketLD has updated PocketLD to version 1.1 – updated fixture libraries, manufacturer links, and all kinds of other great stuff.

Check out Mike’s iPhone Lighting Apps store, and get PocketLD 1.1 here (direct iTunes Store link).

I had a chance to sit down and interview Mike at LDI this year – more on that soon, as I get some time to transcribe the interview.