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Automated Lighting: The Art and Science of Moving Light in Theatre, Live Performance, Broadcast, and Entertainment by Richard Cadena

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Chapter 10

Computer Architecture

We have modified the bugs in the program.—Japanese user manual

It’s no accident that the advent of automated lighting coincided with the proliferation of cheap, easy-to-use microprocessors. Some of the earliest automated lights, like the Coemar Robot, used an eight-bit Zilog Z-80 microprocessor with a clock speed of no more than 1 or 2 MHz (1000 to 4000 times slower than today’s microprocessors). The processors that are used in today’s automated lighting are usually not the fastest or most powerful available, though they sometimes come from the same product families as high-end processors. The demands of a moving light—receiving data, repositioning stepper motors, storing data, etc.—are easily met by processors ...

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