25 Years Ago in JBPA/JBP

Eugene McDermott RBP, FBPA


Cover of JBP Vol. 52 # 1 showing several photographs from an RBP portfolio.


Mainframe resources referred to in the text operate continuously, with operators on duty 24 hours a day to tend the hardware. From Computers in Media Services Management – The Case for Timesharing” by Kenneth Michaels.


In timesharing situations, the mainframe owner provides regular automatic backup of all files. Backup tapes stored in vaults are protected against loss or damage. From Computers in Media Services Management – The Case for Timesharing” by Kenneth Michaels.



Beginning my first column with JBP Volume 52 #1 brings back lots of memories. This is the only issue in my collection that I can say is dog eared, yellow highlighted and filled with notes – the reason being that it contains the guidelines for certification as a Registered Biological Photographer.

The complete Certification Program Guide includes the written, oral and practical examinations. In his opening letter to the applicants, Dan Patton then Chairman of the Board of Registry and Editor of the Certification Guide, writes, “the process is, admittedly difficult and frustrating…there is neither faculty to challenge, nor schedule to structure your effort.” Dan was right with that statement because before the Journal was published, the only way to see a portfolio or really know what the oral exam was about was to attend an Annual Meeting. With this publication you had it all in a 30-page, well written guide with a bibliography.  The bibliography was designed to be concise and affordable. This particular issue of the Journal became the backbone of the many RBP study groups that had formed around the country

In addition to the RBP Study guide are two interesting articles. Computers in Media Services Management – The Case for Timesharing” by Kenneth Michaels expresses an opinion that timesharing is a valid direction for managers to take before going and buying minicomputers. He states, “…although minicomputers are making it possible to put data at the fingertips of many users, the mainframe computer is unlikely to atrophy in the foreseeable future.” In the lead illustration we see a very large room with the mainframe and high density tapes. The caption indicates that each disk pack can hold over 300 megabytes of memory. Wow, 300 megabytes! Little did any of us realize the power personal computers of the future would have, and how they would change every facet of biocommunications and life as we know it in general. We now have flash drives with 16 Gigabytes of memory that cost less than lunch.

 Photomacrographs Using a Point-source Enlarger” by Thomas Bednarek offers a clear description of a solid technique for producing 35 mm and 4 X 5 format images from ½ to 13x magnification. He makes his case for this technique with a side-by-side comparison of a photomacrograph taken with a Nikon Multiphot and one using the point-source enlarger, which is clearly sharper and has more contrast. What I noticed were the references at the end of the article. All four are from our Journal and one Volume 1 from 1932. This is an excellent example—if we have the vision to look back—of how one technique leads to another, and in this case, technique that has been improved.


Eugene McDermott RBP, FBPA, is retired in Surprise, Arizona after a long career in Medical Photography. He enjoys digital photography and especially being able to make 13 by 19 color prints without a darkroom or chemicals. He has an opportunity to do some teaching with the Life Long Learning Center, but his greatest joy is his visits with his eleven grandchildren. tomred@cox.net


Copyright 2009, The Journal of Biocommunication, All Rights Reserved
Table of Contents for VOLUME 35, NUMBER 1