Monday Musings: Holiday Gifts

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With the holidays sneaking up, here are a few cool gift items for the geeks on your shopping list: Ideal items to put under the tree, stuff in a stocking, or serve with a few hot latkes as the candles are lit.

First up is City Theatrical‘s DMXcat® system, designed for use by the lighting professional who is involved with the planning, installation, operation, or maintenance of theatrical and studio lighting equipment. The system consists of a small hardware interface device and a suite of mobile applications. Together, they combine to bring DMX/RDM control plus several other functionalities to the user’s smartphone for use wherever and whenever they are needed. Developed with input from designers and technicians, the DMXcat is an indispensable tool for lighting users.

For those who love color—and who doesn’t—Rosco has created the Mixbook, what they refer to as “the world’s first digital swatchbook," a high-tech gadget that replaces the physical Rosco gel swatchbooks that hold samples the different gels and materials that Rosco makes—you remember swatchbooks, right? With advances in LED lighting, the art of choosing colors has changed drastically and the Mixbook is essentially the digital LED equivalent of the original gel swatchbooks. It’s a handheld LED unit (although it has a 1/4-20'' socket, too) that can create just about any color of light you can imagine.

The new PixMob Portable transmitter, a wirelessly controlled light paintbrush, enhances the connection between artist and crowd, closing the distance between stage and audience. Performers can create spectacular illuminated shapes and drawings directly on their audience, a real-time engagement with immediate visual impact. This is one of the few tools that empowers performers to the same degree, allowing ultimate control in creating striking lighting interactive effects that will create a unique and lasting impression. For the more artistic people on your list!

Doug Fleenor’s DMXdoohickey is a DMX512 testing device that displays the level recorded into channel 512. This channel is often used to hold the universe number of that particular DMX line, and the DMXdoohickey is a quick testing device to show that number. Everyone should have one!

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