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Did you know?
  • The original Rudolph did not have a red nose. In that day and age, red noses were seen as an indicator of chronic alcoholism and Montgomery Ward didn’t want him to look like a drunkard. To complete the original picture, he was almost named Reginald or Rollo.
  • The Christmas wreath was originally hung as a symbol of Jesus. The holly represents his crown of thorns and the red berries the blood he shed.
  • The three traditional colors of most Christmas decorations are red, green and gold. Red symbolizes the blood of Christ, green symbolized life and rebirth, and gold represents light, royalty and wealth.
  • Tinsel was invented in 1610 in Germany and was once made of real silver.
  • The oldest artificial Christmas trees date back to the late 1800s and were made of green raffia (think grass hula skirts) or dyed goose feathers. Next the Addis Brush Company used their machinery that wove toilet brushes to create pine-like branches for artificial Christmas trees that were less flammable and could hold heavier decorations.
  • ‘Jingle Bells’ – the popular Christmas song was composed by James Pierpont in Massachusetts, America. It was, however, written for thanksgiving and not Christmas.
  • Coca-Cola was the first company that used Santa Claus during the winter season for promotion.
  • Hallmark introduced their first Christmas cards in 1915.
  • The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on that day.
  • Santa Claus's sleigh is led by eight reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder (variously spelled Donder and Donner), and Blixem (variously spelled Blixen and Blitzen), with Rudolph being a 20th-century inclusion.
  • Outdoor Christmas lights on homes evolved from decorating the traditional Christmas tree and house with candles during the Christmas season. Lighting the tree with small candles dates back to the 17th century and originated in Germany before spreading to Eastern Europe.
  • That big, jolly man in the red suit with a white beard didn’t always look that way. Prior to 1931, Santa was depicted as everything from a tall gaunt man to a spooky-looking elf. He has donned a bishop's robe and a Norse huntsman's animal skin. When Civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly in 1862, Santa was a small elflike figure who supported the Union. Nast continued to draw Santa for 30 years, changing the color of his coat from tan to the red he’s known for today.
  • Christmas 2018 countdown has already begun. Will you be ready???
  • Why do we love Christmas? It's all about the traditions. In this chaotic world we can miss the "good old days." Christmas reminds us of that time.

markobermiller

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About markobermiller

  • Rank
    Penthouse Member
  • Birthday 10/14/1958

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  • Website URL
    www.computerchristmaslights.com

Profile Information

  • Location
    Lexington, Indiana, USA
  • Interests
    Flying, Computers, and of course Christmas Lights
  • Occupation
    Millwright, Ford Motor Company, Kentucky Truck Plant, Louisville, Ky.
  1. Hello fellow Indiana Christmas Lighting Nuts! I mean nothing bad by calling us nuts because I have been called nuts for years for doing extreme Christmas Lighting! Anyway, I am wanting to attend ICE but will not know if I can go until literally hours before the event is to start. I work in Louisville, KY Friday, Saturday, and Sundays from 7:00pm - 7:00am. So if I am able to attend I will be leaving work to attend ICE and then leaving ICE to go to work. My question....Can I register at the door? Thanks!
  2. Hi Carrie, Sorry for the long delay responding. Yes I remember all of that pizza!!! I still brag to people I know about all of that pizza. I still say that pizza was the best I have ever eaten!!! Looking forward to seeing you once again!
  3. Carrie my friend, Mark down Rene' and I on your list. I look forward to making the Chicagoland pilgrimage once again......This time taking the toll road to the south. I'm sure you remember my frustration in 2006. I did not take the time to read this entire thread so any missed info as far as registration I am guessing will posted in the near future. Thanks! Mark
  4. Well our display finally made youtube. I do not know who posted the video but it is cuts of the lightshow put to their music. The first 53 seconds is of our display while the rest is of the city display in the park. Our lightshow consists of over 200,000 lights and all controlled by 560 channels of LOR. From 39 to 53 seconds is a part of the Santa launch sequence. You will see smoke in the backgound from Santa's afterburner on his sleigh. Also coming from the gazebo you can see snowflakes from our 2 snow machines. This is a pretty neat video! The lightshow is on from 6:00pm - 11:00pm eastern time and can be viewed via live streaming at http://www.cityofcharlestown.com/1935
  5. Well this thread has turned into a fun trip down memory lane. 10 or 11 years ago their was a PC member who had a very large computer controlled display. He was at plus 2003. I cannot remember his name at all and I think he lived in the nashville, TN area, but anyway he controlled his entire display with x-10 modules. If I remember right, he used some type of home brewed program that controlled the modules. X-10 was and is probably the most unreliable way of controlling Christmas lights but this guy had it figured out. I watched a video of his display and it was quit impressive, even in today's world. I used x-10 in the past to turn on parts of my display that would stay on until lights off. Even then I had to check to see if it worked. About 10 years ago I recieved a phone call from a complete stranger. Thus guy had explained to me that he had gone to visit Chuck Smith to see his display. He and his wife were real big into Christmas displays and he was wanting to venture into the land of computer controlled displays. He was going to use DIO control with SSR's and was going to use a basic program like chuck used, if I remember right. He was interested in this new software called Dasher that he had been reading about in Planet Christmas. He wanted to sync his lights to music. He knew that Drew Hickman had come to my house and had tested it on my controls. I am honored to say that I was able to help Walter and Jackie with their first Dasher controlled display. Walter and jackie Monkhouse as you know have become PC legends and are tops at their displays. I am eager to see their 2009 display using LOR.
  6. The city has accepted responsibility for accidents. I know that there is a risk but it seems everything we do in life is a risk. Just watching daytime tv is a perfect example when you see all of the advertising from these bottom feeding accident lawyers. Sorry if I offended any accident attorney's who may have read this thread.
  7. 1998 was the first year I did a computer controlled display. Chuck had his basic program that he used posted on PC. I cannot remember if he had it available to down load or I had to print it out and write it myself using basic. I had enough knowledge of basic to modify Chuck's program so I could use it on my display. My 1998 display just followed the basic program with no sync to music. That first year drew crowds beyond belief. I played music at random that first year. After the 1998 display season was over I remember posting a message asking if anyone knew of a way to sync lights to the music. I remember that their was someone I believe lived in Franklin, TN who stepped up and said that they would attempt to develope some software. This person worked on it for a few months. I really think that this person named the software Dasher. He eventually gave up and offered his code to anyone who would take it and try to develope it. Drew hickman stepped up and took over where this first person gave up. The rest is history. 1999 was the first year Dasher was released thus the beginning of the sync to music craze!
  8. This has turned into an interesting PC history lesson. Maybe this could become an article for PC mag. (Title--- The History of Computer Controlled Displays.) I had forgotten about the different attempts at computer control in the early years. When Drew developed Dasher in 1999, he was looking for someone who was using DIO card output. I kept my controls operational all year so Drew was coming to my area to visit family and he came to my house to test the first version of Dasher D on my Christmas computer. See the photo at this link. http://computerchristmaslights.com/drewhickman.jpg I agreed to help Drew with Beta versions of Dasher D. When I purchased the software I was issued serial number 1. For those of you who do not know what a DIO - SSR controlled display is/was like see this photo. http://computerchristmaslights.com/2002_control_central11.JPG So many extension cords! The Dasher serial and parallel cards were the first controls to help elliminate so many extension cords. While the DIO/SSR controls were neat to show off to people, it would be kind of crazy to start off that way in todays world. Dasher is really considered OLD TIME.... wow only 10 years old and is considered extinct. I have always wondered what would have happened if AL had not bought out Dasher. Would LOR have become a company? Would Dasher have become the LOR of today? I just remembered that Walter and Jackie Monkhouse used Dasher D 2 years ago. They may be the last to have used Dasher D in a major display. This year they are using LOR.
  9. Does anybody use Dasher software or any Dasher hardware anymore? I was just thinking about the old Dasher software and how it compaired to LOR. I remember the constant crashing of the software and how user unfriendly it was. But in its defence, it was the first and it was an infant in a new age of computer controlled lighting. I know LOR will run the old dasher hardware and I was wondering if anyone still uses any of the hardware? This is just a trip down memory lane for me. Mark
  10. Hello Joe good to hear from you, Tim, Brad and those I have not met personally. Thanks for the ideas for future additions to the display. When it comes to DMX devices I am at a loss and I will have to be educated. I guess I will have to visit PC more often to learn about DMX.
  11. As a follow up, the display is a minimal static display after 11:00pm eastern. We leave the blowmolds and wireframes on all night for all to see and for security as well. We use LOR to control things 24 hours a day. During the day LOR just plays music and has display information for those who tune in on the radio. I started sequencing in August. I never realized how much more time it would take to sequence when you have 560 channels. I am glad that I got an early start. I must have changed the channel configuration 25 times and still had changed it several times as we put up the display. I want to thank Dan Baldwin and the LOR staff for their above and beyond service. If all companies were like LOR we would be a different society. We ran into several different bugs and problems as we built the display. We found we had several communications issues that occur when you have 38 controllers. Dan was always there to give use help even though it was not an issue with any of the LOR controllers. Even on Sunday, Dan would respond to desperate e-mails from us. We are wanting to go more high tech for next year. What do you suggest? Thanks!
  12. Hello fellow PCer's. Even though I have been scarce in the PC foreum, I am still alive. I have teamed up with fellow PCer Josh Campbell and we have combined our displays to bring our visitors the City of Charlestown, Indiana Computer Christmas Light Display. This display is a private display on city property. We have been allowed to decorate the city square with a 200,000 plus light display that we are very proud of. The location is an extreme lighters dream with 360 degree parking all around the display. We are using 560 channels of LOR, 360 strobe lights, 128 mini chasing trees, 4 double derby lights, 2 smoke machines, and 2 snow machines. We have 3 mega trees, the snowball fighting snowman display, Santa with sleigh complete with afterburner, and several blowmolds. If you would like to see live streaming of the display complete with audio, please click or paste the following link or visit my website for a link to the streaming. http://www.cityofcharlestown.com/1935 or www.computerchristmaslights.com This is 24 hour streaming so you can see the display during the day as well as at night. The lightshow is on daily from 6:00pm - 11:00pm eastern time. I would appreciate some constructive comments to help us better the display for 2010. Thanks so much!
  13. Is there any way to change the background color of the sequencing grid on LOR. I am using the latest advanced version. Thanks!
  14. It is very nice to hear from everyone. PC is truely a large family. Thanks!
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