Tektronix scope secret splash screens
I came across a wild picture while searching Google images for my upcoming article on voltage references. The website that was serving the picture was about Easter eggs- the hidden content in DVDs and video games that you can unlock with a certain code or key-press or sequence. It turns out the designers of the Tektronix 2232 oscilloscope hid a couple of fabulous little splash screens in the scope’s firmware.
As the Easter egg site explains,
- Turn the scope on.
- Push the “ADV FUNKT” button once.
- Push the “SAVE REF. 3″ two times.
- Move the “CURSOR”.
- Now you have reached the so called “secret menu” here you can see a wizard on a skateboard, or the “Tektronix” logo, or you can clear all memories.
I know my analog guru buddy Eric Schlaepfer over at Maxim will love this since he uses scope CRTs (cathode ray tubes) to make clocks and other cool gizmos. I hope you folks realize how cool this Tek splash screen is. To use a young person’s vernacular: “Dude, it’s a vector display, not a raster.” The cool folks at Tek that came up with this had to figure out how to modulate the horizontal and vertical amps to draw the picture stroke by stroke, it is not a picture like on a LCD TV or computer monitor or a new oscilloscope. You old-time arcade gamers who remember Asteroids and Red Barron and StarCastle will understand how cool this is.
[Update] Ronald W. Kleve from Tek dropped me note: “Your article on the Secret Splash Screens (September 2, 2010) with the Tek Wizard brought back a few memories! The artist of the original artwork was James “Al” Hill, the industrial design manager of Instrument Division at the time the 2200 series was developed. Instrument Division (in typical engineering fashion) was shortened to the acronym “ID” so, playing off the cartoon by the same name, Al drew the Wizard of ID! This character was used in a variety ways as team mascot and it’s appearance on the screen was a signature by the team. Fun times!”
While sifting though images for my voltage reference article I also stumbled across a YouTube video of a scope set up as X-Y plotting of Santana’s Evil Ways going from the left and right stereo channels to the X and Y of the scope. Knowing how analog guru Bob Pease loves the X-Y plot, which he uses to show CMRR (common-mode rejection ratio), I sent it to him, pointing out it really was silly, it doesn’t show phase, just the voltage relationships of the two channels. If the left and right were mono and playing the exact same signal, the scope would have a diagonal line since the Vleft = Vright. Bob Pease agreed, pointing out:
- I’ll agree, it’s mostly silly, except for a couple things…. There were no discernible patterns. Does that mean that your left ear and right ear hear nothing in common? Have they carried “stereo separation” to a new but useless high? My computer feed was too slow, so the audio/video would stop, and a few dozen times, the display would stop at a freeze-frame. And even then there were no thoughtful patterns. I mean, how hard do I have to study a pot of cooked spaghetti? We have NO IDEA what the “arrangers” did to perform phase-shifts (all-pass?) or other buggering with the Sound. So if we took Carlos’ music and tried to repeat this, we’d probably find something utterly different.