The Lavatron Applet: ASpeirts Arena Display
Lavatron is a sports arena lightbulb display. Normally, an applet doesn’t have much of a history, but this one does. David Lavallee, the author of the ImagcMenu applet from Chapter 30, wanted to achieve this kind of effect for a long time. The history of Lavatron begins way back in 1974, when Lavallee was the stick boy for the California Golden Seals of the NHL. David recalls, “Our scoreboard just displayed, well, the score. The game was the thing; there wasn’t much to distract hockey fans other than the dah-dah-dah-dat-dah-dah of the organ player.” In 1979, Lavallee became fascinated with the idea of a graphical programmable scoreboard when he was the repair guy for the Digital Equipment Corporation ?DP 11/34: that ran the scoreboard at the Canadian National Exhibition Stadium (where the Toronto Blue Jays used to play). That scoreboard was based on plain old 100-watt lightbulbs like you use at home. In 1991, Toronto was treated to the Sony [umbotron HDTV scoreboard at the Skydome: true color, images, video, and three times the height of the Hard Rock Cafe. In 1992, Lavallee wrote the first version of Lavatron in Objective- C and PostScript. Finally, in 1995, Lavatronwas written again from scratch to run under Java, and it has undergone several performance tweaks and iterations since. The version shown here has been updated for Java 2.
There are many possible enhancements to Lavatron (see Figure 31-1) that you . might want to try, such as drawing the source image dynamically in memory rather than downloading it, or scrolling an animated sequence. But it’s an interesting animated display applet that you may find useful.