Retro-Tech Thursday: Timelapse Photography with Canon Powershot 600 and TRS-80 Model 100

IMG_4291 ps600-1 IMG_4292 ps600-2

Video not playing? Download file instead. This is a timelapse study of the habits of a turtle, a cat and a bunch of small fish over the course of a day and night that I did some years back. I just found out I can render these videos to MP4 and embed them via HTML5, so yay! Here you go, no YouTube needed.

ps600-3 IMG_4290 ps600-4 IMG_4300 ps600-5

Weapon of choice: 1956 Smith-Corona Silent-Super

Weapon of choice: 1956 Smith-Corona Silent-Super

Download BASIC Timelapse Controller for TRS-80 Model 100/102/200

10 CLS:PRINT”Canon PS600 Timelapse”
20 PRINT”2014 – T. Munk –”
30 PRINT:INPUT”Seconds Between Shots”;D
50 I1=30
110 B=INT(I1*D)
200 INPUT “#Exposures to Shoot”;A:O=A
300 CLS:PRINT”Timelapse Program:”
305 PRINT”Shoot”;A;”Exposures”
310 PRINT”At”;D;”Second Intervals.”
350 PRINT:INPUT”Press To Begin”;G$
390 IF G$ = “” THEN 400 ELSE 10
411 S2=INT(D*A)
413 PRINT”*** TRS-80 Timelapse ***”
414 PRINT ” To Quit.”
420 FOR X=1 TO A STEP 1
425 PRINT@122,”Exposure”;X;”of”;O
430 FOR E=1 TO B STEP 1
433 R=ABS((E/I1)-D):R2=INT(R)
435 PRINT@162,”Countdown:”;R2
440 NEXT E
490 NEXT X
495 PRINT@122,”Exposed”;X;”of”;O
500 A=O
1000 PRINT@162,”Ended Shoot.

JPEG2AVI, a handy utility to convert a bunch of JPGs to a raw AVI file

To copy the JPEGs off of the CF card, I used to use a DOS command-line program called “Controlled Copy”, which did a great job of *just* copying the JPG’s and leaving behind all the useless thumbnails and data files that the Powershot 600 generates in the multitude of folders it creates. This handy little utility seems to have vanished from the face of the internets, but here’s the link to the old website. I still have a copy of it, though, so if you have a Powershot 600 that you want to use for timelapse, let me know and I’ll put it somewhere you can get it. The author has released it as freeware, so I suppose it’ll be ok. It’ll make the process loads easier. The command line I usually used looked something like this:

C:\cc.exe X:\PWRSHOT\*.JPG /G C:\Timelapse_dir

where “X” is the CF card drive letter and “Timelapse_dir” is the folder you want to copy all the JPGs to.

Updated: April 11, 2024 — 12:36 pm


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  1. Don’t know much about digital cameras, but I couldn’t help but notice the TRS-80 Model 100. I was in high school in 1984 when one of my classmates brought one to history class to type his notes. I was blown away that anyone could own a portable computer (we had a Royal Futura 400 at home). That a student owned a computer blew me away. We all clamored for his notes. That was the last time he brought it to school.

  2. WOW! I haven’t seen a TRS-80 in over a decade. I have great fondness for those things. Wish I could find one.

    My first programming experience was on the TRS-80s in the junior high computer lab. By the time we were in 9th grade we had figured out how to access the server at the high school and play the illicit copy of Zork someone had loaded. Ahhh, those were the days…

    1. Yeah, they’re a real special case. Built like tanks, really – of all of the computers I’ve owned, it’s the TRS-80’s that have stayed with me. (the Model 100, a T200 and a Model 4P – all perfectly functional still. All the PC’s and Macs I’ve ever owned? All landfill after less than 6 or 8 years. The Rat Shack laptops still have uses and features that really aren’t easy to duplicate with any machine made since then, plus they run for days on 4 AA batteries. :D

      1. Hey, I’ve got a TRS-80 model 102 in the mail to me, and I’ve got my Typestar 7 with the Centronics parallel interface box sitting here too. I’m looking forward to hooking them together and seeing if the 102 can print to the T*7… can you advise me on what sort of cable I’d need?


        1. yeah, look to spend about $30. cable looks like this:

          it’s a flat cable with an IDE-looking (but smaller) connector on one end and centronics on the other.

          1. Gotcha – thanks for the info! I knew you would know. :)

            Looks like cost-cutting influencing engineering on Tandy/Kyocera’s part… shoving the BOM cost of a standard connector off on the customer in the form of a proprietary cable.

  3. I have a feeling you might need a soundtrack. How about Michael Nyman’s Angelfish Decay from Peter Greenaway’s Zed and Two Noughts?

    1. Excellent choice, but with profoundly disturbing connotations for anyone who’s seen the film. :D

      “ZOO” was actually one of the major inspirations for my fascination with Timelapse studies. Well, that and all the Disney nature films I got exposed to in school during the 70’s. It’s probably time for me to dig out my DVD of Zed and re-watch the weirdness. It’s good to know someone else on this planet besides me understands the beautiful insanity of Greenaway. (:

      1. It all started with A Journey Through H at the local arts cinema as a student. Late night screenings, wine, back row – you know how it goes… Ted, your later timelapse video player isn’t recognised my my OS. Any change of an MP4 link?

        1. well, the videos are all MP4 and have links to download them – is there another format that works better? I can render to just about anything, I think.

          My journey with Greenaway started with a 3am chance encounter with “Prospero’s Books” on late-night 1990’s cable. I taped the last half and googled relentlessly until I found more, and then around the mid-2000’s Critereon started releasing Greenaway films on DVD. I find his more recent work (“Baby of Macon” and later except “Pillow Book”) to be… less artful and more… disgusting, but his early work really shines. (:

  4. That is pretty slick. Can’t wait to see the resulting vid.

  5. If any of you are ever in the Netherlands, let me know. Our hackerspace has a computer museum with lot’s of this “ancient” stuff. Maybe I’ll run around with a camera next time to prepare a blog post for you. :-)

    1. Please do! I love checking out old tech! (:

      1. There’s already this:
        And this:

        But a lot has changed the last couple of months!

        1. Ooh, I like the look of that Holborne! Very nice setup, do you guys put them to work? it’d be fun to have a room full of ancient machines running networked CP/M playing some sort of MUD. :D

          1. Yes, everything in that room needs to be in working condition!

            There is another room of about the same size, full of racks, which is the “repair/store”. And just last week another batch of old hardware and documentation (including a working IBM Office System 6 and a VAX 11/750) came in which is now being checked and inventoried. :-)

  6. Wow, you are a digital archaeologist. I look forward to seeing the strawberry rot.

    My 1988 Mac SE still works on the rare occasions I turn it on.

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