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My dad was one of the engineers who actually built that scanner at Spectra Physics. He also had a laser he'd built for home demos that I took to school in 6th grade for show and tell. My science teacher didn't believe it was a "real laser". Now I'm a nurse and use laser scanners every single day. We can buy simple laser pointers as keychains. My kids have trouble imagining a world in which lasers were new and rare.