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Lab Notes Blog

The Best Gifts
by Sally Wiener Grotta

December 17, 2011

Tags: Sally's entries, Lexar Media, Backup, Norton Ghost, HP Z800 workstation, USB 3.0, Optimizing computer performance, Sally's photography

My aunt Hetty was a remarkable woman – a combination of the aunties from Gigi and an Auntie Mame. I learned so much from her about people and life and living fully within this remarkable world of ours. I remember Hetty once chastised my sister when we were both very young, after Amy asked Hetty what she wanted for her birthday. "How can you not know what I want? If you listen to a person, you'll know exactly what it is she wants and needs. But it takes really paying attention to the other person."

Over the past month, I learned that (more…)

Bless You, System Mechanic
by Sally Wiener Grotta

September 20, 2009

Tags: Blue Screen, USB ports, troubleshooting, Software reviews, Sally's entries, PC World, System Mechanic, VueScan, Legacy Scanner, HP xw4600 workstation, Sally's photography


It was a reviewer’s nightmare.

All our test computers were busy with various projects, and we had a PC World software review due. My imaging workstation was volunteered.

It’s a basic common sense rule to not use a personal system to test any software or hardware. Who knows what problems you might introduce, messing up the works? That’s why DigitalBenchmarks Lab has several designated test computers, which we can clean after every project, and not be overly concerned if, in worse case scenarios, (more…)

Busy Times

September 14, 2009

Tags: DigitalBenchmarks Lab, Printer reviews, Software reviews, Printer testing, Test script, Competitive Analysis, PC World, Computer Shopper, American Hands project, Sally's photography

When we started this Lab Notes Blog, we wrote that there’d be times when posts might be few and far between, because of time constraints. We’ve just been through one of those times. We’ve simply been too busy here in DigitalBenchmarks Lab.

To give you a sense of what we’ve been doing, here’s a sampling (with links) of some of the projects we’ve recently completed: (more…)

Technology versus Art
by Sally Wiener Grotta

June 6, 2009

Tags: American Hands project, HP Designjet Z3200 Photo Printer, HP xw4600 workstation, Film versus Digital, Fine Art Photography, Sally's entries, Sally's photography, Silver Efex Pro

A few years ago, Daniel and I were writing profiles of prominent professional photographers for Lexar Media’s Website SayCheese.com (which has since been discontinued). They were feature stories (illustrated with my photographs) about the photographers' philosophy, style and adventures, with some tips and tricks thrown in. The pieces were a delight to do because of the people we got to spend time with and watch at work.

At the time, I was at a trade show party (I think it was PhotoPlus in New York City), when someone said, “You absolutely must profile... [name withheld to avoid his embarrassment]” for SayChesse. I didn’t know the photographer being recommended, but he happened to be present at the party, just on the other side of the room. So, I went over to him, introduced myself, and asked him what he shoots. His reply was an energized discourse about his camera equipment! When he finally took a breath, I smiled, told him how nice it was to meet him and walked away. Daniel and I never wrote a profile on him for SayCheese or any other publication.

What that photographer had lost sight of (more…)

Road Warrior Woes: Oh My Aching Lap!
by Sally Wiener Grotta

May 1, 2009

Tags: Sally's photography, Sally's entries, Adobe Photoshop, PC World, Photoshop, Illustrator, Adobe Creative Suite 4, American Hands project, Software reviews, AsukaBook Maker, BuyThisImage, LicenseStream, ImageTrends Pearly Whites, Tintii, HP xw4600 workstation, Lenovo w700ds


Although I was away from our studio for the past several weeks (family business), I still had several software reviews due. On top of that, I needed to process hundreds of images from my recent shoot of traditional tile makers at the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works (Bucks County, PA) for my first American Hands exhibit, which opens in June at Muhlenburg College in Allentown, PA.

Unfortunately, my old standby laptop (more…)