Friday, August 21, 2009

Techliciousness Blog: A Peek at Graphics Tablets
...With product shots we often have to matte out portions of the image background; and at the very least, we need to resize each image so that its dimensions properly fit the page as well as compress the image so that it loads quickly. The application of choice to do these chores is Adobe Photoshop. And while a mouse and keyboard will get the job done, a graphics tablet is much better suited for the tasks at hand. I use the Wacom Bamboo tablet during my daily image-manipulation grind. The Bamboo is an inexpensive ($79) and small (active area: 5.8x3.7-inches) tablet, which includes fairly-limited bells-and-whistles (when compared to its more expensive siblings)...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Review: Seagate BlackArmor NAS 440 NAS Device
With the growing popularity of cloud-based storage solutions, such as the Amazon S3 and Nirvanix services, many businesses--both large and small--are eschewing traditional onsite file servers, and instead opting for offsite, third-party storage solutions. But the ongoing cost of maintaining cloud-based storage as well as the often unproven reliability of it makes it a less than ideal solution for some businesses; and this leaves those businesses with the conundrum of how to store and serve files, provide safe backups, and enable remote access, without breaking the bank...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Review: HP Pavilion Elite e9120f:
As impressed as we have been by 2009's small-form-factor budget desktops, such as the $500 Gateway SX2800-01, they typically lack upgrade potential—one of the main reasons many still choose desktop PCs over laptops. A traditional tower desktop like the HP Pavilion Elite e9120f remains a great choice if you're looking for a solid balance of performance and price in a system that also has room to grow with your needs. While its $739.99 price is in the upper range of what we consider a budget PC these days, it's a highly capable all-around mainstream computer. (At time of our review, the system was sold direct from HP, and the price reflected an $80 instant rebate.) It's a good value, too: With the exception of 3D-gaming performance, the e9120f is at least as fast as, if not a bit speedier than, the $919.99 HP Pavilion Elite m9550f we looked at in March...
Review: Synology Disk Station DS409+ NAS Device
Regardless of their size or industry, most businesses depend on ready and secure access to their data. To a business, "secure" means that its data is protected from hardware or software failures and is safe from prying eyes. But small and even some medium-sized businesses often can't afford to maintain a data center, let alone a dedicated IT staff. Such businesses still have numerous options for data storage and access solutions, including contracting the service out or even relying on cloud-based solutions. But for those smallish businesses that have tech-savvy staff members, often the preferred solution is to rely on cost-effective onsite storage in the form of business-grade network-attached storage (NAS) devices...