September 9, 2011

ParrotTalk News – September 9, 2011

Filed under: ParrotTalk News — admin @ 5:19 pm


Friday, September 9, 2011

Is it really September?

It’s been a busy summer here at Parrot, and, though we’ve all enjoyed a little time at the beach, we’re looking to roll up our sleeves and get back to work with some interesting and exciting new projects!



Apple OSX Lion Status Report

A few short months ago, around the Fourth of July, Apple ushered in the Summer with an announcement for the release of their new operating system (OS) OSX Lion.  For $69 you can upgrade to the latest, greatest Big Cat in the Apple lineup, featuring a claimed 250 new features.  Upgrading is pretty simple, you need a system that meets these requirements:

·  Mac computer with an Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, or Xeon processor

·  2GB of memory

·  OS X v10.6.6 or later (v10.6.8 recommended)

·  7GB of available space

Note, you need to have an installed version of Snow Leopard (10.6) to install Lion (OSX 10.7). 

Now.  Here’s the million-dollar question.  Fine, you can move to Lion, but should you? 

There are a few things you should know, first.  With the release of this update, Lion has discontinued Rosetta support.  Rosetta is an emulation program that runs as a “shell”, supporting programs that aren’t designed to run on the newer, Intel chip processors.  The older machines used a “Power PC” chip, or “PPC”, and many older programs didn’t or couldn’t update to run on the new Intel chips, so to accommodate them Apple implemented Rosetta.  To put it as simply as possible, if you have programs that run only on a PPC platform, they probably won’t run on the Lion OS. 

As always, we suggest you keep your nice, solid working system intact, without making any changes that might interfere with production…  however, we know that’s not always possible.

Since we here at Parrot live and breathe digital color, we’re most concerned with our long-time standard Color Management applications first and foremost, and there’s a great site, the ColorWiki, that gives a rundown on where things stand with Intel and Lion support.  Here is that site:

Most current companies, like X-Rite, are taking advantage of the situation and releasing a new software package that’s fully Intel and Lion compatible, replacing older software.  That package is the i1 Profiler, and replaces the old favorite i1 Match.  The new software works on most current configurations, and provides all the functionality of i1 Match, and then some. 

There are some applications that, in spite of being held as the industry standards, are being left in the dust.  Monaco, ProfileMaker 5 Pro, the current, non-beta version of Colorthink, Pulse, Adobe CS2 versions and a few others will not run.  

Past just the Color Management tools, there have been several reports of printer drivers and ColorSync problems within Lion, along with other image-processing and RIP software issues.  The only thing you can really do to find out if your particular software is supported is to go to that site, look for Software Updates or Lion Support, and see what they say. 

If you are considering updating a current system, always follow the basic housekeeping advice and back up before doing anything.  In this case it is best to back up the entire disk image, so it can be restored if things go wrong.  You should be able to create a separate boot disk for Lion if you have enough room on your drive, and then reboot into whatever OS you prefer to work in- a great solution if you want to test the water before diving in. 

If you’re considering a new system, you don’t have a choice.  Any new Apple system is going to be running Lion.  If you need to run PPC-supported applications on your new system there are really only a few options to try, one is to create a Snow Leopard or Leopard boot disk on your Lion system (which will support Rosetta) and run your PPC applications through that. 

We say “try”, because, at the time of this writing, we’ve been told it’s possible and likely, but untested.  This strategy will NOT work on a new Macbook Air or Mini.  Those two models will not run in anything but a Lion OS. 

Another suggestion is to try an application like Parallels, which will run a “Virtual Machine” allowing you to run a different OS without having to re-boot.  The worst-case scenario would be to use this option, and run Windows XP or 7, and run your required applications as Windows versions. 

Oh, the irony. 


General info page for Lion:

“What’s New” page with the list of features and improvements:

The Store page where you can order the Lion USB thumb drive, along with a nice overview of the whole package:

The new Mac App Store, an application that launches from your toolbar allowing you to download applications directly from their site, much like you’d buy music in iTunes, here:

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Parrot launches


Sometime this Spring we got the idea to provide a website that was laser-focused on a service that only we offer- large format scanning with the Cruse Synchon system.  When we found that the domain name for was available, well, we just couldn’t help ourselves.  In June, theBIGscan was born! 

Giving you a one-stop portal for all the important information on our large-format scanning capabilities, pricing, turnaround as well as some detailed information about what makes the Cruse scanning system different, makes getting large-format scans easy and fast.  You can contact us through the usual channels, or email us at Take a look, and wander over to the sample gallery to see some of the more unusual work we do! 



Parrot Gets Press!

We’ve been enjoying the spotlight of the imaging industry press quite a bit lately…  both collaborating with some of the leaders in the industry via Digital Output Magazine, and getting all the attention in a great story on Large-Format Fine-Art scanning appearing in the September and October issues of Art World News.  See the Digital Ouput story online here:

From Digits to Dollars: Wide Format Scanners Deliver Solutions



The HP DesignJet T2300 PostScript eMultifunction Printer Changes the Colloborative Workplace 

Very few new products can claim to profoundly change the way you work, and think about work, but we believe the HP T2300mfp is going to do just that.  It’s really a simple concept.  We’re all used to the convenience of “MFP” machines in our office workflow, with the ability to print, scan and email documents from one workhorse laser printer.  Somebody at HP had the brainchild to apply this basic technology to wide-format printing and scanning.  It’s not new technology, it’s a way of combining existing technology to accomplish new things. 

You can now have one machine that will print up to 44” wide from either a workstation or a USP drive plugged into its console…  that same machine can scan and copy documents up to 36” wide. 

Here’s the interesting part.  The T2300 can both upload, and download, images and scans to the HP ePrint and Share “cloud”.  This is a free, collaborative subscription service offered by HP for any partners who need to have access to files.  For more information see the ePrint and Share site, here:

This is huge.  How this gets used in a collaborative project environment is almost beyond our ability to speculate.  It truly is limited only by your imagination, and it’s going to change how you work with your global team. 

Let’s consider a simple example.  You’re working on an building project with teams all over the world.  Your client is in New York, the architect 

is based in Boston.  The building site is in London, and you have several architects from the West Coast and Europe contributing to the effort. 



Starting with the historical blueprints of the site, you scan them and post them to the ePrint and Share cloud where everyone can download and review them as .pdf format files.  If they have wide-format printing capabilities they can output their own copies.  They can be re-rendered as CAD files or drawings, and re-loaded to the ePrint and Share cloud, where they can be reviewed by the entire team.  Here’s where it gets interesting. 

People still like to mark up paper. 

The first generation drawings can be marked up in meetings or by key people, and simply scanned and uploaded, then downloaded anywhere and reviewed, much like a contract can be annotated and then re-sent by a law firm.  Any partner in the process can print, markup, scan and upload any documents required for the collaboration, if they have the HP T2300mfp.  If they don’t, at the very least they can follow along by reviewing the .pdf files from the ePrint and Share cloud. 

Have a project manager on the road about to give a key presentation of the latest changes?  By loading the documents on a USB jump drive and plugging them in to the nearest T2300mfp they can print them out at the push of a button, with no workstation, no drivers to load. 

To coin a phrase…  this changes everything. 

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Big Deals on Epson and HP Printer

Both Epson and HP are offering some pretty aggressive incentives to replace that tired old workhorse you’re nursing along. 

From Epson:

Epson Professional Imaging is announcing instant rebate and mail in rebate promotions on select Epson Stylus Pro printers. …

The Mail In Rebates require a coupon to be returned by the end user. Coupons are provided and also posted on the Epson Professional Imaging Website.

Here are the printers and the details:

On the Hewlett-Packard side, they’re offering generous “Cash In/Trade Up packages for selected printers.

The details:

Call or email us at Parrot for more details on how these deals can work for you! 


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December 2, 2010

ParrotTalk News – Tuesday November 23, 2010

Filed under: ParrotTalk News — admin @ 11:03 pm


Parrot Holiday Schedule

We wish you and your family a happy and safe holiday season. Please note that Parrot will be closed for the following days:

Thanksgiving: Thursday November 25th and Friday November 26th

Christmas Eve: Friday December 24th

New Years Eve: Friday December 31st


Introducing: Mary Dawley

We’re really excited to introduce Mary Dawley, and welcome her to the team here at Parrot as a Representative of Imaging Services. Mary has a rich background overlapping with our own- she has been a marketing professional to the interior design community in Boston for more than 20 years. Interior designers came to rely on her sharp sense of pattern, design and color and in the past few years, those talents have evolved into her also providing fine art solutions to these clients for their projects.

We met Mary through her company Chestnut Design, which has primarily focused on identifying and procuring art that ranges from unique commissioned pieces to tasteful prints based on the needs and budgets of her clients. She came to us with a unique project that her client needed our help with – the opening of the new Heywood Hospital in Gardner, MA. Scanning a collection of historic photographs and painting by talented artists from the region, we reproduced several of the pieces at over 5’ x 8’; not something that can be done on a conventional wide-format printer. Combining the capabilities of our Cruse Scanner and our Epson 11880 64” printer, we were able to give her client exactly what they wanted: Grand Format painting reproductions.

We knew a great team when we saw it.

Mary saw this as an opportunity to bring our unique services to her existing client base, as well as joining our amazing group of artists, museums, galleries and interior designers to bring them, as well as their clients, the benefits and capabilities of our Imaging Services. We see this as a chance to offer more personal attention, service and Mary’s unique talents to all of our current, and new Imaging Services clients… You can contact Mary directly at Drop her a note and say hello!


The Springfield Museums

We like to call attention the special places we see in our travels, and new home of the Indian Motocycle Museum, long a labor of love for a private Springfield couple, and the most complete collection of Indian Motocycles in the entire world (yes, “Motocycle” is the correct spelling of the original company) now in its new home in a brand-new building at the Springfield Museums certainly fits that description.

The original collection was housed in a private building on Hendee Drive in Springfield, at the site of the original Hendee Manufacturing factory and the original Indian plant. Until 2007 it was presided over by Esta Manthos (shown here), who, at 91, donated her entire collection of over 54 motorcycles and memorabilia to the Springfield Museums.

The exhibit is simply breathtaking to anyone who is a fan of motorcycle history, but also to those fascinated by the rich history of manufacturing, invention and ingenuity that found its home in Springfield. There’s another factor at play here too. In these times, when money is tight and patrons are hard to come by, the Springfield Museum was able to see the importance of this remarkable collection and not only house it, but erect an entire building to give the collection its rightful place.

The Springfield Museums have a lot to offer – it’s actually a collection of six museums: The Wood Museum of Springfield History, the Springfield Science Museum, the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, the Connecticut Valley History Museum and the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, all on one connected campus – including none other than the wonderful Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden. At about a 90-minute drive from Boston, it’s one of the best day-trips around, and, if you include the Basketball Hall of Fame, also in Springfield, a great weekend museum jaunt.

The Springfield Museums site is here:

Additional information on the Indian collection can be found here, at

and photos of Esta and the actual move can be found on


Coming Soon! David Saffir Media Evaluation

David Saffir has been working on an evaluation of some of our favorite media. His preliminary post is here, on his photography blog:

…and after a conversation with him today, his enthusiasm for our paper is truly inspiring! His favorite, at this point, is our Angelica Natural White Textured. He said it fills a gap left by all the other fine-art watercolor papers, and that he simply loves working with it, especially for his Black and White images.

Fine Art paper is, if nothing else, an intensely personal choice. We like to compare it to matching a fine wine with a wonderful meal: there’s no right choice, there’s the choice that’s right for you, for your image, and for your audience. It’s wonderful to be able to see how an artist like David responds to some of our favorite selections. Look for an update within the next few weeks with more information from David.

August 6, 2010

ParrotTalk News- Friday August 6, 2010

Filed under: ParrotTalk News — admin @ 12:18 pm

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Stop the Presses! Huge Printer Rebates!

We were all ready to suggest you have a nice, relaxing set-down by the pool, when HP and Epson blew us right out of the water with a Battle-of-the-Rebates.

Epson offers up to a $1000 mail-in rebate on their wide-format printers, and Hewlett-Packard answers with up to a $2000 MIR. Whether your interested in HP or Epson, if you’ve been waiting to pull the trigger on a wide-format printer, now may be the time.

Epson has also introduced a few new models- the 3880, an update of one of the most popular 17″ printers made, and the WT7900- a 24″ printer with aqueous-based white ink printing.

HP has released the Z5200- a 44″ PostScript printer similar to their non-PostScript Z2100 models.

It looks like both Epson and HP are trying to drum up some mid-summer sales- it’s your chance to take advantage and save some big bucks! For details, email us at


Announcing… the ParrotTalk News!

In any normal day at Parrot we see and hear a lot of interesting tidbits and meet a lot of incredibly talented and unique people. We wanted to put something together to share with you… important news, profiles of our clients, announcements about events, openings, shows and other threads that can help, instruct and inspire.

So here it is, the first of the ParrotTalk News… our “Dog Days of Summer” issue. We’re putting together an issue once every two months, and our past issues can be viewed at Have a seat next to the pool, take a long sip of a cool drink, and have a nice read… and we’ll be starting out with a profile of a fascinating artist- Jim Heck, working for Classic Playfield Reproductions…

Relax and enjoy!


Jim Heck, Classic Playfield Reproductions

Jim Heck, Software Engineer by day, is a devoted fan of Pinball by night. Well, night, weekends, and every other moment he has to spare. You perhaps could say he’s a fanatic. Since a child, Jim has played, studied, and even collected pinball machines. He currently owns over 18 machines, more than a few of which he’s restored and repaired.

Jim’s obsession with pinball machines extends even to the unique, iconic art that adorns them. Jim, along with fellow artists at Classic Playfields Reproductions, carefully reproduces original vintage pinball art- called a “playfield”- to produce an illustration that stands on it’s own as a tribute to this slice of American popular culture.

A few years ago Jim brought his playfield “Bally’s Flash Gordon”, (in his opinion possibly the greatest single-ball solid-state machine ever designed), for us to scan on our Cruse scanner. It was no easy task… the playfield is mounted a full 10 inches from its base fixture, not a normal configuration for the Cruse but well within it’s capabilities. (We had to do some Math.) It must also be lit evenly and scanned as completely geometrically true- not a problem at all for the Cruse. Jim then takes this ultra-high resolution scan into Illustrator and recreates every detail, sometimes needing to view the scan at as high as 6400% magnification. The result is something unobtainable using any other tool- a truly unique illustration. In the last month, Jim brought in his “Medusa” playfield- a wonderful work, and we can’t wait to see what he does with it. It will be a long wait, though… this stuff doesn’t go fast. Jim may spend ! hundreds and hundreds of hours on one playfield alone. That would be the definition of a “labor of love”, in our book!

To see more of the process and to hear Jim talking a little about his work take a look at the video we’ve posted on the ParrotTalk Blog, and you can see more of Jim’s work, and other Classic Playfield Reproduction artists at


David Saffir and Parrot/Angelica Fine Art Paper

Recently, David Saffir wrote about Parrot and Angelica Media on his blog:

“Those of us who make our own prints are, in many cases, constantly looking for that ideal combination of quality, price, and appearance in our inkjet papers. We’re lucky, in that our options increase daily, and competition keeps prices in check – if not driving them down at times!

“My good friends and colleagues John and Mark Lorusso, and Ted Dillard of Parrot Digigraphic ( offer an interesting line of private-label inkjet papers. They’ve printed a number of my images for me on these papers – in color and Black and White – and the results have been impressive – so much so that I want to try them in my own shop.”

Read more here: New Testing, Inkjet Media From Parrot Digigraphic

Don’t miss David’s latest workshop, a once-in-a-lifetime Photo Safari with Infinite Kayak Adventures in February 2011, while you’re at his site.


Get Ready for the Holidays!

OK, that wasn’t fair. I know, you just dropped your suntan lotion into your drink in shock… who wants to worry about the bustle of the Holiday season in the middle of August?

Well the truth is, if you’re in the business of selling Limited Edition prints or Fine Art Reproductions, there’s no substitute for planning ahead and leaving an adequate amount of time for production. Building up an inventory of the highest quality work- like Jim Heck reproducing his playfield art, takes time to do right.

Just do one thing… make a note to call us to discuss your plans when you get back from the beach. Then we can help you plan and budget your production, as well as your promotion, accordingly. Drop a line to, or call us at 978.670.7766- 321-775-4492 if you’re in sunny Florida.


Which Printer Should I Buy?

Probably the second most common question we hear, after “Which monitor is the best?”, is “Which printer should I buy?” The answer, as usual, is, “It depends.”

We just had an interesting dialog with some folks from the Art and Graphics department of a major College of Art. We had the director of the Graphics Department here, accompanied by the “IT guy”… the fellow who would have to keep the machine, and the network running. They were confused- the advice they’d been getting from other Graphics departments in other schools was to go with Epson, yet the IT folks were recommending Hewlett-Packard.

We have considerable experience working with both systems, and interestingly, they both have very distinct advantages and disadvantages. One of the notable advantages of the HP “Z series” printers, however, is the combination of on-board printer and paper calibration, as well as a Postscript RIP built into the system. This, in particular, is an advantage for a printer in any Graphics Lab environment. Calibrating the printer, the standard papers or even exotic media and paper is one-stop-shopping. There’s no need for additional pricey calibration equipment, it’s built into the system and controlled from the admin workstation. Besides that, it’s top-notch quality- in the testing we’ve done it holds up to the standard of the industry, the XRite Spectrolino, very nicely, thank you!

The other big issue is job management, and again, the HP, with an onboard Postscript RIP, allows jobs to be fed to the printer simultaneously, stored, and queued as needed. If you’re in a lab and 7 students hit the “Print” button at the same time, the printer handles it- eliminating the need for a print server or addition RIP software. It allows you to manage the job queue from an admin workstation as well- allowing one workstation to manage several printers. Also, the onboard Postscript RIP allows you to process vector files- files from Illustrator, CorelDraw, InDesign, Quark or other illustration and page layout programs quickly and with the best quality result.

Epson printers enjoy huge market share- they’ve been at the top of the field for a very long time now…They certainly have a decided advantage if you’re printing a lot of sheet-feed pages, media that needs a straight feed path- like the Enhanced Matte Posterboard or extremely thick watercolor or fine art paper. But HP printers have come into their own. With comparable print quality, “quad-black” printing resulting in remarkable B/W print quality, efficient ink use, built-in calibration and Postscript RIPs, the HP printers are poised to find their rightful place in the market as a remarkably powerful tool- one especially suited for a multi-workstation “lab” environment.

Need help deciding which printer is best for your application? Email us at and one of our team members will contact you.


Summer Specials on select Parrot and Angelica papers!

Take 10% off the regular price on any (or all) of these great media in our Product Showcase.


Parrot Ultra Lustre Photo is a photographic quality “N” surface- a smooth, semi-matte with no distracting pebble texture or high gloss reflections. It exceeds the color gamuts of any paper available, with an extremely high reproduction of fine detail. It is the choice for traditional photographic reproduction.

Angelica Universal Photomatte is a pure-white matte surface photographic paper with the absolute highest gamut of any paper of this type. Available in single or double-sided printing, it’s one of the favorite choices of graphic design using full-color full-gamut images and true photographic printing.

Angelica Bright White Matte Canvas is a no-compromise canvas that surpasses any other canvas media available. We have developed our canvas media to match and exceed the performance of the best traditional photographic media. It is, quite simply, in a class all it’s own- and will change the way you think about printing on canvas.

Angelica Bright White Smooth is our premium watercolor paper for fine printmaking. A pure-white base with virtually no “tooth”, yet a true watercolor paper feel… It is a heavyweight stock that can even be deckled well. Bright White Smooth is the choice for a premium-priced print- whether of a photograph, painting or artwork reproduction.

To order, contact us today!

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