Magazine Article


A Minilab Fraternity In Cyberspace: You Got Questions, We Got Answers

Noritsu comes the closest. Their site contains a link to a site called "Forum." Since it required a dealer ID number to enter it, I was stopped at the gate. I telephoned Noritsu and spoke to Greg Joe, Noritsu's marketing manager, about Forum.

Greg said that the site was set up primarily as a supplement to the Noritsu tech hotline and that dealers sending questions would always get responses within 24 hours. "We haven't pushed it very hard." He said the site was not heavily trafficked getting "a handful of messages every day." By contrast, he said the 800 hotline was serviced by about 25 techs at any given time of the day for immediate dealer response. Greg indicated that the Forum "was not a forum for dialog." In my humble opinion, I think they're missing an opportunity.

I spent many years with a manufacturer and recognize the mentality that wants to keep customers from speaking to one another, especially when there are problems. There is a sort of They'll-Gang-Up-On-Us syndrome. Why let Customer #2 know that Customer #1 is having a problem when Customer #2 is not having that problem? On the other hand, if Customer #2 understands the problem in advance he is now forearmed and better able to deal with it if it strikes. Then he wouldn't have to call the hotline for a solution at all. Time, money and anguish saved on all sides.

In the absence of the availability of such open dialogue, Bob Banasik's bestphotolist provides a very unique opportunity for dealers of all stripes to discuss common problems and questions. I wish I had that chance when I was juggling an eight-store minilab operation.


Answer #1: " The only thing we put it down to was low disk space on the C drive…once we cleaned up the drive space, it went away." Neil Mason, Developing World, United Kingdom.
Answer #2: "Yes you can, but not easily from DLS software…With Version 3 you can export a 16-base scan to another computer or networked drive. This larger res file can then be burned to CD using whatever software you want." Pete Wilson, The Camera Shop, St. Cloud, MN.
Answer #3: "…The solution (from Noritsu) came in an upgrade kit that added weighted rollers that keep the film pressed against the exit rollers. Since then we have had no film jams." Ted Dickens, Oxford Photo, Oxford, MI.

Hey Minilabber, Wanna Join Bestphotolist Club?
Bob Banasik, administrator of bestphotolist, invites any interested independent photo lab, digital imaging center or specialty store to enter the bestphotolist family. Just send an email to Bob at and give him a brief description of your operation. You will get a quick response with a full set of instructions on how to maneuver within the list.

For the most part, according to Bob, vendors are not allowed entry.