Despite the almost constant urge to do so, I have never posted one of those “link wrap-ups” wherein I present you all with a bunch of links I ran across over the course of the week (or month, or year) and expect you to thank me for it.

I suppose it’s because I feel cheap passing someone else’s content along without at least some sort of substantive editorial. Nevertheless, I do read a lot of blogs, not all of them photography-related, and I often run across things that I think you guys and gals would be interested in. It would be a shame for that to go to waste.

So today I bring you my very first ever I Hate Link Wrap-Ups post.

Don’t Get Scammed

Because I hate link wrap-ups, I will not simply list the links and say Have a nice day!, but rather I will give you some reason(s) why I think this is important information and some of my insights, which I hope you’ll find useful.

If you’d rather not listen to my chatter, just click the link and be on your way.

Of Zen and Computing: How to Avoid Getting Scammed When Buying a Digital Camera

Of Zen and Computing is a blog concerned with lifestyle and workflow issues unique to computer users and website authors, but now and then (especially with digital photography taking a front-row seat) our interests align. In this article, part of the site’s Answers section, the author describes some of the classic, sleazy tactics used by less reputable retailers to get more money out of people who buy photography equipment.

Without a doubt, good photography equipment can cost a bundle, but make sure the cost is legitimate before you get caught in one of these sinister plots.

Storage Solutions

Digital photography has really begun to mix the worlds of art and technology in fascinating new ways. One of the biggest issues that new digital photographers face is data storage. Whether you’re a long-time photographer who just switched to digital, or a new photographer who has chosen digital to begin with, the world of data storage might be altogether new to you.

In additional to purely storing your massive piles of RAW files, Photoshop documents, and exported JPEGs, the issue of computational power and equipment necessary to smoothly post-process those images also comes into play. One very important characteristic of a photo editing workstation is the scratch disk.

Both scratch disk space as well as storage systems (either for continuous access or static backups) are very important to a photographer with a large library of creative work. There have been great leaps in storage technology lately, so I will share some of these links with you.

Western Digital’s Raptor

Western Digital 150 GB SATA Raptor

Scratch disk space is what your operating system (or Photoshop) will use when you’ve filled your RAM, or for certain types of data that don’t need to be accessed as quickly or repeatedly as what is placed in RAM. Nevertheless, having a very fast scratch disk can improve performance noticeably when editing photos.

The least expensive and least glamorous way to get some really fast scratch disk space is to grab a Western Digital Raptor. With platters spinning at a breakneck 10,000 RPM, it is the fastest internal hard drive you can buy that will work with your modern PC or Mac tower (the interface is Serial ATA–SATA for short).

One word of warning: these drives are pretty loud.

SSD (Solid-State Disks)

This new SSD technology has no moving parts and instead uses something they call NAND memory, which is something similar to CompactFlash or any of those other memory technologies out there. I’m not an engineer, so don’t quote me on this, but what I know for sure is that these drives have no moving parts, run entirely without noise, and are faster than all get-out.

Engadget’s Coverage of SSD Drives

My favorite gadget geek site, Engadget, has covered many manufacturers' releases of SSD products and all of them are listed at that link. The latest one, where they explore a RAID setup of SSDs, reaches disk read/write speeds equivalent to gigabit ethernet. That’s pretty darn fast.

Is Photography Art, What Is Art, Etc.

I love to wax philosophical about art and photography more than most people, but over the past few days I have been literally blown away by some of the insightful and well-articulated cogitation taking place on The Online Photographer. I will eventually put together one or two “reaction articles” of my own about this stuff, but if you want to read some pretty daring ideas and reflections about photography, start here:

Qualifying Photography As Art, or Is Photography All It Can Be?

The articles chronologically surrounding that one give even more depth to the discussion.

That’s a wrap.