This is a MUSEUM WEB by Terje Enge. Online in 1996, last revision was 1998. Please treat as history.
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  History and Background
The History of
AnotherLAB
 


This is a long (and honest) story:
I have tried to keep it short and informal. You might find the answer to the question: "Why is such a superb tool so cheap - in fact free?" And why on the Web?


The myths on
Color vs. Black-and-White Printing


Version 1.0:

AnotherLAB first originated on a Texas Instruments calculator way back in 1979. At a time when calculators were calculators and memory were no memory:

The superior positive color printing paper, Cibachrome (today Ilfochrome) was Expensive (it still is). The Color Reciprocity Factors were prohibitive (they still are). Every film had their own peculiar characteristics when printed (they still have). The Color Filter Factors of any enlarger were mostly unpublished - if they were, they were wildly out of range. Within short I was ruined: Every new print seemed to demand an unlimited number of test prints....

The solution was close: Get hold of the paper reciprocity factors (the hard part). This way I could at least compute (the easy part) the more than proportional increase in exposure time when going from a small test print to a normal enlargement. 150 lines of primitive calculator code solved it: Reciprocity conquered! An additional 50 lines did even more: Color filter factors controlled! All done in two days..

Version 2.0:

I was happy with AnotherLAB v.1.0: My lab productivity doubled overnight, my expenses fell to a fraction. I stayed with this solution for 8 years. Only trouble was that I had to reprogram the calculator each time I turned it on...

And it would have been nice to be able to repeat an earlier print without starting at point Zero or search through an enormous number of yellow notes...

My first PC arrived in -87: The possibilities seemed endless. I could have a print database, I could register any film and paper with their own characteristics. All thought - All done. This time in 3 months... With AnotherLAB v.2.0 I was now able to set up a professional color printing service. The time spent developing the program was paid back several times.

But clients and colleagues kept asking: Why not distribute such a superb tool to other labs/photographers? Make some real money!

My answer: I'm busy making pictures. And besides, the program is constructed in an obscure language (remember FRED anyone?), I will have to spend at least a year reprogramming...

Version 3.0:

In 1990 Windows at last seemed to catch on (remember 3.0?) At last even no-nerds (read Photographers) might be able to use a computer. They might even earn some money on it... I started it all once again: Spend one year I thought. It was to take me three years filled with 16 hour workdays....

Finished - and broke:

In 1993 I was finished - and broke. No money was left for the marketing. Responses were good across Europe: From Italy to Norway. Some very influential photo companies (Kodak, Jobo) almost took on the product. There was a very good review in the German "Photo und Hobby Labor". But no sales...

I ended up with:

  • A superb product (no money)
  • A very good knowledge of Windows programming and User Interface design (a new career)

Classical marketing theory speaks about the "Three P's":

  • Product
  • Place
  • Price

Looking back, it's easy to see that I had the Product and the Place right. Only the Price was wrong: The price was set at $1590 (remember that software prices has fallen dramatically since then) - a price I felt fully justified, it was just below the price of Photoshop. Photographers were used to spending far larger amounts on equipment that gave far less. Even at the original price, AnotherLAB was a Money maker! Only one catch: The Market did not understand....

Now, four years later:

I have made another career (sic) as an interface and program and WEB-designer. With the WEB coming on, I thought I might make my human fellow colleagues a favor.

The Features:
What
AnotherLAB
is all about
AnotherLAB Works. BETTER PRINTS

HIGHER PRODUCTIVITY

LESS WASTE

MORE FUN

MORE MONEY

DOWNLOAD Download a non-crippled version of AnotherLab now. Get everything but the box!
 
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