Editor's note: While not a blog, exactly, Dennis E. Mason, of Mason Consulting Inc., kindly agreed to share some of his first-hand impressions of IPEX 2006 direct from the fairgrounds. IPEX 2006 Day 2: Wednesday at IPEX proved to be a much better day than its opener on Tuesday. Crowds were good, and exhibitors were generally quite pleased with their booth traffic. IPEX veterans say that the second and third days are usually the best attended, so everyone seemed to think that things went according to plan. The day began with a Xerox briefing, featuring CEO Anne Mulcahy talking about where the company is going.

by Dennis E. Mason The just-finished Drupa 2004 in Germany was unquestionably the most comprehensive graphic arts trade show in the world. Nowhere else but every four years in Düsseldorf can one see the breadth and depth of equipment, supplies, software and processes on display for two weeks. Although Drupas are dominated by the likes of Heidelberg, MAN Roland and KBA, with their particularly press-centric focus, it also provides a forum for companies that are far less well known, and for firms that only wish to be known. And while many journey to Drupa to see the latest in presses, or a complete

BY DENNIS E. MASON In baseball, most players are specialists, spending their days in both the minor and major leagues at the same position. Some players become specialists in the extreme—relief pitchers who are particularly effective against left-handed batters, for example. But even in this age of specialization, the utility infielder is a particularly valued player. The ability to play any position when called upon has even entered our daily lexicon, with the term "covering all bases" indicating versatility and broad capability. Printing, too, is often a game of specialties. Most printers focus on a single process, such as offset; some base their business upon a

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