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Inside PC Magazine Labs

Boot Camp feature for Tuesday, June 29, 1999

Putting computers to the test. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. When it comes to computer publications, PC Magazine is one of the old timers. Seventeen years old. And at the heart of it all, are the PC Magazine Labs where all of the latest toys get put to the test....

"What we have is...it's about an eight thousand square foot facility, that's pretty big. And we have 98 stations where people can be testing individual things....and you could fit a couple laptops at a station if you need to and sometimes we do."

PC Magazine Editor in Chief Michael Miller says thousands of new products are tested every year. The labs moved to a bigger facility not long ago...

"And we're able to test more products here. The real thing that's changed of course, when we started, it was a matter of really...which machine is how fast. And that's still important. But it's not the only thing you look at today. Today, a lot of the lab is dedicated to testing Internet sites, Internet access, how easy things are to use."

There's lots of security. Some of the testing is done by technicians. Some is mechanical. Over here...a robotic finger ...

"This contraption is something called a Z Digit and what it really does is, it hits the keyboard at certain places at a certain controlled mechanism so that every machine is tested exactly the same."

You can look in at the labs yourself through a webcam at pcmag.com