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Last post Author Topic: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?  (Read 19763 times)

zridling

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Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« on: August 26, 2009, 03:58:18 PM »
With the rise of online suites such as Google Docs, Zoho Office, the prevalence of PDF, Twitter, email, etc., are you still buying and using as much printer ink and paper as you were a few years ago?

plus_printer_hpc3180_a.jpg

Since HP's printing revenue continues to decline, I figure this must be the case. Or maybe it's because a lot of businesses are no longer in business.

Josh

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2009, 04:05:15 PM »
I still use my printer quite frequently. I also know that the business I used to work for, which owned 3 Xerox 4850 high capacity printers, still uses even higher capacity printers now. Not saying that is the norm, but I do know quite a few businesses (the US Army for one) still rely on printers for quite a bit of paperwork. That said, the army has cut down with it's e-form initiative so it has gotten less and less.

TucknDar

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2009, 04:11:33 PM »
I use my printer about as much as I've always done, really. Not very often, but certainly from time to time...

f0dder

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2009, 06:09:38 PM »
I use my printer about as much as I've always done, really. Not very often, but certainly from time to time...
Same here - I've never been the type that printed a lot, but sometimes when I need to read something it's better to have it in text form. Maps/directions are handy on paper too... and for some reason, school requires us to hand in stuff in paper form O_o
- carpe noctem

cranioscopical

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2009, 07:50:11 PM »
I use printers about half as much as I used to (I have 5 printers here of various types and formats).

Most of my printing is business related. The decrease is mainly because I now have larger screens than previously, and so can display simultaneously a greater number on-screen documents while working.






zridling

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2009, 09:04:51 PM »
Hmm, I hadn't considered larger screens for reading documents as a reason. Makes sense.

cyberdiva

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2009, 09:13:45 PM »
Yes, I use my printer every day and still print as much as I did in years past.  I usually prefer being able to read instructions, user manuals, etc. in print while I'm trying to deal with what it's telling me to do on the computer.  I also like being able to take the printout and read it anywhere--it's a lot easier to carry a few sheets of paper than to lug a laptop (and most of the time I'm using my desktop, which I can't lug at all). 

mouser

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2009, 05:58:41 AM »
i use my laser printer a lot still.  i prefer reading papers in printed form then on screen.
however i must say that i have been looking at the handheld ebook readers lately .. my conclusion is that when they come out with one with a full letter page sized screen, i might take the plunge.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2009, 08:14:49 AM »
While I don't print much (under 50 pages a year), the company I work for depends on printing/printers & etc. We're a reman cartridge, printer sales, and service company. While business has dropped off it is due to the economy which has pretty much everybody in the toilet :).

While electronic storage of data has replaced a lot of paper, the dissemination of said data is still paper based. People are creatures of habit, and they like to walk away from a transaction with a Hard-Copy record of it, and that requires paper, with print on it. I really don't see that changing any time soon.

40hz

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2009, 10:02:58 AM »
I use my laser printers extensively. My HP 4050N runs about 10K pages per year since I got it. My HP8150 (bought used for pennies) easily sees three times as much. I dump hardcopy for every tech and product manual I use.

I'm also guilty of printing out a lot of film scripts (I'm a movie buff!) and the occasional Project Gutenberg title. At 120+ pages for the average film, and about 200 pages for the average book, it doesn't take too long to go through a ream of paper.

Like Mouser, I keep looking at all those e-book readers. But until they drop those asinine DRM schemes (or somebody figures out a way to jailbreak the Sony reader) I'm going to have to take a pass on them.



Can't speak for everyone, but for me at least, print is here for the foreseeable future.

cranioscopical

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2009, 10:57:44 AM »
When I'm working at a computer, reading from the screen rather than from paper has a particular advantage for me.
It means that I can avoid changing eye-glasses. 

I detest using multi-focals when on a computer, so reading from paper would be a constant round of:
Don eye-glasses 1
Look at screen
Remove eye-glasses 1
Don Eye-glasses 2
Look at paper
Remove eye-glasses 2
Repeat ad nauseam

f0dder

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2009, 11:01:35 AM »
Like Mouser, I keep looking at all those e-book readers. But until they drop those asinine DRM schemes (or somebody figures out a way to jailbreak the Sony reader) I'm going to have to take a pass on them.
Hear ye, hear ye!

I'd want a decently sized (but lightweight) one with good resolution e-ink, no crappy DRM, and support for pdf, chm, txt and perhaps standard html... that would be reading heaven for me :)
- carpe noctem

mouser

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2009, 12:25:37 PM »
here's the thing -- i dont care if they want to add 100 different crappy drm things to it -- as long as they let me bring over ordinary pdf files (and like f0dder said an html browser would be very useful).

point is -- i dont care what drm stuff they want to support since i have no intention of buying any drm'd books or content.

i just want to be able to read papers in pdf/ps format, and i have to be able to read it full sized without scrolling, and be able to mark it up wth my own annotations.

f0dder

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2009, 12:31:10 PM »
mouser: problem is the devices kinda tend to support only DRM'ed crap - which I guess is 40hz's point (and definitely mine).
- carpe noctem

johnk

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2009, 01:07:47 PM »
i use my laser printer a lot still.  I prefer reading papers in printed form then on screen.
however i must say that i have been looking at the handheld ebook readers lately .. my conclusion is that when they come out with one with a full letter page sized screen, i might take the plunge.
Same here. Last year I bought a laser printer because I was printing so much stuff to read. I can't stand reading on an LCD screen, even though I've got a decent one.

And like mouser, I am waiting, impatiently, for the first affordable, high-quality Letter/A4 eBook. I expect it to handle PDF/txt/doc etc, RSS feeds, magazine and newspaper subscriptions (I can still see a future for eBook magazines and newspapers)....

By the way, old (and little-used) office printers seem to sell for a fraction of their original price on Ebay. They get dumped because of these wasteful rolling replacement contracts that some big companies use. I bought my HP Laserjet for £80 -- a tenth of its list price. It has a print engine capable of churning out 25,000 pages per month. It had printed just 10,000 pages in its previous life. And the print cost per page is a fraction of the printers aimed at home users.

40hz

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2009, 01:50:31 PM »
mouser: problem is the devices kinda tend to support only DRM'ed crap - which I guess is 40hz's point (and definitely mine).

Thanks f0dder. :) :Thmbsup:

That's exactly my point.

By the way, old (and little-used) office printers seem to sell for a fraction of their original price on Ebay. They get dumped because of these wasteful rolling replacement contracts that some big companies use. I bought my HP Laserjet for £80 -- a tenth of its list price. It has a print engine capable of churning out 25,000 pages per month. It had printed just 10,000 pages in its previous life. And the print cost per page is a fraction of the printers aimed at home users.

Excellent point! Three years ago, I got 2 HP8500 color laserjets; 1 HP8100 B&W; 1 HP8150 B&W; and 4 members of the HP4000 laserjet family - all with JetDirect network interfaces - (along with a ton of other equipment) for under $3K. It belonged to a company that was moving to NYC. They bought all new equipment for their new offices and decided it was more economical to sell it off for residual book value than it was to ship it where they were going. They even threw in a dozen or so toner cartridges that went with the various printers.

It was a no-brainer deal for me. I called around, got a few other friends to go in on it, and everybody went home with a lot of very serviceable equipment at fire sale prices.

We lucked out and caught somebody that desperately needed to get a lot of equipment moved out of their old location before the lease ran out. But with the downturn in the economy, and businesses folding, you can find similar deals if you keep your eyes and ears open. Just last week I noticed a stack of what looked to be brand new Steelcase cubicle panels sitting in a parking lot outside an office building with a big sign that said: FREE - PLEASE TAKE.

So look around. You'll be saving money and helping the environment. :Thmbsup:

« Last Edit: August 27, 2009, 02:15:54 PM by 40hz »

mouser

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2009, 02:05:17 PM »
well then let me add a clarification -- not only does the device have to support pdf -- it has to support it NATIVELY -- without requiring me to go through any annoying conversion process the way amazon's first kindle did (new kindle's dont have this problem).

johnk

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2009, 02:05:44 PM »
mouser: problem is the devices kinda tend to support only DRM'ed crap - which I guess is 40hz's point (and definitely mine).

Thanks f0dder. :) :Thmbsup:

That's exactly my point.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm not sure that there are many eBook readers that only support DRM material. You'd have to be a brave company to go down that route today. Even the new Kindle DX (perhaps the most DRM-focussed brand of reader) allows you to upload and read standard PDFs. The new Sony readers handle EPUB, PDF, Text, RTF, Word and BBeB.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2009, 02:24:52 PM by johnk »

40hz

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2009, 02:26:34 PM »
It's not just the DRM. It's the draconian terms of the license agreements that bother me. I have a real problem with paying good money to own a device that it turns out I don't really own or have control over. I have no objection to people wanting to have some distribution protection for works they've created. What offends me is the overall FU attitude that comes through loud and clear when you read those license agreements. Basically, they say "we can do anything we want, and also change the terms of this agreement anytime we want, and you have nothing to say about it."

Amazon, Sony, and all the rest of the players need to realize that, in the world of business, just because you own the bat and ball doesn't necessarily mean you also get to make up all the rules.


40hz

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2009, 02:30:35 PM »
Even the new Kindle DX (perhaps the most DRM-focussed brand of reader) allows you to upload and read standard PDFs.

Question: can you drag and drop them directly onto the Kindle DX like you can with some ebook readers, or do you still have to go through Amazon to actually put them on the device?


mouser

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #20 on: August 27, 2009, 02:36:39 PM »
btw for those who haven't seen one of these ebook readers like the kindle with special grayscale screens -- they look completely different from a laptop lcd -- they are much closer to looking at real paper -- it's quite impressive.

johnk

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2009, 02:41:13 PM »
Amazon, Sony, and all the rest of the players need to realize that, in the world of business, just because you own the bat and ball doesn't necessarily mean you also get to make up all the rules.

Well, actually, you do get to make up the rules. You can manufacture anything you like (within the law) and put whatever you like in your EULA (within the law). Then the market decides whether it wants your product. And although I wouldn't touch the Kindle with a bargepole because I don't like their approach to DRM, it seems to be selling very well. Obviously, many people don't care about DRM.

DRM (particularly in the music market) is simply an illustration that there are a lot of not-very-intelligent people working in the industry. It took them the best part of a decade to work out that the only people inconvenienced by DRM were the honest people who paid for the music anyway. The thieves carry on thieving regardless. I stopped buying music CDs when some particularly draconian types of DRM prevented me from making copies of discs for use in the car. I wasn't playing that game. My CD collection is frozen in time about three years ago. Once I stopped buying discs because of DRM, I just lost the habit of buying discs completely, and it never came back.

But most of the music companies seem to have realised their error and are offering non-DRMed product. It's just a mystery why it took them so long.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2009, 02:58:59 PM by johnk »

f0dder

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #22 on: August 27, 2009, 05:14:03 PM »
btw for those who haven't seen one of these ebook readers like the kindle with special grayscale screens -- they look completely different from a laptop lcd -- they are much closer to looking at real paper -- it's quite impressive.
Yeah, it's E-ink - pretty great stuff. I have still to see on IRL, but it's my understanding that because there's no refresh (which even TFT/LCD screens have), you get a 100% rock-solid flicker-free display, just like... paper. "Flipping to a new page" is supposedly still pretty slow, though?
- carpe noctem

Deozaan

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #23 on: August 27, 2009, 05:26:36 PM »
To answer the original question: I think our printer gets used more now than it has in the past few years since my wife took up "couponing."

It became so expensive to replace our ink cartridges every few weeks that we bought a laser printer. The "teaser" toner ran out since we bought it, but we're still on our first full toner cartridge.

I don't print things very often, but my wife does.


steeladept

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #24 on: August 27, 2009, 05:34:05 PM »
I have never seen a Kindle (DX or otherwise), but they have E-Readers on display at Borders Books in my area.  They are nice looking, and they are just as f0dder described - flicker free and easy to read, but very slow to change pages.

I find it funny that so many people complain that there is no backlight.  DUH, that is the point.  If E-ink were backlit, you would start to run into the same problems as LCD screens.  Why get E-ink then backlight it anyway?  If you want to do that, just get an iPod Touch or similar and use that.  They are about the same price and much more versatile.

My big problem with them is economic more than anything else.  Why should I pay over $300 more for an electronic reader, then pay the same price for the data, then when I loose it/break it/decide I want a newer device I loose the book.  Also, with systems that push and/or keep your files (like Amazon), they can also remove them permanently.  When I buy an e-book, I want the entire file, and I want it where I can access and move it on my own computer and my backup scheme, not where Amazon can say "Oh, we weren't allowed to sell that." and boom, all I have left is a credit for another book to download.  What if that was the only book on the entire system I wanted!  That is just wrong.  They should do their due diligence before the sale, and if they made the mistake, they should pay the author for their mistake - Not me paying by loosing access!  At the very least, they should refund the money instead of just providing credit.

As to the original question, I only use it a lot when I am in class.  I think I have maybe ran 500 pages through my laser since I graduated with my MBA.  I am sure I will use it alot again with my Doctoral studies...

Of course at work, I run the Printroom, so yes, we use it extensively there.  In fact I run 3 of them with an average output of somewhere around 40,000 pages a day when run at full capacity.  Of course we rarely run that much.  Usually closer to about 5,000 pages a day on average.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2009, 05:37:20 PM by steeladept »