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Last post Author Topic: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?  (Read 19778 times)

sword

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #25 on: August 27, 2009, 05:43:19 PM »
Quantities the same, two inkjet sets per year. Price lower now thanks to Kodak. Dot matrix for half my printing

zridling

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #26 on: August 27, 2009, 06:45:03 PM »
Any of our British friends seen a COOL-ER CoolReader yet? It's supposedly more open than Kindle. Problem is, it uses Adobe's smelly DRM. Pretty sad that Amazon has proved that it is no great friend of open access -- first, by embracing DRM for its books, and second, by disabling the text-to-speech capability because The Authors' Guild has 18th-century ideas of what copyright is about.

The reason that Amazon can turn off the screen reader capability is that the machines use non-free software, controlled by Amazon rather than by the user. If Amazon can turn this off retroactively, the product has a dangerous (and costly) back door. Amazon's point is to keep people from sharing a book with a friend or family member. In that world, all public libraries are criminal institutions!

fp-GPL-vs-DRM.jpg

As long as ebooks have to be viewed on lock-down devices (phones, tablets, e-readers), the book industry will continue to give way to more open technologies. Anyone who pays $400 just to have the company invade and erase your PURCHASED documents is asking for it.

xtabber

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #27 on: August 27, 2009, 08:43:17 PM »
my conclusion is that when they come out with one with a full letter page sized screen, i might take the plunge.

For a mere $895, you can buy the iRex reader 1000S which features a full page (10.2") screen with 1024x1280 resolution, native PDF support and the ability to write on the screen.

Product page: http://www.irextechn...ogies.com/irexdr1000

For a less than enthusiastic recent review, see: http://www.reghardwa...gtal_reader_dr1000s/

iRex is supposedly coming out with a version that includes WiFi (like their smaller iLiad, 2nd edition), but there has been no release date specified.

mouser

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #28 on: August 27, 2009, 08:55:18 PM »
i looked at the irex.. but 10.2" is not a full sized page.  an 8.5x11" page would have a 13.5" screen.  i guess one could argue that with common margins that might shrink to 11.5 or 12".  but i still want a real full sized page, and 10.2" isn't going to do it.

xtabber

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #29 on: August 27, 2009, 09:01:45 PM »
My aging eyes find printed output much easier to read for many things, in particular, long articles, and certainly much easier to edit (unless you like applying a pencil to your screen).

The last 16-bit utility I still use with any frequency is Dan Bricklin's Page Garden, released in 1989 and quickly sold off and abandoned by him, a command line batch-oriented page description scripting language for HPL and PS laser printers. I have yet to find anything as good for making long code listings easy to read and work with. The main drawback is that it only recognizes 8.3 file names.

J-Mac

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #30 on: August 29, 2009, 09:11:06 PM »
Oh yeah! Sir "Prints-a-Lot" here!

I can't sit at the computer for more than about 30 minutes at a time, max, so I must print a lot of documents for reading later. I have to print virtually ALL PDF manuals for software I use.

I also do a good bit of digital photo editing and I still do print a fair number of photos on Canon Photo Pro paper. My 3+ year old Canon MP-830 has been a stalwart for me. Sadly Canon doesn't offer anything like it anymore.

Jim

SKesselman

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #31 on: September 13, 2009, 06:49:46 PM »
I wouldn't say that I print more or less. I always seem to be unable to print, for one reason or another.
I've always needed a decent printer and have either had a problem inkjet (3, ranging from $100-$600, really didn't matter), or none at all.
Getting ready to toss my highly recommended Epson.

When I first saw a wet, soggy, streaky page come out of an inkjet printer maybe 13 years ago, I knew that no matter how long they tried to perfect these things, they'd only get so far, and I was right. I'm still printing out crappy looking documents. Unfortunately, I was introduced to and put to work on a laser printer as an admin. asst., long before I ever saw an inkjet...kind of like going from a Lexus to a Kia. 

The only inkjet I've ever seen that impressed me is my BF's Canon, but still, the thought of owning a laser printer makes my heart pound.
I can't afford one, but if I could, I'd be printing all kinds of things. I love to create and print beautiful images & documents.  :(
-Sarah

tranglos

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #32 on: September 13, 2009, 07:05:23 PM »
are you still buying and using as much printer ink and paper as you were a few years ago?

Hardly ever. Ten years ago or so, when my main job was translating movies for video, I printed out every transcript I translated, in carbon copy, on a dot-matrix Star LC-20. I used to print a lot of handouts for my students, too. Now I have a HP L6 laser, really old now, and I don't think I print more than a 100 pages a year. Mostly invoices, for the companies that still insist on a hard copy, and an occasional ViaMichelin route before a long car ride. Can't remember when I last bought toner.

However, if HP isn't getting much business from me, it's partly through their own fault. Like Mouser and others who have replied above, I would happily print manuals, help files etc. and read them more comfortably. The thing is, the first thing that broke in every printer I'm aware of (mine, my friends', anywhere I've worked) is the paper feeder. In my HP the feeder broke right on schedule - a few weeks after the warranty expired. And I'm not going to bother with manually feeding fifty pages or a hundred one at a time. Yes, I used to have to do it on the dot-matrix, but those were dark times :)

If I could rely on the paper feeder not breaking, I would be printing much more and who knows, I might replace my old HP with a fancier new model. But these things *will* break, it's a foregone conclusion. I don't expect they've gotten any better, now that hardware is made so cheaply.

J-Mac

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #33 on: September 13, 2009, 08:54:12 PM »
If I could rely on the paper feeder not breaking, I would be printing much more and who knows, I might replace my old HP with a fancier new model. But these things *will* break, it's a foregone conclusion. I don't expect they've gotten any better, now that hardware is made so cheaply.

I have to say that my Canon PIXMA MP 830 is now over three years old - with extremely heavy usage - and going very strong. I commented above that Canon did not make a comparable printer anymore but their purported latest replacement for my model - the MX 860 - is the closest. And since my last post above I ordered one from Amazon.   :-[  Why? On sale for $124....

I compared the ink cartridge capacities and prices for the MP 830 and MX 860 and then analyzed that against my annual ink usage. The new printer's ink cartridges will cost me almost exactly twice annually what the old printer's ink cost me. Yikes! But I couldn't find a quality alternative for my MP 830 unfortunately. So for now I will continue to use the MP 830 till it dies and keep the MX 860 in reserve. BTW the MX 860 can be networked wirelessly while my current printer is attached to my network through my desktop PC, which means that on the occasions when my desktop crashes no one can print until I get it restarted.

Jim

Midnight Rambler

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #34 on: September 27, 2009, 02:42:07 PM »
Print mostly to .pdfs but still make hard copies for convenience.  Nice not to have to turn systems on just to view information.  Paper copies also still necessary for online coupons used in brick and mortar stores and to print job applications.

Come to think of it, still multiple uses for hard copies.
Compaq Presario 5716 (98), Dell Dimension 4700 (XP), Lenovo ThinkPad T530 (Win 7).

SKesselman

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #35 on: September 27, 2009, 03:33:01 PM »
My handwriting needs a lot of work.

This week, I printed tons of labels for my stuff in my storage unit in 72 pt. font.. Very, very helpful, as now everything reads easily & uniformly.
Today, I printed out 20 envelopes with my return address for future mail.
This week, I'll have to print an Outlook calendar to give to someone who doesn't want it sent via email.

I think I get a lot of use out of my printer. It's fun, too  :-[ .
-Sarah

hhdawrs

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #36 on: September 27, 2009, 04:23:44 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). 
Me too.  I have been through so many system/hardware/backup failures over the past that I keep more paper.  We are in an area of high humidity (92% now), bad electrics and lotsa bugs that love to live in the case. 

You have to experience the flash/bang of a centipede shorting a 450 W power supply whilst strolling over the white and black 120 VAC input terminals @ 3 am.
Aloha,

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tmpusr

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #37 on: September 27, 2009, 04:40:49 PM »
Only when I need to read away from the screen. Otherwise I read dim gray, super legible standard fonts (with practically perfect pixel positioning and thickness - too thin usually - took me a while to find them among hundreds) on a black screen (also took a while to set up the colors) with display brightness and contrast turned almost all the way down. The result: no eye strain whatsoever. I no longer care whether I read screen or paper, especially since the fonts I use for printing are the same as on screen. I'm sure one can't improve this setup significantly, even in theory, ever. Only a better display, OLED, will improve this since, if I'm right, there's no backlight and the text will just float in absolute darkness. Want a link to the setup?

It would be perfect if you could force fonts in PDF readers like you can in browsers. Know any readers or some tricks that let you substitute fonts in PDFs? Because I usually disagree with the typographical choices in the PDFs, when reading long documents, I run them through some PDF2html program and read them in a browser.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2009, 04:55:33 PM by tmpusr »

siouxdax

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #38 on: September 27, 2009, 07:47:55 PM »
I refuse to own a printer, due to the cost of ink, but that may have changed over the years. I just remember it being outrageous back in 2000. I rarely have to print anything, and even then I take advantage of the office in my complex.
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OldElmerFudd

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #39 on: September 27, 2009, 10:32:25 PM »
I have three printers. Daily use is a Canon Pixma MP610 All-In-One for general work. My graphics work is done on a cherished Epson Stylus Photo 1280 and a Canon i9900. They're both large format printers; I got the i9900 originally to replace the Epson, but the the 1280 can handle roll paper, and the Canon can't. For the MP610, I use compatible inks from an online supplier; the graphics printers get the OEM cartridges (from the same supplier).

On a daily basis, I print all kinds of things. Whatever turns out to be important gets scanned to file with commercial software and saved on backup drives.
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libeco

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #40 on: September 28, 2009, 03:22:38 AM »
Since I'm a student I'm still often required to print reports. I do this mostly on a Canon MP210. In the past few years I've also started printing my own pictures on a Canon IP4500 with absolutely fantastic results!

I think I will keep printing pictures for a long time. Printing document in the future.... I don't know yet, depends on the type of digital paper they invent, currently there's no good alternative to paper.
"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." - Thomas Edison

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Innuendo

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #41 on: September 28, 2009, 02:44:47 PM »
For my color printing I have a Canon i9900 for general color printing and an Epson Stylus 340 for printing printable CDs & DVDs.

I'd like to propose something to those who either print a lot or wish to print a lot of black and white:

Get thee to eBay and snipe yourself an HP LaserJet 5. This model was the last of the business LaserJet models that HP produced before they started cost-cutting on manufacturing and playing the "Let's screw with the amount of toner we'll put in a cartridge" game. What this means is that you are going to get a printer that is:

1. Made out of mostly metal parts rather than totally out of plastic.
2. Has an actual LED status screen and a complete assortment of buttons to control & set up the printer.
3. Is not a host-based printer which means you can print in any OS you have drivers for, even DOS.
4. Has a feature-complete, compact driver that was designed before the trend of shoving a toner and ink cartridge salesman component into the driver.
5. When buying toner you are going to have a printing cost of approximately US$0.02 (two cents) per page.

When I bought my HP LJ 5, it was used with a total page count of approximately 4,000 pages had already printed. I've actually seen other printers of this model in service in business with page counts of over 140,000 so I know this printer will last me the rest of my life I so choose.

I was also able to buy on eBay, a new never-used page duplexing unit, a new never-used add-on printer tray, a PostScript cartridge, expand the RAM to its max 46 MB, a new never-used 10/100 network card (which allows setting up the printer through your web browser!), and a hardcopy service manual if I ever need to service it.

All this stuff cost me less than US$150 delivered to my door. It may not be as fast as some of the newer printers out, but it's a lot more durable and the cost-per-page is a fraction of what newer printers offer.

Handy tip for those thinking this might be a good idea: Don't get anything older than an HP LJ 4 Plus. The HP LJ 4 (no Plus in the name) and older did not offer any power-saving features so they'll really run up your electric bill if left powered on for long periods of time.

cyberdiva

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #42 on: September 28, 2009, 04:58:58 PM »
Get thee to eBay and snipe yourself an HP LaserJet 5. This model was the last of the business LaserJet models that HP produced before they started cost-cutting on manufacturing and playing the "Let's screw with the amount of toner we'll put in a cartridge" game.
I don't know whether the HP LaserJet 5P is different from the 5, but I had a 5P for about 12 years.  It was a workhorse, I bought a cartridge for it about once a year, and I loved it.  Earlier this year it finally gave up the ghost.  I thought at first that I would buy a color laser printer to replace it, since color was the only thing I missed on the 5P, but after comparing speed, cost, etc., I decided to buy a Samsung monochrone laser printer, model 2851 ND.  So far, I'm loving it even more than the HP.  It's considerably faster (though the HP was pretty fast) and can do 2-sided printing very easily and quickly.  I'm still using the cartridge that came with it, though it's claiming it wants to be replaced.  I just shake it a bit and it's good to go.  For $194.99, I'm very pleased.

To be honest, I don't think it's made as durably as the HP, but so far that hasn't been an issue.

sazzen

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #43 on: September 28, 2009, 05:35:01 PM »
Back to Printers

Yes. I use my printer as much as ever.

But, let me tell you about my experience with the last HP printer I purchased:  I chose an HP because I have a very old HP laser printer (from 1995) that still chugs away popping out clear beautiful prints for me and has never, in all this time, given me any grief. It's getting hard to find cartridges for it. So - a few years ago, I purchased an HP inkjet color printer.  I have no doubt that it was a fine piece of machinery, but the software I had to load with it bogged my system down to a crawl and constantly irritated me in ways too numerous to mention. I took it back for a refund. I purchased a little Brother that gives me very few problems (though I am horrified at the cost of ink) and I had enough money left over to buy printer paper and fill my gas tank. 

Maybe HP's problems aren't related to people printing less but to people printing less with HP printers. I will never purchase another one.   

Neither will I ever purchase another ink jet. From now on it's lasers all the way.

Innuendo

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #44 on: September 28, 2009, 08:26:30 PM »
I don't know whether the HP LaserJet 5P is different from the 5, but I had a 5P for about 12 years.

I typed 5P out of habit...but how the lineup went was:

LaserJet 5 - the basic printer

LaserJet 5P - the printer with the PostScript cartridge installed

LaserJet 5M - the printer with the network card installed (M stands for multi-user)

LaserJet 5MP - the printer with both of the above options

The basic model can be upgraded to the others and is smart enough to identify itself on the network & to Windows as the model it is supposed to be. I bought a vanilla 5, but since I have all the goodies installed Windows does detect it as a 5MP.

Innuendo

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #45 on: September 28, 2009, 08:28:42 PM »
getting hard to find cartridges for it. So - a few years ago, I purchased an HP inkjet color printer.  I have no doubt that it was a fine piece of machinery, but the software I had to load with it bogged my system down to a crawl and constantly irritated me in ways too numerous to mention.

Alas, chances are that HP printer you bought was not a fine piece of machinery. It's been a steady decline in quality for HP since the LaserJet 4/5 days. Modern HP printers are pieces of crap that break easily and, as you found out, install an intricate web of software that chokes your PC to death.

cranioscopical

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #46 on: September 28, 2009, 08:55:18 PM »
Modern HP printers are pieces of crap that break easily
I don't find that to be so. I have a few 'modern' HP Laser printers and, while they certainly don't have the heft of the old II's and III's, they perform very well and I've yet to break one.

TomD101

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #47 on: September 29, 2009, 02:55:28 AM »
Working in the Berlin Government, printing is still very normal in my line of work.

At home I cut back to about 5 to 10 pages a week, depending on the demands of my kids, who sometimes print out homework or cheat lists.

I still use a HP Deskjet 930 with cheap refill cartridges. Works like a charm for about seven years now.

And yes, I print far less than some years ago. It ist not necessary anymore to have everything on paper ... if you have a good backup strategy.
The more things stay, the more they change the sane.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #48 on: September 29, 2009, 06:09:56 AM »
Modern HP printers are pieces of crap that break easily
I don't find that to be so. I have a few 'modern' HP Laser printers and, while they certainly don't have the heft of the old II's and III's, they perform very well and I've yet to break one.
Actually you're both right, Since HP has decided to adopt the lose-leader business model for some of their laser printers there are several models (low end color machines come to mind) that exhibit all the fit & finish quality of a Pez dispenser.

While true the "Heft" isn't there anymore, I've seen several of the mid to high end business models take an incredible beating (Steady print volumes of twice their rating, etc.) and just keep going.

Innuendo

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Re: Dying technologies: do you still use a printer much?
« Reply #49 on: September 29, 2009, 12:16:02 PM »
While true the "Heft" isn't there anymore, I've seen several of the mid to high end business models take an incredible beating (Steady print volumes of twice their rating, etc.) and just keep going.

Agreed. Their commercial printers are still tops, but my comments were more in reference to what buyers are going to find in Wal-Mart or Best Buy, but to be fair, all printer manufacturers are guilty of that to one extent or another.