The History Of Ribbon Dot-Matrix
There was a time, long ago that printers had ribbons and used dot matrix printing to create tiny dots that, when looked at, were readable. Sometimes they were BARELY readable, however. Changing ribbons and printing wheels to change typeface was a chore.
Then, in 1984, the first laser printer that used toner cartridges came into being. Quickly, no one wanted a dot matrix printer anymore. The laser printer caused ink powder from the toner cartridge to fuse onto the paper where the program told the printer to leave ink. The output was much clearer and much more professional in appearance. Very soon, dot matrix printers became known as “doorstops”.
By 1990, inkjet printers that used drop-in ink cartridges became readily available and at very reasonable prices. These inkjet cartridges were very easy to change without any fuss. The cost to the user, compared to the laser toner cartridge, was significantly reduced.
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Computer Printers Now
Today, inkjet printers using ink cartridges are so affordable that every computer owner can afford to own their printer that is capable of using photo quality inkjet cartridges or for less expensive printing, ink cartridges that are remanufactured or “generic” or non-original manufacture. These inkjet cartridges can even be refilled in many cases to save even more money.
The price of the machines themselves has dropped by buckets and what they can do is way cooler than ever before. Not only can you print but also scan, fax (many do PC-Fax which I’ll get to later), copy, make your morning coffee, take out the garbage (ok not those last 2). Combining these many tasks reduces the number of different machines in your home/office but also, there’s only one manual you have to completely ignore instead of many (for the guys reading this). The PC-Fax thingy I mentioned Id like to discuss a little more because I find this a fantastic feature. It means that your printer/fax/everything else talks directly to your computer allowing you to send and receive faxes without any visible signs of paper involved. For example, if anyone was crazy enough to want a copy of this article faxed to them I could do it directly from my computer without having to print anything out.
The Evolution: Inkjet Printers
When using inkjet cartridges that are photo quality, it is sensible to use photo quality paper for your printing. This ensures the best quality printout resulting from your inkjet photo quality cartridge. While these inkjet cartridges will print on regular paper, it is a waste to place the more expensive ink cartridge into your printer and then print on plain non-glossy paper.
For everyday printing in black and white or even in color, remanufactured or non-original inkjet cartridges work great and save money for you in the long run. As a general rule of thumb, you need to purchase twice as many black inkjet cartridges because there are, on average, more black printing needs for the average person.
More Special Technologies: Gizmos
Nowadays manufacturers are including more and more technology into their cartridges and trying to convince you that their ink has that extra special something. Epson uses DURABrite ink, HP uses Vivera ink and the list goes on. If you ever get bored and feel the need to work yourself into a frenzy just try surfing some of the major sites to compare exactly what one manufacturer’s ink does compare to the next. If you come away from this sane you’ll know a lot more techie sounds words than you need to know now or in your next lifetime.
Many of the latest ink cartridges have cool gizmos in them like small chips designed to monitor the ink levels and tell you when it’s time to reorder and even little LEDs for those of you who want their printer to light up like a disco. The idea of the chip sounds great but there are cases where the chip is telling the printer to stop working too soon or even to not work at all if the cartridges inside are not original (there have been at least one of the major players recently sued over exactly this). To try and counter this a ‘chip resetter’ can be purchased which tells the chip to do as it’s told and keep on printing regardless of how much ink it thought was left in the tank. As far as the issue with these chips and nonoriginal cartridges is concerned it’s illegal for a chip to stop your machine from working on this basis but apparently, this hasn’t deterred a few of the big boys. Whether a chip resetter will fix this problem is uncertain.
What’s Coming In The Future?
No one knows what will come next in the world of printing. Just as the dot matrix printer long ago became a doorstop (mostly that is), within the next decade a new, less expensive, more user-friendly printing method that is, even more, cost-effective than inkjet printers using drop-in ink cartridges may become archaic. For today, inkjet cartridges in low-priced printers provide the average household with all the affordable printing from their inkjet printer they need.
Whether you want to print graphics, brochures, or just letters, there is a printer that uses inkjet cartridges for you. Choose inkjet cartridges that meet your printing needs at affordable prices.
The bottom line is yep your ink cartridges are getting more high-tech and cooler (heck in the old days there’s no way your cartridge would light up with pretty colors for you and tell you when it’s about to run dry). The future is certainly going to be interesting seeing what comes next…..