Feature Article:

Where to Buy Printer Ink
When it's time to buy printer ink, some people naturally head back to their neighborhood office supply store while others log onto their favorite online ink supply source. Before you make your next printer ink purchase, consider the costs of your...
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Printer's - Now As Common As The Telephone


Printers have been around for a very long time. From the old
hand cranked block printing machines, to the most advanced
color laser printers on the market, they have made tedious
writing by hand outdated. Now you simply have to type up
what you want to say on your computer, put paper into sheet
feeder, and push print. Like magic out comes your document
making it easy to print a book, send out some flyers for
your church bake sale, or whatever your printing needs are.

Before the advent of computer printers for home use, to get
these types of documents one would have to go and pay a
printing business to make them for you, or make one by hand
and photocopy it. Either way could be quite costly if you
wanted to make lots of copies.

Printers come in a wide variety; there is dot matrix,
ink-jet, bubble-jet, and laser printers to name a few. Dot
matrix printers are sort of antiques now but they used a
series of pins to make the lettering. If you look closely at
a document or photo printed on one of these you can make out
the dot patterns. Ink and bubble-jet printers work by
squirting heated ink through a matrix of holes to form
images or characters.

Laser printers form the characters or image on a
special-coated drum with a laser light, which is turned off
and on as dictated by the computer, then transfers the
output from the drum to the paper, using photocopying
techniques. Less commonly used printers for home use are
Thermal-wax-transfer printers and dye-sublimation printers
that use heat to transfer color pigment from a ribbon to a
special paper to produce photographic-quality color images.

To further differentiate the various printers, you can break
them down to impact and non-impact. One other example is the
formed character printer. The way that these work is by
forcing a metal or plastic character against an inked ribbon
to produce a sharp image on paper. These characters may be
on a moving bar, a rotating ball, a rapidly rotating chain,
or wheel spokes. Although noisy, impact printers can produce
multiple copies of business forms simultaneously using
carbon or carbonless techniques.

Non-impact printers use thermal and electrostatic, rather
than mechanical, techniques, such as ink-jet, laser,
bubble-jet, and the others mentioned above. Non-impact
printers are quieter than impact printers and produce higher
quality output, especially of graphics, but at a greater
cost per page of course. Whatever one you choose, printers
are an integral part of everyone's life!

About the Author

Alberto R. Pino is founder of All About printers an excellent resource site dedicated to information on printer


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Additional Reading

The Development of Printer Ink Cartridges
With the introduction of the inkjet printer and printer ink cartridge in 1984, the task of printing your documents and changing printer ink cartridges became more convenient, reliable and cleaner than the previous methods of changing ribbons or...
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How To Kill Your Printer
Are you tired of trying to convince your spouse that you need another printer? Tired of using the old sluggish ink hog that you got 10 years ago as a hand-me-down from your cousin that only came to visit once just after you bought that new Beer...
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Digital Cameras + Photo Printers = Quality Instant Photographs
In the 1950's and 1960's Polaroid's instant cameras were all the rage. You could shoot a picture and have the finished print in a minute or so. The quality wasn't that great, but hey, you had your pictures now! Today with digital cameras and...
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Selecting an Ink Jet printer–With Low Operating Cost
Printer technology has made tremendous advances in the past five years. Speeds are up and print quality is great. Meanwhile, printer costs have declined. What has not improved is the cost of ink. Printer manufacturers expected to make their...
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How do printers compare
If you plan to go shopping for a new printer, there are several key features you want to consider before making your purchase. Inkjet or Laserjet? The two most popular types of printer technology are inkjet and laser. Whether you buy online...
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