The Print Medium: Still Going Strong


Since 1978 and the invention of email at the PARC (Palo Alto Research Center), we have been told that the paperless office (and world) is only moments away from becoming a reality. Well, fast forward thirty-four years and we are no closer to it than we were in the 70s. In fact, the advent of the internet, emails and PDFs actually increased printing needs – especially at home. If anything, access to seemingly unlimited data via the Internet has increased the desire among many for hard copies of everything from recipes to how-to manuals.

Sure, in office settings there may have been a slight reduction in printing, but for many a paper hard-copy is still the way to go. Many offices have mandated that staff cut back on wanton printing. In some cases printers are not easily accessible by staff (or put under lock and key), thus reducing the temptation to print out non-work related material. If printing really was dying out then such draconian measures wouldn’t be needed.

Not even the advent of iPads and other tablets have been able to replace paper as the reading medium of choice. Many find that the tablet software still isn’t up to snuff when it comes to extended reading. There are also complaints about the eyestrain inducing glare from the back-lit screens. In addition, the glare from external light sources reflecting off the screen and making it difficult to read effectively is also something to contend with. Just sit and try to read a tablet under the lights in a subway car and you’ll be wishing you had a paper copy in no time.

Ebook readers apparently aren’t the answer either. While decent enough for reading books, most fail when it comes to handling PDF documents. They are just not robust enough to handle them in an elegant fashion. Often times there are conversion problems when transferring files to the eReader, which results in odd formatting, copious spelling mistakes and an inability to traverse the document. Frustration inducing to say the least.

Let’s just face it, some people will always prefer paper over digital media. That said, we should all do our best to use our dwindling resources in a sustainable fashion. Speaking of sustainability, another good idea to embrace when it comes to printing is recycling ink cartridges. Companies like allow you to send in your old cartridges in a post-free envelope and they will recycle it free of charge.

John Pickering is the owner of an online retailer of new and refilled printer cartridges for Brother, HP, Canon, Epson, Lexmark and Xerox printers. Visit online today and begin saving.

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