24-pin salute

When I was a lad, we had only nine pins, and we liked it:

According to research firm NPD, Americans bought just less than 20,000 brand-new dot matrix printers in 2012. You can still find an entire channel on Amazon.com for dot matrix printers with pricing starting at a lofty $205, more than double the least expensive inkjet.

So why would anyone want to use the best printing technology of 1983 in 2013? Apparently, many point-of-sale, warehouse inventory and other business systems still require carbon copy and multipart forms that work only with the hard impact of a dot matrix printhead and its continuous tractor feed. And, really, who can blame businesses for not modernizing their processes to use inkjet, laser or thermal printing? They’ve only had a couple of decades to think about it.

How about “The next level up is severely retarded and insists on multipart forms”? Does that work for you? Because it’s a reality for me.

And you’d be surprised how fast the least expensive inkjet goes through $205 worth of replacement cartridges — unless, of course, you own one.


  1. McGehee »

    13 June 2013 · 5:35 pm

    I can’t believe people still buy inkjets. Our inexpensive death-ray printer hasn’t needed new toner in almost a year.

    Of course, we’ve only printed maybe 100 pages in that time, but laser toner doesn’t get old and clog the works like ink.

  2. CGHill »

    13 June 2013 · 6:47 pm

    The one I had in the office died, and I haven’t bothered to request a replacement; consumables for the color laser on the far desk are pricey, but I’ve only replaced C, M and Y once, and K twice. That’s about $600 worth of toner in four years. Not bad for 60-120 pages a week.

  3. McGehee »

    14 June 2013 · 7:38 am

    An office printer probably requires bigger refills than our would. I do know we would have spent more on ink over the life so far of this printer, than we have for toner.

  4. nightfly »

    14 June 2013 · 11:55 am

    We still have carbon forms we use regularly, and said forms have the tractor feed strip on each side for a dot-matrix printer… but we just wind up printing them by hand with a ballpoint pen.

  5. CGHill »

    14 June 2013 · 1:15 pm

    To my surprise, they brought me an HP all-in-one today, which I don’t really need except for the scanner. I am not, however, inclined to look a gift pony in the mouth.

  6. Musings from Brian J. Noggle » Blog Archive » A Small Worldview, Exposed »

    24 June 2013 · 8:18 am

    […] Dustbury linked to another one of those technology articles written in the hip, modern style that indicates an arch with-it fellow shaking his head at the backwardness of others. […]

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