Computer Printer Technology

The computer printing technology that is used today is a far cry from that which was first used at the dawn of the computer age. Many of the older technologies are now obsolete, although they were at one time in widespread use. Other newer print technologies have replaced them and the way forward is forever changing as new computer print technologies come to the fore.

Obsolete Printing Technology

As time has passed and the computing powers of modern day PC’s have changed there has been a huge advances in the fundamental printing systems used by computers. The print technologies listed below are now obsolete, but did at one time play a large part in the computer printing industry.

Typewriter
In the early part of the evolution of computer printing there were a number of computer printers that were simply computer-controllable versions of current electric typewriter technology. These computer printers coul “type” faster than humans at averaged a speed of 15 characters per second.

Teletypewriter
One of the most popular computer printers of its time, this type of printer could be easily interfaced to all non IBM computers. Teleprinters were a little slower than typewriter printers and averaged about ten characters per second.

Dot-matrix
The original dot-matrix printers were extremely popular computer printers during the 1980’s. They were able to produce not just characters, but also images although be it of a lower quality. There were two types of dot-matrix computers available at this time, namely:

– Ballistic wire printers
– Stored energy printers

Did you know? Some dot matrix printers could be upgraded to print in colour. This made them extremely popular for both home and office use during the 80’s.

Modern print technology

There are a number of modern printing technologies that are used today in both home and office printers. Although the list below does not include all of them it does include the most important and well known modern computer printing technology:

Toner
Toner printers include both laser printers and LED printers. As with digital printers they use a xerographic printing process.

Liquid inkjet
Liquid inkjet printers print by propelling different sized droplets onto the printing surface (paper). This is the most common of all modern home and small office printer types.

Solid ink
Solid ink printers are also called phase-change printers and are a type of thermal transfer printer. These types of printers are more commonly used in both office and education environments. They are particularly good at printing on transparencies and non-porous printing surfaces.