Guttenberg’s Printing Press Enabled Mass Communication – Today’s Printers Break New Ground
You know how important your printer has become in your everyday life. You count on it all day at work, and at home for driving instructions, recipes, and a whole lot more. However, what about the bigger picture. Where do printers stand at the history of human advancement?
When the The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMMS) published its list of the Top 100 Materials Moments for All Time, Guttenberg’s invention of the moveable- type printing press in 1450 arrived in 19th place (far behind Mendeleev’s Periodic Table of Elements at #1 but far before Baekeland’s creation of tough plastics in #43). TMMS credits the media with establishing “the fundamental enabling technology for mass communication.”
Since 1450, the inventions in print have been steady and dramatic. Presses became smaller, more dynamic, and evolved to the point where you have more printing power sitting in your desk than Guttenberg might have ever envisioned.
From the 1980s when private laser jet and inkjet printers became mainstream, it seemed that printer technology might delight in a Moore’s Law of its own with per webpage prices, rate, and quality improving at an exponential pace. As you probably know, that didn’t exactly happen. Until, perhaps, now!
The article points out the radical inventions that have or will soon hit the current market, such as Kodak’s Easyshare line, which guarantees 100 year photo life while cutting ink prices in half, and HP’s new Edgeline Inkjets that boasts 70 laser-quality pages per second (albeit with costs beginning at $18,930). The biggest jolt to the current printing paradigm could come in Silverbrook’s Memjet technology, which threatens to leapfrog over the rest of the business. It offers 60 pages per minute in a price between $200-$300.
While the myth of the paperless office never came to pass, we may be looking at a fresh print-on-demand revolution fueled by material sharing tools such as Scribd.
As Guttenberg introduced his printing press, did he envision the sprawling media and informed public he’d help create? Today, we can readily project ourselves to the future to easily imagine a fabbed universe where you are able to print anything. It does not require an Isaac Asimov to picture a day when you can print any book or book on your desktop faster than it would require you to drive to the store and get a copy.
Thus, keep your printer occupied and happy and remember: While the near future will most likely not be paperless, you likely won’t have to wait very long to print out anything, even a brand new iPod. Get more information