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(NBC News)   Want to know how idiotic American consumers are? We bought 20,000 dot matrix printers in 2012   (nbcnews.com) divider line 172
    More: Fail, Americans, cordless phone, dial-up Internet, Council of Economic Advisers, fax machines, Net Applications, public information officer, trauma surgeon  
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3286 clicks; posted to Geek » on 12 Jun 2013 at 2:54 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-12 01:54:11 PM  
I have one in my office, 2 more up here and 2 more at our other location.  Traction feed.  They are still used extensively in the business world, failmitter.
 
2013-06-12 02:02:29 PM  
Subby is an idiot who has probably never had a job outside of fast food or retail sales.
 
2013-06-12 02:04:05 PM  
I have a client with 3 of them- they are the only way to go if you have carbon paper multi sheet invoices.
 
2013-06-12 02:08:01 PM  

nekom: They are still used extensively in the business world, failmitter.


What business? Cobblery? Hat blocking?
 
2013-06-12 02:20:52 PM  

sigdiamond2000: nekom: They are still used extensively in the business world, failmitter.

What business? Cobblery? Hat blocking?


Ever fly on an airplane?  Most ticket counters use dot matrix printers (for a lot of legitimate reasons).

Also, as Dinki said, impact printing is pretty much the only way to go for multi-forms.
 
2013-06-12 02:29:44 PM  

sigdiamond2000: What business? Cobblery? Hat blocking?


I can specifically recall receiving a dox-matrix-printed receipt from a doctor's office and a mechanic in the last six months. Not exactly small niches.
 
2013-06-12 02:29:53 PM  
they are bulletproof they rarely break down .The ink in them lasts forever and doesn't dry out like inkjets.
 
2013-06-12 02:30:57 PM  
also dirt doesn't affect them too badly.
 
2013-06-12 02:32:48 PM  

sigdiamond2000: nekom: They are still used extensively in the business world, failmitter.

What business? Cobblery? Hat blocking?


Anything that requires official contracts with both typed information and handwritten signatures, often in triplicate.  If the state or federal government says you have to us a certain form, you have to use that form, and you need some sort of impact printer like a dot matrix or daisy wheel so that the typed information transfers through all layers of the document.
 
2013-06-12 02:33:16 PM  
Okidata 320's are tanks.
 
2013-06-12 02:38:27 PM  
Car rental places also use them.
 
2013-06-12 02:39:49 PM  
The deeper this article goes, the stupider it gets. Does this asshat have any familiarity whatsoever with the actual business world? Hm, maybe if I check his LinkedIn employment history...


Managing Editor, UGO.com at UGO NetworksSenior Director, Content Development at About.comManaging Editor at About.comSenior Editor at About.comComputing / Technology Editor at About.comElectronic Media Editor at National Jeweler MagazineAdjunct Instructor at John Jay CollegeInternet Consultant at Westmerchant Bank

Oh. Well, there you go.
 
2013-06-12 02:40:53 PM  
I think this thread isn't really going the way subby intended
 
2013-06-12 02:41:11 PM  
I thought we'd explained this last week in the 'why do airlines use dot matrix printers' thread
 
2013-06-12 02:48:37 PM  

sigdiamond2000: nekom: They are still used extensively in the business world, failmitter.

What business? Cobblery? Hat blocking?


Longwall coal mining machinery and belt drives mostly.  If you know of a better and more cost effective way to print packing slips on carbonless triplicate (no, can't just print 3, the signature needs to go through as well), I'd like to hear it.  I've seen traction feed dot matrix in many other offices in recent years as well.  It's not a dead technology.  We also have a fax machine.
 
2013-06-12 02:48:56 PM  
Dot Matrix was hot.
 
2013-06-12 02:59:09 PM  
Maybe it was just 10,000 geeks that wanted to do THIS
 
2013-06-12 02:59:41 PM  
I bet subby thinks we don't need fax machines either?
 
2013-06-12 02:59:43 PM  
But they're not the newest thing!  How can anyone use Not The Newest Thing?!
 
2013-06-12 03:00:04 PM  
i was expecting this thread to be full of people saying that anything on that list is great. VHS, Vinyl, pagers, on Fark you hear all sorts of crazy nonsense. "Oh the sound quality is much better!". Go away and take your super-human hearing with you.
 
2013-06-12 03:00:35 PM  

JerseyTim: Car rental places also use them.


As someone who just had to rent a car for an entire week while my vehicle was in the shop, I can confirm this.
 
2013-06-12 03:01:55 PM  

Dinki: I have a client with 3 of them- they are the only way to go if you have carbon paper multi sheet invoices.


Some daisy wheel printers have tractor feeds :P

/has a working daisy wheel printer, somewhere.
//no tractor feed, though; loads exactly like a typewriter.
 
2013-06-12 03:03:52 PM  
Let's see I can either use a dot matrix printer to print my work orders, or hand write the pre-printed tractor feed forms.  What should I do?  I've got it a Typewriter!

/Impact printing is not going away anytime soon.
 
2013-06-12 03:04:22 PM  

natgab: I bet subby thinks we don't need fax machines either?


I'd like to see Fax machines phased out, which is kind of already happening, but a lot that is done by fax could be done better by scanning and e-mail.  The problem is that Faxing is simpler right now - it's one step, put the document that you want to fax in, dial the number and hit send.

To scan and e-mail you have to scan the document, find the file, attach it, then e-mail it.  It's a minor extra step, but for places that send a lot of documents, it becomes noticeable.  I've noticed newer multipurpose printer/scanner/fax thingies have the capability to e-mail a document directly, so I'd like to see that feature used more often, it would effectively be as simple as a fax - put in the document, type in the e-mail address instead of the fax #, and send.  Of course, typing in e-mail addresses via a numerical keypad is a PITA, and getting someone to tell you their e-mail address over the phone leads to more potential typos ans misspellings than just getting a fax #.
 
2013-06-12 03:05:26 PM  

TuteTibiImperes: sigdiamond2000: nekom: They are still used extensively in the business world, failmitter.

What business? Cobblery? Hat blocking?

Anything that requires official contracts with both typed information and handwritten signatures, often in triplicate.  If the state or federal government says you have to us a certain form, you have to use that form, and you need some sort of impact printer like a dot matrix or daisy wheel so that the typed information transfers through all layers of the document.


As well as County and City government.
The probation and corrections system, etc.
 
2013-06-12 03:06:45 PM  

grokca: Dot Matrix was hot.


Well, duh!  If your into green skin, that is.
And fake people
With plastic hair


static.giantbomb.com
 
2013-06-12 03:07:00 PM  

Relatively Obscure: Dinki: I have a client with 3 of them- they are the only way to go if you have carbon paper multi sheet invoices.

Some daisy wheel printers have tractor feeds :P

/has a working daisy wheel printer, somewhere.
//no tractor feed, though; loads exactly like a typewriter.


I remember when the radio station I worked at in high school switched from an impact teletype, to a dot matrix teletype.  The relative silence of the dot matrix printer was wonderful.
 
2013-06-12 03:09:45 PM  

BizarreMan: Okidata 320's are tanks.


This.

And for many business uses nothing beats the wide continuous feed paper for printing out inventory lists, picking lists etc. The paper is far wider than letter paper so you can get more columns per page and the fact that they are continuous means pages don't get mixed up, lost etc.

?plus, as others have already said, there are many business and legal reasons to have a single document printed on three part paper that people can sign and have all three copies that you know are identical.
 
2013-06-12 03:10:10 PM  
24.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-06-12 03:10:25 PM  

grokca: Dot Matrix was hot.


fc08.deviantart.net
Yes. Yes, she was.
 
2013-06-12 03:13:11 PM  
FTA:in 2012 Americans bought approximately $7 million worth of new pagers, somewhere under 10,000 units.

A pager costs an average of $700?

I don't think so.
 
2013-06-12 03:15:29 PM  
Condescending article is condescending.
 
2013-06-12 03:16:44 PM  
Bye bye virgin alarm.
 
2013-06-12 03:17:00 PM  

cheesedog1: grokca: Dot Matrix was hot.

Well, duh!  If your into green skin, that is.
And fake people
With plastic hair


[static.giantbomb.com image 529x640]


I never really noticed the Egyptian influence before.
 
2013-06-12 03:18:30 PM  
Reason #1 for not upgrading from dot matrix: the systems to which they are attached do not have driver support for newer printers. Upgrading the printers would require upgrading the hardware which would require upgrading the software which would require retraining the employees, and so on. And for what?
 
2013-06-12 03:20:07 PM  

nekom: I have one in my office, 2 more up here and 2 more at our other location.  Traction feed.  They are still used extensively in the business world, failmitter.


done in 1
 
2013-06-12 03:22:23 PM  
Whatever the underlying reasons, these 12 timed-out technologies just refuse to die.

Pagers: However, many doctors and hospitals find pager networks more reliable, particularly in emergencies where cellular systems tend to go down.


Sounds like a pretty farking good reason to keep them around then, doesn't it?

Dot-matrix printers:

Already been covered.

PDAs: Steve Koenig told us that a number of vertical markets still use PDAs for data collection in places as diverse as warehouses and hospitals.

You know, places where you might not want someone using their internet-connected smartphone but rather a purpose-built, time-tested tool.

Landlines: According to CEA data, in 2012 Americans bought 5 million corded handsets and 21.5 million cordless models for a total of 26.5 million landline phones.

Want to know what those corded handsets over landlines can do? Let you make phone calls when the power is out and the cell tower is maxed out from all the douchebags who don't have a backup to their mobile.


I could go on, but why bother. The whole article is basically, "I don't have a need for this, therefore no one else should either." I'm surprised he didn't list flashlights and paper maps as well.
 
2013-06-12 03:23:43 PM  
I totally understand subby: "Well, I don't have anything that requires a dot matrix so anyone who uses one is an idiot."

/bought a new all-in-one printer this year.  Made sure it had a fax for the 1-2 times a year I need one.
 
2013-06-12 03:26:01 PM  
The tractor feed ones are great for alarm logs.  Big contiguous piece of paper, that keeps everything in nice chronological order.
 
2013-06-12 03:26:45 PM  
My movers just came to pack up and ship all of our household goods.  You need one copy for the moving company, one copy for the government, and one copy for me.  All three copies need to be exactly the same, and have signatures.  Yup, all of the information at the top of the sheet was printed with a dot-matrix printer.  The little bush airline I worked for up here actually used triplicate paper and a dot matrix printer, or even, *gasp* a typewriter.  Copy for the records, copy for the pilot, copy for the passenger/shipper.
 
2013-06-12 03:27:00 PM  
Several of the older mail inserters at my work have dot matrix printers. They still work, and are usually only turned on at the end of the job to get the summary report.
 
2013-06-12 03:27:57 PM  

grokca: Dot Matrix was hot.


Glitch, unzip!
 
2013-06-12 03:28:39 PM  
I have or use ten of those twelve things in my daily life.
I'll one-up the list. I use a pc at work with Windows 95. God knows what the dumb terminals run on.
You know what would be a superlong list? New stuff I don't have or need yet.
 
2013-06-12 03:31:10 PM  

natgab: I bet subby thinks we don't need fax machines either?


You know what?  We SHOULDN'T need fax machines.  There's nothing a fax machine can't do that a printer/scanner/copier with scan-to-email can't do, except satisfy some people who insist on using archaic technology.
 
2013-06-12 03:33:42 PM  

Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: Want to know what those corded handsets over landlines can do? Let you make phone calls when the power is out and the cell tower is maxed out from all the douchebags who don't have a backup to their mobile.



Time is running out on the c.o. powered landline. By 2020 the phone switches will be gone and you'd better have a ups in your house. You may still have a phone plugged into the wall, but it will be IP based.
 
2013-06-12 03:33:50 PM  

midigod: FTA:in 2012 Americans bought approximately $7 million worth of new pagers, somewhere under 10,000 units.

A pager costs an average of $700?

I don't think so.


Still amazes me in this day that people use pagers - I assume it's only people in hospitals, where even then a tablet with an IM client would be much more efficient (plus allow them to integrate directly into their medical records system)
 
2013-06-12 03:34:19 PM  

meanmutton: natgab: I bet subby thinks we don't need fax machines either?

You know what?  We SHOULDN'T need fax machines.  There's nothing a fax machine can't do that a printer/scanner/copier with scan-to-email can't do, except satisfy some people who insist on using archaic technology.


I'm with you there, personally.  I'll never part with our traction feed dot matrix printers, but if I had my way everything would be e-mail, faxes SHOULD be obsolete.   I've heard it said, however, that they are still used in the exciting world of medical transcripts, supposedly because they're more secure.

/We also have a mylar punch tape reader
//for an ancient CNC machine
///have used it once to reload the firmware.
 
2013-06-12 03:35:21 PM  

Dear Jerk: I have or use ten of those twelve things in my daily life.
I'll one-up the list. I use a pc at work with Windows 95. God knows what the dumb terminals run on.
You know what would be a superlong list? New stuff I don't have or need yet.


Okay, now, I get the dumb terminals and the dot matrix printers and the fax machines and pagers, but why in the world Win95?  The security holes are big enough to fit two Rosie O'Donnells through.
 
2013-06-12 03:37:21 PM  

meanmutton: You know what? We SHOULDN'T need fax machines. There's nothing a fax machine can't do that a printer/scanner/copier with scan-to-email can't do, except satisfy some people who insist on using archaic technology.


Other than send when the internet is down, guarantee transmission confirmation, give immediate notice of unsuccessful transmission, avoid spam filters, etc.
 
2013-06-12 03:39:29 PM  

Tom_Slick: I remember when the radio station I worked at in high school switched from an impact teletype, to a dot matrix teletype. The relative silence of the dot matrix printer was wonderful.


Yeah, they used to seem whisper quiet by comparison.
 
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