While scrolling through Slashdot comments about KDE 3.5 release, I noticed a little bit of discussion about printing. The question was about how many people are actually printing anything these days.
That made me think a bit. I was one of the heaviest printer users back in college days. I had to do special arrangements with the sysadmin (read: slave labour) to get myself extra printing quota. I was printing probably 50 pages a day or so – everything I looked at on the web, was ending up as hard copy in a whole bunch of paper folders that I had.
There were reasons for me to print so much though. Search engines were pathetic, so finding the same thing again was close to impossible. Websites were coming and going all the time, so even if you could find the resource – there was absolutely no guarantee that it would have the content your were looking for archived anywhere. Mobile computing was a cool fantasy back than, especially inaccessible for students (pricewise). There were no services like Delicious that would allow to get your bookmarks easily from any computer connected to the web. Compact USB drives weren’t yet there, so moving files between computers wasn’t trivial. And so on and so forth.
Obviously, the best way to save information and move it around was to print it out.
During the last few years the technology progressed a lot. Especially mobile computing and networking. And web services. These take care of all my needs.
While I can still think of some computer users that would need the printing facility (accountants anyone?), I really cannot remember when was the last time I printed anything out. As a matter of fact, I gave away both of my printers (inkject and dot-matrix) that I had at home to someone else more than three years ago. For nothing. And two ot three last incarnations of my office workstation didn’t even have printing configured. So it must be about 4 or 5 years since my last printout.
What about you? Do you print anything at all? How often do you do that?