… daisywheel printers?
Peter Beens recently sent me this image asking if it was OK to recycle the magazine.
Looking closely at the cover reveals that this magazine was from 1984. I’m guessing that it’s probably safe to let it go. We’re all doing a little cleanout these days.
I can say that I definitely never owned one of these. But, we did have at least one of them in the Practice Office which was located across the hall and down one room from my room at school.
It was an interesting process – if you look at the wheel in the magazine cover, there were essentially little keys in a circular arrangement. When you wanted a letter, it would spin to the appropriate key and then a little hammer would smack it onto a ribbon and then your paper. Every letter, upper and lower case, and character had its own key. I could sit there and watch it spin and print for hours! And that was pretty much all that it would do. No graphics – unless ASCII graphics counted. It was suprisingly fast. Ours were, if I remember correctly, unidirectional whereas there were more expensive ones that printed in both directions and so were faster. You could send a code to print boldly which basically meant print the same letter a couple of times.
Like any typewriter, they’d have to be cleaned periodically. I recall using toothbrushes for the task. Their big claim to fame was speed and quality of the output. (just like a typewriter!) Their lifespan was pretty short as dot matrix printers came along with good quality, lower prices, and networking capability.
For a Sunday, your thoughts…
- did you ever own a daisy wheel printer?
- can you imagine a piece of office equipment that would make more noise?
- what was your first printer – at school, at work, and at home?
- how important is print quality to you?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below. “I’ve never heard of this before” is an OK answer too!
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