Mobile phone from the 1980sWe’re all aware of how many advances scientists make in such short spaces of time. The first mobile phone I had 15 years ago was only mobile in the sense that it was so big, if I put it into a wheelbarrow, I could move it around. Now, I’ve got a mobile phone so small that it gets easily lost behind a credit card in my jacket pocket. Back then, the only thing it could do was ring another telephone. Now, that’s probably the last thing I use my phone for because I’m busy emailing, texting or venturing through the World Wide Web. Or trying to find the little thing so I can do all those things!

And it seems that printing technology is no exception either. 20 years ago, printers were nearly all dot matrix printers. They might share a name with a Keanu Reeves sci-fi movie, but to compare the two, if The Matrix was a high-tech telephone, dot matrix printers were the equivalent of a carrier pigeon. They only printed out in black and white, couldn’t produce images other than letters, were noisy and time consuming. They used ink ribbons similar to those on old typewriters rather than ink cartridges. Printing off even just a short document would make a noise like you lived with the Daleks and would take about the same time as it took Phineas Fogg took to navigate the globe.

Now, we generally use inkjet printers or laser printers. We can print in colour, we can print images, we can print documents, we can photocopy, we can fax and we can email from them. They’re smaller, more versatile, more reliable, cheaper to run, more efficient, much quicker and so much more cost effective. They are easier to maintain, simpler to load the paper into and it is so much more straightforward to buy the ink cartridges and toners for them from

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