Printer ABC's

Printers are hardware devices that allow you to create a hard copy of a file. Today a printer is a necessary requirement for any home user and business. Allowing individuals to save their work in the format of paper instead of electronically. The standard length of Printer parallel cables is a maximum of 15 feet although there are 50 foot cables it is not recommended that these cables be used as it can create poor connection and data signals. USB cables have become mainstream and are rapidly replacing parallel cables due to USB's superior speed and ease of installation. The maximum length of a USB cable per the USB specification limits the length of a cable between full speed devices to 5 meters (a little under 16 feet 5 inches). For a low speed device the limit is 3 meters (9 feet 10 inches). Below is a listing of the various types of printers available. Commonly today the most recommended and used printer is the Ink Jet printer.


The following is a listing of the various types of printers available for computers.


The following is a listing of common characteristics to look for when looking to purchase computer printers. Additional information on purchasing printers can be found on our buying tips page.


Like monitors, printers are also rated by the type of resolution, which is measured in DPI or dots per square inch. Therefore a printer that may have 600 DPI is a printer that can print 600 x 600 per square inch or 360,000 dots per inch. Commonly you may notice when printing a page you may encounter jaggies that is a term often referred to text which you can noticeably tell has jagged edges to it. Because all printers print by a series of dots, printers that do not have high DPI ratings may encounter jaggies. However Hewlett Packard developed a method referred to as Resolution Enhancement. This technology allows Inkjet and laser printers to print small dots where jaggies are noticeable creating the look of a straight line. Other printer manufacturers have also developed similar technologies often referred to as edge enhancement.


Printer and computer fonts are generally used for entertaining and higher quality looks. The term font refers to the typeface used and what size that typeface is used at. Some of the basic typefaces are generally now included with the computer operating system, such as Times new roman available in bold, italic or underline. Originally computer printers required a special graphic font referred to as a bitmap font for each of the different typefaces available. Bitmap fonts required much more memory and generally were not stored on printers. If an individual wanted to load additional fonts onto his or her printer they could buy fonts as software referred to as soft fonts which used a special utility to load them to the printer or alternatively could purchase cartridges to load various amounts of fonts one at a time. Today there are few if any printer manufacturers which produce printers which require printer cartridges and now utilize scalable fonts. The original scalable font was the PostScript font from Adobe. Generally most PostScript printers are equipped with 39 basic fonts installed internally. However thousands of additional fonts are also available through Adobe Postscript page found on our network. A few years after PostScript was officially released Apple and Microsoft joined forces to develop TrueType. TrueType today is now integrated into each of the Microsoft Windows and Macintosh Operating Systems and is used extensively in desktop publishing.


Like computers Inkjet and Laser printers too also have memory allowing printer jobs to be stored while others may be completing. Having a large amount of memory or available buffer space available allows for computers to send that information and allowing the computer to continue working without being bogged down by having a print job running in the background. Memory is far less expensive than is used to be to produce so this has become less of an issue.