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Printer Hardware

New IBM Ultra Fast Printer 277

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the only-a-half-a-millionbucks dept.
avxo writes "CNN/Money is reporting on a new IBM printer, that can print Tolstoy's "War and Peace" in less than a minute, by delegating pagination to a separate unit." Fully loaded it runs a million bucks. Plus the 330 pages it can print in a single minute is probably triple the pages I printed so far in 2005. I'm probably not the target audience *grin*
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New IBM Ultra Fast Printer

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  • FYI (Score:4, Interesting)

    by IamGarageGuy 2 (687655) on Sunday September 11, 2005 @10:46AM (#13531433) Journal
    This is IBM's foray into the market that is dominated by the Xerox Docutech's. The Printing industry is moving toward Print on Demand. The concept is instead of a run of ten thousand books, it will print a single book as opposed to setting up a traditional printing press with minimum run lengths.
  • Re:head spinning (Score:2, Interesting)

    by RevengeOfPoopJuggler (872968) on Sunday September 11, 2005 @10:52AM (#13531477) Journal
    Since nobody reads literature anymore, would anyone really notice those 1000 missing pages?
  • by CyricZ (887944) on Sunday September 11, 2005 @10:58AM (#13531517)
    Printers these fast are often quite dangerous. A mistake can often be very costly and disruptive.

    For instance, we had a new coder working on one of our projects. We had an array of fast laserjet printers, but even then they were nowhere near this fast. In any case, our new coder somehow managed to dump our entire codebase out to the printers. So out go 15 million lines of COBOL and C to our array of printers.

    The coder doesn't realize what is happening at first. We estimated that about 200000 sheets of paper were printed before he got a call from the printing room asking him if there was a problem. After realizing that there was, and being unable to cancel the print job, he was at a loss. They couldn't just pull the plug on the printer array, as it'd take a day just to get the system back online. Eventually somebody was able to stop it, but it wasn't until after nearly 600000 sheets of paper had been wasted.

    Indeed, printers these fast can be extremely useful, but when massive amounts of data are accidentally printed on them, the paper (and thus financial) losses can be extreme.

  • by cms108 (96258) on Sunday September 11, 2005 @11:11AM (#13531581)
    From the IBM website.


    "Print at up to 330 linear feet (100.6 m) per minute (1,440 2-up duplex letter impressions or 1,354 2-up A4 duplex impressions)"


    So doesn't that work out at 2,880 pages per minute?

  • by woah (781250) on Sunday September 11, 2005 @11:18AM (#13531612)
    What people haven't realised when making these predictions is that printing technology would evolve in similar fashion and at similar rate as computing.
  • by way2trivial (601132) on Sunday September 11, 2005 @12:18PM (#13531975) Homepage Journal
    Um, print the first 50 pages on printer #1
    print the 2nd 50 on printer #2
    etc-- when done, put output from printer#1 on top of output from printer #2

  • by stevelinton (4044) <sal@dcs.st-and.ac.uk> on Sunday September 11, 2005 @12:26PM (#13532017) Homepage
    I suspect you're describing a standard line printer. We had one of these at my secondary school. It's not quite as you put it. There is a solid drum, with 132 copies of every character. On the other side of the paper is an array of 132 flat hammers. Somewhere there is a ribbon as wide as the paper with ink on it. Now to print an A in column 5 you wait until the A's (132 of them) are next to the paper and the fire the hammer in column five (and any other column that needs an A). A moment later you fire all the hammers for Bs and so on. Once every drum rotation you move the paper on. It was very noisy and also very prone to catch fire.
  • by johnw (3725) on Sunday September 11, 2005 @12:34PM (#13532070)
    Not as funny a question as it might sound.

    I recall watching a similarly fast printer (printing phone bills in a Milan telephone exchange as it happens) and keeping it supplied with paper was a full time job for two people. The paper was effectively ordinary fanfold in the usual size of boxes. One person was continually glueing a new box onto the input end whilst another removed box-sized chunks from the other end. The machine was too fast for the paper to re-stack under gravity, so flappy paddle things pushed it down into a stack and an automatic guillotine cut off the stack when it reached a suitable size.

    It would have made my code listings a lot faster, but I wasn't allowed to use it.

    John
  • by nganju (821034) on Sunday September 11, 2005 @12:52PM (#13532183)

    15 million lines of code / 600,000 sheets = 25 lines per page? And you're saying the job wasn't even complete at 600,000 pages, so supposedly there were even fewer lines per page?

    Either your font size was ridiculous or you need to check your math.
  • by Hollinger (16202) <michael@h[ ]inger.net ['oll' in gap]> on Sunday September 11, 2005 @12:53PM (#13532191) Homepage Journal
    Hey, remember this is IBM, not HP or Lexmark. :-)

    As I posted earlier, its a 1440 ppm printer:
    Print at up to 330 linear feet (100.6 m) per minute (1,440 2-up duplex letter impressions or 1,354 2-up A4 duplex impressions). - IBM [ibm.com]

    That works out to be about 4.364 pages per foot. With that in mind, the cheapest box of toner costs $437.48, according to the supplies page [ibm.com]. That carton contains 4 cassettes, each of which is capable of 100,000 feet.
    4 x 100,000 x 4.364 = 1,745,600 pages @ $437.48 in toner, or $0.00025 per page. :-)

    Of course, that fails to include other consumables, all of which I imagine are important, but I'm replying to a joke poster so I'm sure you all get my point and simply don't care. ;-)

    ~ Mike
  • Re:Paperless office (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TheWickedKingJeremy (578077) on Sunday September 11, 2005 @03:15PM (#13532966) Homepage
    Despite the fact that some (not all) of trees used for paper-making comes from tree farms, there are still problems with the paper industry as a whole. Here are a few paragraphs from an, IMO, interesting article:

    Paper Made from Timber

    Think bundling your newspapers is "messy"? Not when compared with the process of making paper from virgin timber. While modern paper recycling mills can be designed to operate without producing any hazardous air or water pollution and virtually no hazardous wastes,[16] the virgin pulp and paper industry is one of the world's largest generators of toxic air pollutants, surface water pollution, sludge, and solid wastes. A recent assessment of the virgin timber-based papermaking industry concluded that reducing hazardous discharges at paper mills worldwide to safe levels would cost $27 billion.[17] Indeed, the timber industry has in all likelihood wiped out more habitat and more species per unit of production than has any other industry. Most Americans associate virgin paper mills with both the destruction of resident-species habitat and the contamination of streams and rivers with chlorinated dioxins and other pollutants. But the fact is these mills are also major sources of a wide variety of hazardous air and water pollutants, odors, solid waste, contaminated sludge, and water discoloring agents. Besides their well known, often unbearable emissions of sulfur compounds (causing an odor resembling rotten eggs), pulp and paper mills are classified under U.S. federal law as generators of "significant quantities of Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) chlorinated and non-chlorinated. Some of these pollutants are considered to be carcinogenic, and all can cause toxic health effects following exposure. Most of the organic HAPs emitted from this industry also are classified as volatile organic compounds which participate in photochemical reactions in the atmosphere to produce ozone, a contributor to photochemical smog."[18]

    Moreover, the virgin "pulp and paper industry is the largest industrial process water user in the United States. Approximately 1,551 billion gallons of wastewater are generated annually by pulp, paper, and paperboard manufacturers."[19] Water pollutants contained in these billions of gallons discharged into streams, rivers, and lakes by virgin paper manufacturers include a wide range of hazardous and conventional pollutants as well as volatile organic compounds, including chlorinated dioxins and furans, chloroform, absorbable organic halides [AOX], methylene chloride, trichlorophenols, and pentachlorophenols.[20]

    Processing rigid stands of timber into flexible, printable, smooth, glossy (or absorbent) paper requires an intensive chemical and mechanical effort after a tree is harvested. Once roads have been cut into the forest to get to the timber, it is transported to the mill, stockpiled, debarked, chipped, "cooked" in vats of chemicals, and turned into pulp and bleached mechanically and chemically. Then the pulp must be turned into paper or dried and shipped off to another mill. While paper can be recycled even at very large mills using fewer than a dozen nonhazardous chemicals and bleaching solutions that contain, for example, 99.5 percent water and 0.5 percent hydrogen peroxide (a concentration more diluted than the peroxide in your medicine cabinet),[21] most virgin pulp and paper is made using literally hundreds of highly corrosive and hazardous chemicals, including chlorine. As the EPA has documented, this presents enormous problems in reducing pollution from virgin paper mills because "elimination of dioxin, furan, chlorinated phenolics, and other chlorinated organics [can]...not be achieved unless all forms of chlorine-based bleaching are eliminated."[22] This is not expected to happen in the United States for quite some time. In addition, not all of the toxic pollutants discharged in the wastewater produced by virgin pulp and paper mills are currently regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, including certain congeners of dioxin and furans and a range of chlorinated phenols.

    Here is the source article [nrdc.org].

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