When we were in Laguna Beach, California about 12 years ago, we stumbled upon a Dr. Seuss collection in a fine art gallery. Bob said they were just selling inkjet prints. But “No,” said the salesman, “it’s a Giclee.” “Giclee” is French, the verb form means “to squirt,” which is what inkjet printers do. (They put it in French to spray the buyers.) So we can “Giclee” a lot of copies of any print, but if you want it on canvas and wide, the inkjet printer that can do that costs about $5,000. That was the price for a Hewlett Packard inkjet printer we first saw in Pasadena a dozen years ago. You could print on paper or canvas and [...]
Remember the “Replicator” in Star Trek? It would reproduce anything from guns to butter. Well, we’re on our way to replicating what no one has replicated before: 3D printers are coming. Right now, the “MakerBot Replicator” sells for $1800 to $2000, which is what desktop printers cost in their early days.
We’re not big on all-in-one office machines – which are a combination of printer, fax machine and scanner in one unit. But there’s a new one coming out later this year from HP that beats anything we’ve seen so far. It adds a fourth component, a detachable seven-inch tablet computer that’s sort of like an iPad. Take it with you and surf the Internet, listen to music , read ebooks or answer your email. Critics note that the tablet is confined to using Yahoo! mail, photos and other Yahoo-branded stuff, so it’s very much a closed system, not a full-featured tablet computer. It runs on the Android operating system, however, so it shouldn’t be long after it appears that some [...]
Bob was more than mildly astonished when he went to our local office supply store and found that a set of four refill cartridges for his Canon color inkjet printer cost $60. Instead of buying, he went home, went on the Internet, and ordered a set for $15 from an unauthorized supplier. He just picked the first supplier on the list that had good customer comments. A few days later he got two full sets of ink cartridges in the mail – eight in all. Let’s work this out: That was the equivalent of two $60 sets from Canon, which would have cost $120. So the $15 for two sets from an outside supplier cost just one-eighth as much, or12 [...]