It took 60 days to print a single book in 1456.
Today, it would take less than 60 minutes to do just that.
Although the Chinese and Koreans have carried out some form of printing technology called the moveable wood blocks technique in the early 13th century, it was in 1456 that the Western World saw a more progressive printing technology. The pioneer who made it all possible was Johann Gutenberg, a jeweler who crafted a metal alloy that allows the casting of individual letters. The mirror images of the letters are grouped together into a matrix to produce a single page. The whole arrangement of letters is then applied with ink, and then paper is pressed against it. Gutenberg started his printing business by redesigning a winepress and turned it into the first printing press. And the first books that came out were 200 copies of the Holy Bible.
Six Hundred years later, printing has progressed several notches higher particularly with the development of laser printers. Printing could no longer be singled out to large printing presses of the type operating in Gutenberg time. Instead, the task of printing has been delegated with offices and even households through laser printers and inkjet printers. Thanks to the advent of desktop publishing; now with just a push of a few control panel buttons of a laser printer, an office personnel can produce hard copies of documents saved in the hard disk of a personal computer or laptop.
A typical example of a trusty color laser printer is the OKIDATA 3000 series that loads with a toner cartridge accessory to produce its fine prints. Instead of liquid ink as employed with inkjet printers, toner powder is loaded into cartridge cavities which in turn supplies toner during printing. This technology has therefore made printing so simple. At the onset, offset printers would charge exorbitant fees to produce several hundreds of documents. But then this is understandable considering all the requirements needed to initiate the printing process. Producing the final print of the document is not really intricate per se. And that is why the cost per page (CPP) for print jobs drops with every increase in copy requirement. But then again, this is hardly felt in laser printing since a single toner cartridge may have a rating of say over 3,000 pages that reduces CPP dramatically – even lower than the CPP of large offset printers. Whether an office requires 100 or 1000 printed pages, the CPP is therefore sustained. The OEM toner cartridge for the OKIDATA 3000 series costs $80, but given its yield of 3,000 pages at 5% coverage, the CPP should be affordable.
A growing number of laser printer users nowadays prefer to refill empty toner cartridges with the use of compatible toner supplied with third party manufactured consumables such as the Okidata C300 toner refill kit. Retailed for only $26.95, the cost of printing will definitely be reduced at this rate. Since no considerable difference in terms of print quality and yield is apparent between the OEM toner and compatible toner, using a refill kit is a practical option.