Printing volume is inversely proportional to computer savvy.

I’m an IT guy and I work with a bunch of non-IT people, and the only reason I noticed this is that I’m sitting near the printer.

Me: I’m no guru or anything, but I’ve been known to get my code on. I went for 6 months without even connecting to a printer.

Moderate Computer Illiterate: Prints 2-5 times/day.

King Computer Illiterate: I swear that guy is printing pages at a time, everyday, every 15 minutes. No exageration. I’m not a “save the rainforests” person, but I’m rethinking that now.

That’s another pet-peeve of mine. My parents will print out funny emails they get and hand them to me when I visit. Hello? I have about 37 email addresses, pick one and forward baby. Hey, I just kind of proved my point!

Ah, here he comes again!

KCI: “Why is this damn printer always out of toner?!”
Me: “Dunno. Maybe you should call Lexmark.”
KCI: “What’s their phone number?”
Me: “I don’t know, check out their webpage”
KCI: “Good idea. I can find the number and print it out”


You are absolutely right, I never heard anyone else discuss this.

Another programmer I work and I pride ourselves on the fact that neither of us have working printers. We’ve even debugged printer related issues without printing. For some reason we take it as a source of pride. No one else has noticed that we can’t print.

It’s not a tree thing for me, either. I have a working chainsaw.

I have definitely observed this also. I used to have a boss (working for a computer company) that literally had his secretary print his email, then type his responses. Completely ridiculous. I don’t even want to get started on my mother, the color printer, and Martha Stewart food pornography.

Um, isn’t that how laser printers do it?

Eh, I suppose it depends on what you’re doing, doesn’t it? I mean, I don’t write a lot of code, but I don’t debug with the aid of the printer and a pen when I do write code. On the other hand, now that I’m writing my dissertation, I find it’s far far better to print out the chapter and mark it up then it is to just look at it and decide if I like it as is or not.

I should have put in some wildly exagerated number like 1000 in that sentence, but when I was typing I was thinking was :

printing PAGES! at a time.
:eek: pages:eek:

This is entirely true. I have not had a printer at home… hooked up… since 1992.

I don’t know if “literacy” is the connection here. Some people just find it easier to organize and deal with paper, some are more comfortable with electronic data.

I normally don’t like paper, but I’ve been printing out a lot of scientific journal articles lately. On screen I can only see 2/3 of a page at a time. I can spread several printouts on my desk and scribble on them with pencil.

This is probably true for a lot of people at home, but maybe not necessarily at the office. After all, in my case, my knowledge of the inner workings of the university database have little effect on the “need” for my boss to have every report done in quadruplicate.

Having said that…I haven’t had a home printer since 1994 either.


I can code quite nicely (IMHO), but still print many non-code things. Project plans, meeting agendas, and code snippets for discussion come to mind. In addition, from time to time I print hard copies of e-mails that might be politically sensitive, both sent and received, just in case I need to refer to them at a later date and I accidentally deleted them.

I think that the correlation between printing volume and computer savvy is weak at best.

I always print whilst coding, and I am by no means a poor programmer. I just don’t like reading off a monitor if I can help it, as soon as someone produces an incident light diplay giving 400dpi resolution I’ll stop using the printer.
Cheers, Bippy

Is that like blue lights on cop cars? Or firetruck lights? Or red-lights? (ROOOOOOOOXxxxanne!)

I kid because I love. :wink:

I think the tendency to print more information may have more to do with the novelty or the newness of a computer/printer ensemble, though usually this tendency comes with one being a novice to computers anyway.

When I first got a color inkjet printer (HP DeskJet 550) I went crazy with it, thinking how cool it was to finally be able to print in color and get good results (I had a Citizen dot matrix printer that could print in color but the results were unsatisfactory). I had downloaded several raytrace graphics from BBS systems and I printed all these out and put them in a notebook. I also printed out all the jokes and other funny stuff that was available online at the time. I printed out my monthly spreadsheets that showed how much I earned and spent and saved that month, complete with bar charts. Once I got on AOL in 1994 I was printing all my email to store in a notebook and read later (which I hardly ever actually did).

I quickly realized that printing all this information was a waste of time and resources, and most of the pictures I download I just view on the screen along with most of the text files that I save (I don’t bother saving most HTML pages like I used to). I still have printers (An HP LasrJet 6L and a DeskJet 940) but I use them more sparingly and for more practical purposes such as printing labels and jewel case inserts for my CDs as well as digital photos. If I printed everything I saved and downloaded since I got my first computer and printer I’d have consumed a whole national forest by now.

      • Yea, my mom is always complaining because she doesn’t want to learn how to do real screen captures, but she gets on MSN forums and then tries to print stuff, and MSN has it set so that if you try to print normally with the browser, all it prints is the ads–not the content of the messages or (images sent in) Hotmail emails…
  • My inkjet printer dries out twice a year from me not printing more than maybe a dozen pages or so every six months (the color cartridge died last week again). So I pay $120 a year to keep a $70 inkjet printer ready to print $5 worth of pages. What can ya do? A color laser is $1000+…

If it wasn’t for MapQuest and various “print 'em and bring 'em into the store” coupons, I’m not sure I’d use my printer either. Here at work, though, I see people printing out e-mails all the time. Puzzles the fuck out of me, it does.

Oh, I also had to print some tax forms since Hawaii wouldn’t let me submit my state return electronically.

When it comes to printing, I’m a real black/white contrast.

At home, I’m like DougC - I try to remember to print something now and then just to keep the ink from clogging. At work, I consume about half a ream of paper per day as everything I do needs to be filed in hard copy for audit retention.

FDIC and SEC regs…bah! Paperless office…hah!

Well that makes sense. Theres a distinction between things you HAVE to print out, and printing because you don’t understand copy/paste, save as, forwarding, creating new folders (gasp) for organization, etc.

Gah, you had me worried that I had used the wrong term (or spelt the term I meant wrongly). But incident light is the correct physics term for light falling onto a surface. As opposed to a monitor which generates its own light.