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Compared to a year or two ago, I find I'm printing ...

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much less this year than then.
  6954 votes / 24%
a bit less this year than then.
  4018 votes / 14%
approximately the same as then.
  7406 votes / 26%
a bit more this year than then.
  1594 votes / 5%
much more this year than then.
  1282 votes / 4%
I don't own a printer -- you can't grep a dead tree.
  6805 votes / 24%
28059 total votes.
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  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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Compared to a year or two ago, I find I'm printing ...

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  • But you can grep a first print.

    • by Hojima (1228978) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @11:45PM (#35354070)

      How could you be so environmentally unconscious!? I never print anything unless it's on the skin of an endangered animal with lead paint on a printer that runs on coal. When I finish, I burn the remains, generally taking an acre of pristine rain forest with it (you can't be too safe about protecting your privacy).

  • by cmholm (69081) <> on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @10:49PM (#35353836) Homepage Journal

    Although virtual screens helped in the past, what's really cut back my paper consumption has been the added real estate from dual monitors (a 19" + 17"). About the only time I print anything out is when 1) my PM is having a meeting (he's very hard copy-oriented), and 2) when I've got a function I really need some time to puzzle over with a red pen.

    • by rcpitt (711863) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @11:30PM (#35354016) Homepage Journal
      I saved some paper with 2 monitors - but with 4 I save so much I've almost saved the cost of one of them.

      Richard's paperless office evolution rule: The paperless office will not properly evolve until the user's screen real estate is larger than their desk real estate.

      • Coupled with that sentiment is the problem of portability: your electronic desk may be bigger than your real desk, but it's not going anywhere either. Tablets make information portable; before viable e-tablets, printing was often done just so you could take information to a meeting. So long as I can get info onto my iPad, I much prefer taking one slim device around the office than "wait a minute, I have to print a copy of that..."

        • I've been doing that since I had a Treo 180. Mind you it required a lot more effort back then, I had to carry around a USB cable and a quick-sync utility on a USB flash drive (or even a floppy disk in the earlier days!) and I had to watch the grand total of 16MB of storage carefully. then when I got a Treo 650, I could pull out its folding SD-USB card and plug the USB connector straight into a PC to load documents onto it, and with a couple of gigabytes of storage I didn't have to watch it too carefully. An

        • I just duct taped a pocket projector to my iPad so I can shine whatever I'm doing on the nearest wall.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126)

        I mainly print when I need to refer to something away form the computer, e.g. datasheets when making some electronics or instructions for hobby techniques. I am looking to reduce the amount of that I do by having a small PC and monitor at my workbench, but space for a screen is a bit limited because of all the component draws and equipment I have there. Paper can be placed flat on the desk and the thing I am working on placed on top of it if needs be. If it gets damaged then no problem as it is only a sheet

    • Nice insight here. I also have gone to a 2 monitor setup with a 1920x1080 and 1280x1024 setup.

      I didn't even think about the opportunity cost of saved paper in my "investment"... Good point sir!

      • by ShakaUVM (157947)

        >>Nice insight here. I also have gone to a 2 monitor setup with a 1920x1080 and 1280x1024 setup.

        I've switched to an identical setup.

        But my main paper-savings come from more entities accepting documents sent online.

        Though I'm really not the best example... I didn't even own a printer up until 2005 or so. Didn't see the need.

        • by eleuthero (812560)
          It was a real win when the local title company accepted our digitally signed contracts for our recent home purchase. Hurrah for getting rid of paper.
          • It was a real win when the local title company accepted our digitally signed contracts for our recent home purchase. Hurrah for getting rid of paper.

            Don't tell anyone, but I signed the PDF for ours digitally -- i.e. editing the pdf they emailed me by pasting our signatures on it and emailing it back. I asked if they'd take a scanned copy, and they said "sure". Then again, maybe that's what you meant, but I assumed you meant a more formal "digital signing" than that, like the IRS's "pick a number, any number" system.

            Either way, as you say it's a real win, to save the hassle and extra time of FedEx-ing (if you're out of town) or personally couriering (i

        • identical setup eh with documents online?

          Should try a program called Grid Move []... I've used it in similar situations with the exact setup.

          I dare say it doubled my efficiency. (That is if your stuck on Windows, if your fortunate enough to jump into the Linux world, well that is quite a different story.)

      • by afidel (530433)
        3x 1280*1024 monitors, email or vcenter client on left, web(research) or documentation in center and whatever server I'm working on in the right one. At times I kind of want more but the amount of neck movement that would entail would probably counteract any efficiency gains.
        • I'd say get a big widescreen monitor. Neck turning is an issue and i myself was skeptical at first admiring 4:3 resolution... but there still is a lot to be said for a contiguous large center desktop[ with other monitor(s) to "throw" windows at].

          Having previously worked on a 3x1280x1024 setup before, the widescreen has me sold. (I never thought i would utter the words...)
          Either way you gotta love the multi-monitor setups one can achieve today :)

          • by Cederic (9623)

            I run a dual-widescreen setup at work, and normally a single high-res widescreen at home (although today at home I'm on my dual-4:3 home setup with a widescreen work laptop).

            Even with ADHD I tend not to need the screen real estate of three monitors these days, although certain tasks would certainly benefit from it.

            • I tend not to need the screen real estate of three monitors these days

              Agreed there... too much clutter can be bad.

              Personally though I would like to try using just one of those 30 inch 2560x1600 and teach myself only to have another monitor as "backup" for certain projects.


              • by Cederic (9623)

                Oddly that doesn't appeal to me.

                19" widescreen is at the top end of what fits comfortably into my vision, anything bigger and I have to turn my head to look - in which case I may as well have a different monitor there..

                The other factor is that for home use, I want a monitor I can run games on at the monitor's natural resolution. Running games at 2560x1600 with all the prettiness turned up would need a teensy bit more horsepower than I currently want to spend on a laptop (my main gaming machine).

    • by syousef (465911)

      Overpriced ink is going to kill me. Don't know quite where to go when my current printers (which are refillable) die. The newer ones tend to have tiny cartridges, chips to enforce using OEM cartridges and mechanics made to prevent refilling or continuous ink. I'm sorry but I can justify spending $0.40 per A4 print but I can't justify $5.

      On the other hand I can display my pictures on my wife's big screen tele. Guess which one wins.

    • ...when I've got a function I really need some time to puzzle over with a red pen.

      Too right. Damn kids these days - don't appreciate the value of bleeding all over a tractor-fed dot-matrix listing - far far away from the keyboard, where you have the luxury to actually think about the problem, instead of key in and try the first thing that pops into your head. Fast compile and test cycles aren't always a blessing.

  • by duplicitious (987818) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @10:51PM (#35353850)
    I never use cursive.
    • by rossdee (243626)

      Well if you're talking that sort of printing (with a pen) then I would be printing less also. They have kiosks at work for doing ADL's we started using the system just over 6 months ago. Of course theres still some 'paper' paperwork, hopefully the management will let us cut down on the duplication soon.

  • Never print at home... Have to print out a ton of crap I don't want to at work. More forms, and useless documents than ever before.

    • same as me at home, but home is also "at work" for me. since i didn't print more than 10 pages/year 2 years ago, i had to vote for "same". i abolished printing 10 years ago.

      just what would be the ton of crap at work?

    • by peragrin (659227)

      I stopped owning a printer at home when the inkjet cartridges would go bad before I used them up.

      fortunately at work we are so far flung that electronic forms are easier. email, a protected excel spreadsheets(since adobe forms are a pain) works better. Though several of the old time guys still print and keep a hard copy of everything they do, even they generally use email and scans to send out their information.

      So at work for 4 people I have three printers going through 7,000 sheets a month. And that is

  • Considerably less. A year ago I was working at a large check manufacturer running a printer that was pushing upwards of 20,000 sheets per shift. The few and far between papers that I have to actually print for school don't even compare.
  • Last year I printed nothing. This year, I printed a copy of the inspection report for the home I'm buying. I guess that counts as "more".

  • It's not that I choose to print more, but as the kids get older I'm starting to spool out more homework assignments, permission slips, study lists, etc. For those reasons alone, I've gone through a lot more paper recently than before. I'm glad I have a nice color laser so that at least I don't have to buy new ink cartridges when they inevitably dry up biweekly.

    • I was going to make a similar comment. There are a lot of different reasons why your printing rate might change. I think the intent of the poll is to get at whether people whose lives have not changed much in other aspects (same job, etc.) are keeping things more "paperless office" than before, but I'm in the position of simply not being a grad student anymore so I don't have tons of science journal papers to pore over, etc.

      • by xaxa (988988)

        I print more than before since I'm working on a different project, but the project is probably using less paper than it would have done a couple of years ago.

        Other than that, I print gig tickets and the occasional boarding pass. I don't own a printer, I print these at work.

        A couple of years ago I printed maps and recipes, but I use my phone or netbook for those now.

        Last week I printed a letter to my MP. I could have emailed, but I thought a letter would be taken more seriously.

    • by underqualified (1318035) on Wednesday March 02, 2011 @01:28AM (#35354500)
      Life changes indeed. I've printed more pages this year than all the previous years combined. I write firmware for a printer company now.
  • I print a bit more because the cost went down a lot.

    My old all-in-one, an HP Photosmart 2610, had a defect. A spring retaining clip for the cartridges was designed too close to the ribbon cable connecting to the print head, and can tear it. Rather common problem with that model, I understand. Also, the underside of the glass of the scanner had somehow fogged up, and it proved impossible to remove for cleaning.

    I would have preferred not replacing it, but other family members like having one. And not

    • I have 2 printers a samsung black & white laser ml2510 and a Hp scanner / printer a psc2175.
      The Samsung over the last 4 years or so has had the original cartridge refilled once £25 and about 2 years ago got a replacement cartridge again about 25 euro and an initial cost of about £60.

      The HP hasn't been used for printing for at least the last 18 months but does get used as a scanner fairly regularly. Yesterday I needed to print on thin card which my laser wouldn't take more than on

  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Wednesday March 02, 2011 @12:20AM (#35354222)

    Compared to a year or two ago? Not much has changed - I haven't printed much at all for easily 4-5 years; probably longer.

    If the question had been "compared to a DECADE ago", then I'd be able to say I print much less.

  • I can spend 5 minutes writing a least squares fitter that automagically filters out outliers peculiar to my data set...or I can print a plot and spend 10 seconds with a ruler and Mk 1 eyeball and get my answer.
  • Of course last year i bought the first printer i've owned since, well, since leaving home for college about fifteen years ago. I mainly bought it for the attached scanner so i could convert a lot of stuff from paper to digital, but since i've got it on hand it is convenient from time to time to print stuff out. I'd actually probably use it a lot more than i do now except that a couple months after getting the printer i got an Android phone, so now a lot of the time when i want to have something with me on t
  • If it weren't for the kids I might not have a printer. But now I might buy a colour laser to replace my $35 laser bought at a surplus sale. Still a 500 pack of paper can last 3 years. The only printer to catch my attention in the last decade was the memjet technology but it looks like some major printing company ate them to prevent the release of the best printing technology ever.

    Look for a memjet video and be prepared to be stunned.

    Bring me low cost ink and the memjet technology and I might re-integrat
    • Still a 500 pack of paper can last 3 years.

      And that is the great thing about laser printers, you can leave them for a long time (I think i've seen one go over a year without printing anything and come out fine), come back and print something with little to no hassle (sometimes a shake of the toner cart is needed).

      Inkjets OTOH have a habit of clogging beyond the point where the cleaning cycles can clean the nozzles out if left for too long. On a HP that means new cartridges on an epson it means a new printer (in theory it's possible to change out the

  • smashed my last SAMSUNG laser printer with a hammer after the PSU died for a second time, and only 100 pages. Bought an old Lexmark commercial Laser printer (AU$88) and I've printed twice as much, in duplex, through a network.

  • by pecosdave (536896) on Wednesday March 02, 2011 @02:46AM (#35354728) Homepage Journal

    I try not to print. Unfortunately I tend to have to for jobs. I actually printed something for myself this morning, a rebate form to get money back from a video card purchase, I can't recall the last time I printed for myself before then. Last years taxes maybe? Is that really for me?

    I actually bought this poster []. Not just the little one that comes in the book, but the real ordered from the website one.

    • While the poster contains some hyperbole, some of it is (sadly) true. I bought a more expensive laser printer over a cheap ink jet, after my previous ink jet did the "One color cartridge is expired, nothing B&W will print until you replace it" routine twice in a few months (and the colors were not sold separately, necessitating two separate three-packs of colors for the two I needed).

      Laser jet toner, fortunately, has a MUCH better shelf life, and if you shop around, you can get a good printer that is b

      • by pecosdave (536896)

        When I buy inkjet ink I buy the cheapest stuff I can find.

        I print so little that my ink usually drys and clogs the nozzles, it doesn't matter if it's brand new original manufacturer ink or refills/generic they clog in about the same amount of time.

        I sort of want one of those melted wax printers, they print beautifully and the ink can sit around without being used for years without a problem, you just have to wait a really long time for it to warm up. Seriously, what type of printer should a guy who only pri

        • An inexpensive Laser Jet. Go with a simple Brother B&W, get Duplex, Networking, Color, Scanning, etc. only if you need it. The toner will sit for months and still be fine, and is cheaper per page than ink. Hit up the Brother page to find the model you want, then Google to find the best price. Your local Staples or such may even have sales or floor models cheap. (Also, Craig's List, etc. if you want to get a second hand one...)

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      I get the sentiment. I also used to buy bottom-end cheap printers. Always problems with those guys. You get what you pay for!

      Currently in my office I have a HP OfficeJet Pro L7580 all-in-one printer, a fairly high-end printer as consumer retail models go. And I have to say I'm quite happy with it. Sheet feeder, scanner, fax, copier - it does the job well. Large ink cartridges, a couple thousand pages on before black is empty, longer for colour (which I hardly use). No problems with jams, as long as the in

  • I print them only for hardcopies to archive and for those who hates reading on screens.

  • I still find having a printer to be indispensable, but I definitely print less... but it's probably because I'm not longer a high-school teacher anymore :)

    I will say though that as a grad student, I'm definitely printing far less than I did in undergrad./

  • I have to review (and comment on) on average 500 pages of legal, engineering, due diligence documents, feasibility studies etc each week. I used to print these out double sided, 2 per side to bring to read during meetings, during flights and while on the road. But the ipad now changed all that. With apps like Goodreader and other MS office editor apps, my printing is down from about 150 sheets per week to less than 5.

    In fact, the ipad allows me to keep my pdf annotations; I can search through them, and send

  • The ink's dried up and it's too expensive to bother replacing for the amount it gets used.
    • I got pissed off with ink drying up too and for ages didn't have a functioning printer at home but I kept getting annoyed by the lack of one. If I want to print something (be it a map or a datasheet) I want to be able to do it then and there not wait until I can get to uni or my parents house. Also the printer in my office at uni doesn't do duplex (I do have access to a printer that does but given it's relatively slow it's still an annoyance).

      My solution was to buy a used kyocera FS3900DN for £100 fro

  • This year, I decided to print out my videos, 1 page per frame.

    And, depending on how tired I am and how fast my hands can move, I get quite decent framerates too - sometimes as much as 2fps ...

    Pity I get no sound, though
  • I didn't print much last year to begin with, so "a bit less" was all I could say. Hard to say "much less" when there isn't that much to lessen.

    Granted, the fact that I actually work for a printer company should probably make me a bit concerned by that...

    • by afidel (530433)
      Not as long as there's companies like mine. We have a floor full of accountants that put multiple printers through 1-1.5M pages in 18 months a few years ago. I think they've reduced their rate of paper usage but it's still insanely high by my standards. I print maybe a couple hundred pages a year and most of that's documentation that I want to read away from a computer (hike 5 miles then read for a couple hours then hike back is a great way to spend a summer day for me)
  • Since I hardly ever print anything, the ink cartridges in my printer get clogged and don't work anymore. $50 well spent.

    Nowadays I just use the printer at work on the rare occasions I do need to print. Probably less than 50 pages per year, for business and personal.

  • I use my home printer for one thing: printing on magazine paper or toner transfer paper for etching circuit boards. That's why I got the printer, in fact, because I haven't needed to print anything for years. The plotters are even further removed from putting ink on paper: they have high-power laser diodes where the pens used to be so they're burning material. Right now they're still just plotting designs on stuff but I'm hoping to get to the point where they can cut fabric and paper like a vinyl sign cu

  • I printed almost nothing last year. This year I bought a $100 laser printer and have printed off a few pages here and there, mostly homebrew beer labels.
  • I'm actively digitizing a lot of printed technical documents that I have. We have a sheet fed scanner at work that also doubles as a printer. I always find it amusing in a clown dying sort of way when I'm sitting there digitizing hundreds of pages and some schmuck prints out a copy of a digital book or something. Half the time no one ever comes to claim the printout. Sort of want to grab these people and yell "you're doing it wrong!!!!"

  • I haven't owned a printer in over 10 years but I wish I did every time I get an airline boarding pass in my email. Thankfully they can scan a phone screen these days.

  • Last option does not exclude previous ones:

    I do not own a printer, but I use one at work once in a while: reading papers is still more pleasant from a printout.

    Note to myself: request 3rd e-ink-based monitor at work.

  • I bought it thinking individual color ink cartridges would save me money in the long run, but at up to $12.99 a pop ($20.00 for black) it's killing me. Plus, the printer is buggier than the Amazon jungle. I think I'm going to try Kodak next. Any suggestions?
    • I hate my HP printer, too. Blows through ink cartridges, does not print square with the paper, and it is slow. I replaced it with a Lexmark all in one, which does have some flaws, but is a huge improvement over the HP.
  • and I'm not going into that again!
  • A couple of years ago I was still employed, Printing was mostly something I did for meetings. That's gone now.

    At home, most of my printing is maps and directions. Since getting a smart phone, I am trying not to do that.

  • I am convinced that this poll is simply an excuse for the editors to attempt to convince us that they know the difference between "then" and "than."
  • I work as a writer and I do the following to make sure there are no errors in my writing:

    1) Print and read to myself aloud
    2) Have OS X's speech feature read the article back to me
    3) Occasionally reread once again on the screen and/or print one more time on the reverse side of the previous paper

    Seeing it on paper forces my eyes to focus differently. I tend to find errors that I missed while looking at the display. I like walking around the room while I read it back to myself.

  • I've found that most organizations I deal with have, over time, gone from paper-only, to online documents formatted for paper being grudgingly offered online, to online documents formatted for reading online being the default choice.

    I finally got a smart phone, and discovered that, in situations in which I previously would have printed out a document to take with me, I can now read the document on my phone browser. For instance, in the past, if I were to do work on the inside of the case of my computer, I'd

  • Once I got a second monitor a few years ago I noticed that I printed significantly less. Once I was able to keep my code / notes / FAQs open in one window and work in another, the need to print anything for reference was significantly reduced.

    Moral of the story... save trees, dual flat screens for everyone!

    • by Bigbutt (65939)

      For coding, absolutely. Gaming too. I have four 23" flatscreens and it works great for having a PDF up on one monitor, the web browser up on another for O'Reilly Safari access, a third for my file system, and the fourth for an ssh session.


  • Lots of the print is pre-processed by shareware print drivers, 'fineprint' and 'pdfFactory'.

    Still print because my copy of vproof (proof-reader proggie) does not really work on the screen.

  • by lilo_booter (649045) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @06:56AM (#35367004)
    but my wife is on a mission to print the internet.
  • by DirkDaring (91233) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @11:49AM (#35369414)

    My kids are in grade school, and the use of the printer has skyrocketed. Ended up buying a HP Color Laserjet on clearance since the inkjets are so incredibly resource hogs with ink (not to mention the speed of printing).

  • by Bigbutt (65939)

    When I run my Shadowrun games (or others), I buy the PDF and move it into a wiki so I can highlight important parts but I still print out the module in case something happens with the computer or for maps and other handouts.

    Since three of us have iPads, I've been considering pushing out the handouts on the fly.


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