Tuesday, July 20th, 2010
A home printer allows for many benefits. Home users can readily print out any document from their computer desktop workspace. Be it for printing pictures from the Internet, a word-processed document, or even images saved on a portable disk or drive, owning a desktop printer has become essential in our society. This article will explain how desktop publishing made printing essential for home computer users both young and old at the end of the twentieth century.

The 1990s gave wave to a major home computer boom as computers became more affordable and woven into consumers everyday lives. While computers were already popular in most workplaces, they were finally part of most working class households. More buyer-friendly prices for home machines meant that more people could continue to do work at home. Often, working from home necessitated the creation of hard copies of documents that were worked on from desktop computers. Floppy disks and other storage media were not always that reliable; therefore, a hard copy backup document was strongly recommended. Printers were an essential tool for home users who more frequently incorporated technology and desktop publishing into their daily lives.

As more computers became integrated into working class homes, parents as well as their school-aged children could continue produce tangible evidence of their work from home. Many schools began to incorporate technology into instructional practices and even homework assignments and major projects. Printers became essential for students from kindergarten to twelfth grade, as graphics and documents could be printed out to meet the requirements for technology media-based projects. What is more, college students, who during this time were also becoming equipped with their own desktop or laptop machines, could now publish and print out term papers and additional reports at the student’s leisure. Students no longer had to worry about printing at crowded school libraries, and school faculty could hold them accountable for providing word-processed final copies of their lengthy term papers.

Although many of us take the ubiquity of the desktop printer for granted, it is important to look back at the origins of the desktop printer and how it has become integrated into our increasingly technologically literate culture. Printers allow for the creation of hard copies of documents that could otherwise be lost due to faulty technology. In similar ways, they allow for both students and adults alike to be responsible for continuing their work from home and providing evidence for the work they have performed outside of office hours. The convenience of home printing has certainly allowed for increased productivity in many work places.

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