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laser toner cartridgesHome businesses have special requirements when it comes to choosing the right copier. You may need a machine that can copy high volumes of text on an ongoing basis or copy beautiful graphics for your next direct mail campaign—but you also need a machine that doesn’t take up a lot of space and doesn’t cost a lot when it comes to consumables. Here are a few things to consider when it comes to choosing a copier for your home business.

Consider the space. How much space do you have available for a copier? If you’re like a lot of people who run businesses out of their homes, the answer is probably not much. The rest of your family may have something to say about the enormous copier wedged into the dining room or the living room—because there wasn’t enough room for it in your office.

A large copier may not be the best thing for your home business, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a copier. There are plenty of brands out there that make desktop copiers that take up a small amount of space—but can still handle business-level copying tasks.

Consider the other equipment you need. Do you also need a printer, fax machine and scanner? If so, you’ll take up much less space if you buy an all-in-one machine that offers several different capabilities at once. There are all-in-ones out there that can copy, fax, print and scan relatively high volume documents with good photo and document quality.

Consider what you need it to do.
Do you need to copy photos or brochure-quality graphics? Do you need to copy extremely long documents, such as complicated business proposals? Or are your copying needs simpler? Many desktop copiers and all-in-one machines can’t conveniently handle large documents, so be sure you know a smaller machine’s capabilities before you buy it. Also, bear in mind inkjet copiers are much better for photo-quality graphics, while laser copiers are better for speed, ongoing cost efficiency and text copying.

Consider cost-effectiveness. Your copier doesn’t just need to fit your budget when you buy it. It’s also got to fit your overall budget on an ongoing basis. Many cheaper machines will break the bank when it comes to ink and toner costs. For a more cost-effective machine, try a laser copier—they cost more up front, but the cost of consumables tends to be less. Also research the cost of paper—especially if you’re copying a high volume of documents—and the amount of energy the machine uses, as some copiers can add noticeably to your electric bill.

Consider capacity. Chances are you don’t have time to feed individual sheets of a long document into the copier feeder. Depending on what you’re likely to need, look for a copier that has a paper capacity of at least 250 sheets—minimum. You should also consider buying a machine that can handle at least 30 sheets in its automatic document feeder.

Consider speed. You may not use your copier for several hours, several days or several weeks—depending on the size of your office and whether there are other employees there who have to copy documents. You don’t want to have to wait a long time for your copier to warm up every time you turn it on. Look for a copier that can warm up in ten seconds or less—as well as one that can copy relatively fast.

Consider duplexing. Do you need a copier that can also fold, staple, and arrange papers in a certain order as they’re being copied? This feature can save you a lot of time, if you’re regularly copying out complex documents that need to be collated in a certain way.

Not every copier is created equally when it comes to meeting the needs of home businesses. Be sure you know what your needs are when it comes to a copier—and look for a machine that can meet those needs in a cost-efficient way while not taking up too much space in your home. If you do, you should be able to find a copier that suits your requirements—and the requirements of your home business.



The History of Printing

by Pete on December 3, 2009

Free Pictures | acobox.comThe next time you are frustrated with the production of your printer, consider how far this technology has come. While you may be infuriated, having to wait several seconds for a slow printer, or you are tired of unclogging yet another paper jam, it has not always been so speedy and convenient to print images. From ancient times when printing began, until now, developments have occurred that allow printing to occur in an economical and efficient manner. The next time you are feeling miserable because your print job is taking forever, take a look back at the history of printing and consider yourself lucky.

Ancient Times

Printing more or less originated around the year 200 in China. Block printing was a primitive form of putting an image onto fabric. Prior to that, there were images pressed onto clay tablets, but few of those techniques were popular enough for wide use. Examples of the earliest wood block printing are from the Han Dynasty and feature silk fabric printed with flowers in three different colors. Block printing grew in popularity and the process spread throughout Islamic and European countries.

Advances in printing made between the 11th and 16thcenturies include the creation of movable type and the invention of the printing press. Movable type describes the use of movablepieces of metal to create images or letters on a surface. Originally, it was used in China with porcelain pieces, but was never widely popular due to the extensive number of Chinese characters. Midway through the 15thcentury, Johannes Gutenberg developed movable type technology in Europe. This development marked the beginning of European printing, which was far more durable and faster than woodblock.

The printing press is arguably the most important advancement in image duplication and printing. The printing press is a mechanical device that applies pressure to an inked surface. This pressure causes the image to transfer to the un-inked surface. During the Renaissance period, the use of the printing press spread throughout Europe and became the most used form of movable type printing.

The 1700′s

During the 18thcentury, lithography was developed. Invented by a Bavarian author named Aloys Senefelder, it enables people to print on a smooth surface. Chemicals are used to produce or change an image, and it is a practice still commonly used today.

Moving Forward

In the 19th century, printing processes continued to improve and develop. Mimeograph allowed for low cost, relatively speedy printing. The process forces ink through a stencil onto paper. Mimeograph was used well into the 20th century and was a common part of office and school workplaces. Photocopying has since replaced mimeograph, offering a less expensive and time consuming means for achieving a similar goal.

While there were ancient methods of coloring prints, including manually adding color to the print following the printing process, chromolithography enabled color to be added during the process. There is dispute over the creator of chromolithography. The process is typically time consuming and cumbersome, but at its inception, was considered a major development in the print industry.

One of the last developments in printing during the 19th century was hot metal typesetting. This process injects molten metal into a mold to create a shape. After it has formed and cooled, it is used to press ink onto a blank surface, creating a print. Hot metal typesetting was frequently used in the production of newspapers, a factor that kept the method in use for longer than it may otherwise have been.

Modern Printing

The beginning of the 20thcentury brought the development of screen-printing. This process uses woven mesh to support a stencil. A squeegee or roller moves across the surface, pressing the ink through the open areas of the mesh, creating a print on the blank surface. Archaic methods of screen-printing were seen in Japan where banana leaves were used in a similar way to the mesh. Modern screen-printing was created by Samuel Simon in 1907 in Europe.

It is during the middle of the 20th century we begin to see the beginnings of modern printing advances. The first photocopier appeared in 1960, introduced to the market by Xerox. This advance was the beginning of the end for many of the previous methods of printing. The thermal printer and laser printer were not far behind, allowing people to print from a networked system. On the heels of these initial printers, companies besides Xerox jumped in the game, realizing a printing revolution was in the works.

At that point, it became a matter of improving the quality of prints that came from the printer, and making them more efficient, more affordable, and more practical. Further printing developments included dot matrix, inkjet, and more recently, 3-D printers. Impressive transitions over the years have led to office and home printing efficiency.

The next time frustration gets the better of you, consider the early alternatives. Unjamming the printer is undoubtedly quicker than block printing your 150-page report!



Leasing a Copier: A Look at Your Options.

May 18, 2009

Office copiers can be expensive-and not every company has the cash to purchase a new copier.  If your business needs a copier but you’re not sure you can afford to buy, leasing may be a better option.  However, leasing isn’t always the best deal in the long run-and not every leasing agreement is beneficial to [...]

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Seven Copier Features You Can't Live Without

May 7, 2009

When you’re considering buying a new copier, the wide range of features available can be overwhelming-but worth sorting through, as some copier features can help you save considerable time and money.  Here’s an overview of some of the most useful features out there for office copiers. An automatic feeder. With an automatic document feeder, you [...]

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How to Save Energy When Printing and Copying

May 5, 2009

Printers and copiers use a lot of energy-and standby mode can be misleading. If you want to save energy while printing and copying, here are a few things to keep in mind. Saving Energy While Printing: Laser printers use more energy. Laser printers have a lot of advantages-including lightning speed and superior print quality. But [...]

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Seven Questions to Ask When Buying a Copier

March 11, 2009

Not all copiers are created equally. There are plenty of questions to ask when you’re considering buying one, from how the consumables will affect your budget to the type of capabilities and speed you need. Here are a few questions every business owner needs to ask before buying a new copier. What are you planning [...]

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