Whether you are printing out documents or photos of Justin Bieber (we hope it’s the former) have you ever actually wondered when the very first printer was invented? Well, wonder no more as we take you on a whistle-stop tour of the history of the computer printer!

Way back in 1953 the very first computer printer was born, developed by Remington-Rand for use solely with the Univac computer. Some years later, in 1957, IBM invented the first dot matrix printer that printed by impact, similar to a typewriter. The 1970 Daisy Wheel printer used similar technology to print, using a hammer to strike a wheel with characters on each ‘petal’.

In 1938 Chester Carlson invented a type of dry printing press initially called electrophotography that was later renamed xerography. This invention became the basis for the technology we now know as the laser printer. In 1975 we were given the IBM 3800, the very first laser printer that allowed users to print text and graphics onto paper. Thanks to its laser beam technology the laser printer produced incredibly high quality copies that made it a popular choice.

1976 marked the invention of the inkjet printer – by propelling droplets of ink the inkjet printer creates digital images and is still, to this day, the most popular type of printer. Although it was invented in 1976 the inkjet printer was not marketed until 1988, although it came at a whopping price of $1000!!

2012 saw the invention of the 3D chocolate printer which, controlled via computer instructions, allows users to create their very own 3D treat!

Modern day computer Dell printers now offer a plethora of functions including scanning and copying capabilities and have truly become multifunctional machines. Thanks to developments in technology manufacturers were also able to offer printers at extremely reasonable prices. With development continuing, who knows, in a few more years our computer printers might even be able to offer us a cup of coffee with our copy.

The internet is the perfect place to do research for just about anything. It is especially helpful for researching a new computer to purchase. Most people would rather know what their options, instead of jumping in and buying the first thing they see. If this is the case for you, consider the tips below to help you in your research.

Tip 1: Read the user reviews

User reviews are helpful when looking to purchasing anything online. You can find a review on almost any product. Look for reviews on a specific laptop you’re interested in buying. Sometimes, you can find reviews that rave about companies holding a great laptop sale. You should jump on these reviews. It will help you discover if any of those laptops would be beneficial to you.

The best reviews are those that accompany the product. This means users have tested out the computer or they are currently using it. A great product review will have in-depth information regarding the computer’s performance, its pros and cons, and price value.

Tip 2: Look for online coupons

This is a great way to save money when purchasing a new computer. Some companies will have a coupon code box at the online checkout for you to use. Coupon sites will have up-to-date codes you can use. These offer consumers the opportunity to receive 10%, 15%, or more.

If you shop at a particular online site often, check to see if they are offering special deals on their computers. For instance, during most holidays, some online companies will offer users free shipping or a large discount. Usually, this depends on meeting a specific price limit.

Tip 3: Online reward programs

These programs are offered by many online businesses. Most often, preferred customers or those signed up for their newsletters will receive an offer to join a rewards program. These kinds of programs allow users to save points, or other means of rewards, and apply them to their purchases. Research a couple of different companies, and compare their rewards programs before signing up.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions before you purchase a computer. PC forums can help you decide whether a specific computer is worth the price you found. Sometimes, you can directly ask a moderator for help with the right type of computer to purchase. Also, read several forums and reviews before making a purchase. Having the comments and suggestions from several individuals will help round out your final decision.

dell9Netbooks are small, affordable, basic computers. They don’t run hot enough to warrant cooling solutions like the ones found in full size laptops. Or do they? This article in Tom’s Hardware is pretty interesting. I thought only Apple’s Macbooks are prone to these kind of freak accidents.

One Consumerist reader says her netbook nearly burnt her house down. Hannah said she unplugged her Dell Mini 9, brought it downstairs and laid it on the floor. Hannah says she heard a popping noise as the laptop began to hiss and sizzle while and the room started to fill up with smoke.

“Hi, last night I unplugged my laptop from its charger, carried it downstairs, and placed it on the wood floor of my living room.

I heard a loud popping sound and the room immediately filled with smoke while the laptop hissed and sizzled. It died down, I pushed it with my foot, and it stared hissing again. There is a large scorch mark on my floor.

It goes without saying, I am glad the laptop was not on my couch …or in an airplane.”

Hannah contacted the Consumerist who put her in touch with Dell. Dell paid to have the netbook FedExed to them and sent her a replacement, upgraded laptop for free. Dell said its Forensic Electrical Engineers had received the laptop but added that the company said it had no other information as to what may have caused the malfunction. The company promised it would sort things out, though.

“We take any report like this very seriously, and, as a matter of policy, our safety teams investigate thoroughly following any issue like this,” said Dell. “We will get to the bottom of this.”

The burn area seems to indicate an exploding battery. Hopefully this is just an isolated incident and not the start of a massive Dell battery recall.

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