How do Inkjet Printers Work?

image: cdn-reichelt.de

 

The methods that revolve around inkjet printing originate from an older form of dot-matrix printers, in which several dozen needles are used to transfer ink onto paper and create letters and numbers using a series of dots.

Modern inkjets differ than the traditional dot printing in that rather than utilizing needles, hundreds of small guns are incorporated into the inkjet printer to shoot out dots of ink rather than pricking with needles. Unlike with dot-matrix printers, the dots of inkjet printers are so minuscule they cannot be easily noticed and blend seamlessly to the naked

Dot Matrix Print (sqa.org.uk)

eye. Depending on the type of printer, the ink is fired using various methods. With a Canon printer, the ink is heated to a temperature that causes the ink to fire in the shape of bubbles that adhere to the paper as opposed to the Epson printer, which uses electronic circuits. Electric currents inside the printer make tiny nearly microscopic crystals fire out ink by moving side to side. Although these both sound like fairly slow processes, shooting out millions of ink dots takes more than a few seconds at a time, which is why printers are known for shelling out our printed papers at a reasonably fast rate.

How does a printer know how to create the shapes of the letters and numbers you need?

image: Brother MFCJ6919DW (amazon.co.uk)

Your own computer is the brain behind how your papers get printed out – which is why if you disconnect your computer from your printer, it will immediately stop working.

Your computer sends signals to your printer telling it which specific shapes it needs to print out, and the printer subsequently moves its nozzles in a position that will allow it to create the necessary shapes. An inkjet printer is comprised of hundreds of thousands of nozzles with roughly one hundred being needed to create a single letter, number ect. Once the printer receives command from the computer, it activates the tiny nozzles which are being heated up by the printer resistor, which warms up the ink to a boil – the boiled ink is the key to creating both text and images with an inkjet printer; as the ink boils it bubbles and undergoes multiple mini explosions which then transfers the required ink to a specific dot on your printer paper. This entire process occurs at an astronomically fast rate as the ink cartridge, guided by the computer scans back and forth between the sheet of paper depositing ink as it goes.

 

Check out our wide selection of DISCOUNTED inkjet cartridges and see if we have your printer: 

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The Evolution of the Webcam

Although known today as being commonplace in society and a Must-Have when it comes to using a computer, not many people think of how webcams came to be, how they work or even where they came from.

How do Modern Webcams work?

The physical aspect of a webcam is no different than a typical camera in terms of structure – what really sets it apart is the software that enables it to connect to the web and web devices, most often through a USB port. Similar to a standard camera, light is captured through the lens which is comprised of light-detector grids that are part of an image sensing microchip. The image sensing microchip then converts the image within view into zeros and ones to achieve a digital format a computer is capable of interpreting. Specialized software is formulated to “capture” a frame in intervals (15 frames per second).

The ‘Coffee Cam’

Webcams have been around forever it feels like, but the first ideas leading up to the creation of the webcam can be dated back to 1991 at Cambridge University, where original purpose of the webcam was something completely out of the blue- to monitor the business coffee pot. Researchers decided to take it upon themselves to create a method in which they and others who worked in the same building could see if the coffee pot was full without having to walk down several flights of stairs to get their fix only to find the trip was pointless. In order to achieve this, they unknowingly laid out the groundwork for  the beginning concepts of the modern webcam today.

Installing it on a local network, the original ‘Coffee Cam’ was formatted to utilize a video capture card set up in a computer. Using the now outdated X Windows System for bitmap displays, researchers painstakingly drafted out the software while also writing the server. In short, the camera was wired to a computer which was linked into the building’s local network where static images revealing the status of the coffee pot were uploaded every second.

 

The success of this idea shortly after spiraled into the early stages of the webcam we know today, with the first webcam released to the public being the Quickcam in 1994:

The Quickcam | 1994

 

Being offered to the public for a pretty penny at $160 for black and white and $250 for color, the Quickcam represented the major starting point of the classic webcam format and the general public were crazy over the choppy, highly-pixelated videos they could now send to friends and family using the internet. Details included in the Quickcam were its overall 320×240-pixel resolution accompanied by a grayscale option that offered either 16 or 156 shades at either 60 or 15 frames per second depending on price.

Webcams have come a long way and are still essential parts of the computer usage experience which is why having a high quality one can make a world of a difference when communicating with family friends, or even business prospects. Check out our Logitech C525 Portable Webcam formatted with specialized auto focus that could take your webcam experience to a new level that your computer webcam cannot match:

Logitech C525 HD 720P Portable

Webcam with Autofocus

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How to Make Your Computer Faster

One of the best parts about purchasing a new computer is its snappy speed when you use it with almost instantaneous responses. Then, for seemingly no reason at all it gradually begins to deteriorate – accessing files isn’t immediate, opening files now takes a long time, ect. ect. If your computer has been lagging, before you jump to shelling out cash for a new one, use our tips here to boost your Mac or PC.

Why Do Computers Get Slower Over Time?

It’s important to understand how computers gradually become slower in the first place. Unfortunately, that honeymoon period where your computer will take you to a new website when you press enter with lightening speed will inevitably end as the years (or months if you’re unlucky) go on – but why?

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It’s not really about the Hardware. Most speed issues involving computers have less to do with hardware and more to do with software. In fact, it could likely be wagered that the hardware on your current computer is working just as well when you purchased it.

The culprit could be an excess amount of digital clutter that makes the drive work harder. Why? Often this digital clutter is scattered throughout the drive and not stored together, making your drive have to find the data that it needs. Additionally your computer accumulates programs and tasks that run in the background, and although individually they might not make too much an impact on the overall speed of your machine, over time the combined effect can really take a toll with each program or task using up a certain amount of your computers memory, CPU (central processing unit) cycles and hard disk space.

On the off chance that it is a Hardware issue, it is more than likely linked to dust accumulation that is hindering its overall performance. A key indicator that your laptop is crammed with dust is if the fan is constantly running or if the machine gets uncomfortably hot around the cooling fan unit. Why is dust and overheating a problem? Some modern processors are constructed to conduct deliberate reductions of the speed of the CPU. Depending on the type of compute or laptop you have, an easy fix would be to open it up and manually remove the dust. As methods vary between different styles and models, a quick Google search could do the trick.

Steps to Make Your Computer Faster

Now that we’ve gone over the causes, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. These steps will be dealing with software, as we have already gone over possible hardware issues (dust) and how to fix them.

Remove downloads

If you’re a relatively avid computer user, you have downloaded a file or two, used it and forgotten about it. Files that you have downloaded and not deleted after you got your use out of them are dead weight on your computer and are an easy to remove to speed things up a little.

Clean up your desktop

Although it’s convenient to have all the files you need within easy access on your desktop, each file needs an image, and each image takes up valuable memory from your computer.

windows.about.com

Limit the amount of files you have to no more than 10 and every few weeks do regular clean ups to keep your desktop tidy and in check. Extravagant images as your desktop background can also slow up your computer, so if you’re willing to swap out your artistic background (eating up memory from your computer) for one of the pre-installed monochromatic backgrounds, you’re in luck.

Restart your computer regularly

It can be a pain to restart and lose your network of windows and web tabs you have open, but restarting your computer at least once a day could actually make a significant impact on the speed of your computer. It stops unnecessary programs that are running in the background in your RAM taking up space.

Uninstall programs you don’t use

You may have programs on your computer that you once needed but no longer have any use for, or programs that came installed onto your computer when you initially purchased it. Both of these use tons of memory, so to uninstall them for PC users you can either manually go to your Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs (or Uninstall a Program) or utilize online tools like decrap.org for PCs or AppCleaner for Mac – these tools look through programs installed on your computer and identify possible unneeded ones that can be deleted.

Cut down on start up programs

A common complaint of those with slower computers is that they can make a cup of coffee in the amount of time it takes for their computer to start up. The reason behind this could be that you have too many apps loading upon logging into your account. An easy way to halt these apps from uploading for Mac users is to go to System Preferences > User & Groups > username > Login Items and then make sure the only programs checked are the ones that are absolutely necessary for you. For PC users go to Start > type msconfig in search bar > Startup tab > and you will be shown a list of all the programs that are started when you reboot your computer, proceed to select only the ones you need.

Store files and images you don’t need immediate access to elsewhere.

Whether it be pictures or reports from years ago, you don’t need every single document or memory immediately on your computer’s hard drive. Take advantage of USB Flash Drives and store memories or documents that you would like to keep without taking a hit to your computer speed. Invest in both a quality USB Drive in addition to an organized storage place to keep your USBs so you will know where certain files are located and what is in each USB.

See our USB ADATA Flashdrive that holds up to 32 GB of storage 

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