Remember This? Dot Matrix Printer

The dot matrix printer is not really gone, but it's certainly persona non grata in the home these days, now that we have affordable (and quiet) inkjet and laser printers for consumer use. The dot matrix printer first appeared publicly in the early 1970's, and is an impact printer - so it's similar to a typewriter in that regard (remember those?). The dot matrix itself is just that - the printed characters are produced by pushing patterns of dots produced by tiny pins into an inked ribbon and then onto the paper. The print head passes across the paper being printed. Dot matrix printers can be quite fast (500 characters per second), rugged, and mechanically straightforward to repair. They are still pretty widely used in some environments, in particular where multi-part forms or carbon copies are needed - because the impact of the print process allows copies to be made (again, like a typewriter). But then there is the noise...

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