Copy Machine

Copy machines today come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes. They range between the hulking copying machines found in most business offices to the small personal copy machines that can fit on a desk (not to be confused with a scanner, which has a different basic function). In either case, the technology used is the same. The technology for copy machines has changed drastically since they were first produced commercially in the middle of the 20th century. Most recently, the advent of digital technology has been responsible for changing the way most modern copy machines work.

The first technology that could photocopy was invented in the late 1930’s, but copy machines were not produced on any commercial level until 1944, when it was bought by what is now the Xerox Corporation. The name Xerox has become synonymous with copy machines, for two reasons: The Xerox corporation produced the first commercial copy machines and they coined the technology that was used to photocopy “xerography.” Until the Xerox Corporation invested in copy machines, the common wisdom was that there would be no real market for them. When people talk about copying as “Xeroxing,” whether they know it or not, they’re actually using a correct term.

By the 1960’s, copiers were everywhere. The technology had advanced to the point that it was feasible for even small businesses to have copiers. As the market for them grew, the price shrank and new developments made them more efficient to use as well. These include paper made specifically made for copying, cheaper ink, and colored copying and printing, although the last feature sill isn’t present in many copy machines.

Most recently, “xerography” and many other method of copying, have been replaced with a digital system. The main advantage of digital photocopying is that digital copiers are able to perform the processes of copying and printing separately. When a digital copy machine copies something, the image it processes is stored in the copy machine’ memory, and the copy uses that memory to print. This development is hugely important when printing multiple copies, or especially when making multiple copies of different pages. Before, a page had to be scanned once for every copy made; digital copy machines (which are the only kid still made commercially) do away with this need.

Many people think of scanners as small copy machines, and this is technically correct; after all, scanners are machines that copy images. However, the process of scanners is fundamentally different, as their function is to copy that image and then transfer it to another medium, like a computer. Copy machines are meant to simply place an image onto new paper. Because this process doesn’t involve as many features as scanning does (such as zooming on the picture for a high-resolution image), copy machines usually work much faster. However, many new small copy machines are made with scanning technology, which is significantly cheaper. These machines are basically a scanner with a small printer attached. These also usually connect to a computer as well, and sometimes a fax machine, for a type of all-in-one portable system.

It is fairly easy to find a personal copy machine for home or home office use for under $200 USD. However, these typically aren’t nearly as efficient as office copiers for making a large amount of copies; the ink and paper used for them usually cost more, and the jobs aren’t done as fast. However, they are usually good for a relatively small amount of usage, because they are so inexpensive, and much smaller than full-sized office versions. Those full-sized models usually start at about $400, and can be more depending on the product an its features.

This Copy Machine Review is Written/Updated on Apr 4th, 2010 and filed under Computer Hardware. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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