A very funny article on The Onion says that Apple’s newly crowned CEO Tim Cook is “thinking printers.” For those of us long-time in the Apple market, this is a very delicious joke.
Following the resignation of Apple founder Steve Jobs, incoming CEO Tim Cook called a meeting of shareholders and members of the press Thursday morning to announce that he envisioned printers as the company’s future. “Laser, ink-jet, double-sided, color, black-and-white—the future of technology is in printers. I am absolutely convinced of that,” Cook explained to a packed auditorium as a montage of printers and people using printers played on a screen behind him.
Perhaps current Apple customers don’t recall the company’s ancient imaging history. I know it’s never wise to explain a joke but here’s some context:
Apple created what was called desktop publishing and what is now is called printing. It combined typography, images and photographs. The release of the Macintosh Plus in 1986 combined with the Apple Laserwriter, one of the first laser printers on the market (1985), was the technology enabler.
Apple had a successful imaging division that made dot-matrix, inkjet and laser printers for the Mac and PCs. It was a big business.
When Steve Jobs introduced the NeXT computer in 1988, he also introduced the 400-dpi NeXT Laser Printer. Instead of a hardware rendering engine in the printer, the NeXT printer used the Display PostScript on the computer.
In addition to printers, Apple Imaging made digital cameras and scanners. However, after Jobs became CEO, he killed the Imaging division (among others).
So, here Tim Cook goes retro with an emphasis on hardcopy. Gotta love it.
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