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Psyber Psychiatry, Commentary

Printing on the go

Portable printer, PDA, or WiFi: Which are right for you, and when?

Vol. 4, No. 4 / April 2005

You need a printout now, but you’re at a meeting, in a hotel, or at the hospital. What do you do?

Printers have become more compact and versatile, and numerous remote printing solutions exist with more on the way. This article reviews the options to help you print anytime, anywhere.

Portable printers

HP and Canon make inkjet printers that weigh approximately 4 lbs but are portable and compatible with most systems. These printers can be connected to your notebook via a USB or parallel port cable, or wirelessly with Bluetooth or infrared. Built with high-resolution inkjet nozzles, portable printers provide sharp printouts and can even print photos (although this can quickly drain their small ink cartridges).

By contrast, the Psyber Psychiatry, December 2003). WiFi makes printing from your hotel room relatively easy.

Psyber Psychiatry, December 2004).

First, make sure the program you used to create the document is compatible with the business center’s computers. Because most business centers use the free Adobe document reader, your best bet is to convert the file to Adobe PDF, which maintains its format. Use PDFCreator or PrimoPDF to convert the file; both are free and work on Windows computers. Mac users can download the Mac-Net Freeware PDF file creator.

The future

Imagine a pocket-size device that prints onto a blank page as you move it across.

PrintDreams is developing such a device using its random-movement printing technology (RMPT). PrintDreams reports that the scanning device can print any document with 100% accuracy, though it seems best suited to text. The device is still a year or two from reaching the mainstream; PrintDreams is licensing its technology to other printer manufacturers.

Also, don’t be surprised if cellular phones one day have the capability to print e-mail attachments using Bluetooth or general packet radio service (GPRS), a very fast data transfer protocol on a GSM network.


Dr. Luo reports no financial relationship with any company whose products are mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed by Dr. Luo in this column are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Current Psychiatry.

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