Revolutionary Influence of Modern-day Printers

Revolutionary Influence of Modern-day Printers

“You can’t have an industrial revolution, you can’t have democracies, you can’t have populations who can govern themselves until you have literacy. The printing press simply unlocked literacy” – Howard Rheingold. The printer has significantly changed the landscape for communication. From mass producing copies for a “lost dog” sign to producing a neatly-typed essay for a school assignment, the printer has become an integral part of our daily lives. The printer, a reading and writing technology, has transformed the way the average individual processes documents and information. The invention and evolution of the printer has brought forth influences that expand upon the social and cultural aspects of society.

The first invention of printers dates back a very long time, during the T’ang dynasty (618- 906) of China, when printing was done by woodblock printing.  This type of printing technique revolved around using ink on blocks to print images, text, or patterns. Unlike the pre-industrial age printers (woodblock printing), the modern-day printers are dependent upon a digital source. Modern-day printing can ultimately be traced to the Xerox company. “… A combination of photoconductivity and human ingenuity resulted in the first photocopier” (Gabrial 29). It was Chester Carlson, who experimented with a variety of components, to develop xerography  and sold it to Haloid Company of Rochester. This company later renamed themselves Xerox. Carlson was able to develop the process of Xerography by using India ink, a light bulb, and wax. This allowed him to recreate images, photocopies, of a printed page. The same principles that Carlson used to create the first photocopier, in 1956, are actually the same as those that were applied The photocopy was essentially the first fundamental function that came to be within a modern-day printer.

With the invention of computers, digital printing became quite popular. Individuals began printing via digital documents that were located on the computer. There are two basic principles that come into play when producing a particular document: writing software and writing hardware. The computer and printer combination resemble these principles. The writing software is used to write, and in this case, the computer is used to “write” a digital copy of a document. The writing hardware (printer) is used produce the writing into a real-world document. Printing via computer still uses the process of xerography. Information from the computer is transferred

Classmate #2’s Writing

Grammarly Keyboard – Type with confidence is one of the first google hits when looking it up. It is described as a cloud based english writing enhancement platform” It is available as an add on to the browser for most of the popular ones and it is said to look through and improve grammar across anything that one writes. Grammarly claims that if you use your computer to write anything (from facebook statuses to essays that you need As on) you need Grammarly. The advertisement is a good way to know what kind of audience the grammarly developers want to target – a key part about advertising is making the audience aware of something they lack and then proving to them that they’re product can fill this void. In order to do this, Grammarly focuses heavily on the motivations and insecurities of the audience and in their advertisement (that is very easily available as a preview to most youtube videos). There are several advertisements scattered around the web that display people writing everything from a wedding toast to students writing papers that receive A+’s due to grammarly’s work on editing semicolons, correcting active and passive voice, finding better words and checking for plagiarism. This essay will analyse the crucial role that grammar and writing plays in one’s self image, it will then analyse the “confidence” and other potential psychological effects of having apps such as grammarly available to check one’s writing

Personally, I have been using grammarly for a long time as I reply to over 80 emails a day for my job and when I am typing fast and thinking even faster, I tend to miss words and jump ahead without realizing However, when I make a typo, all 80 people in my organization see it. Hence, instead of spending time reading and rereading my work, I leave it to grammarly to tell me if there’s something that I need to correct.That said, heavy reliance on this app has shown me that I no longer pick up on mistakes I make as much – this is very interesting because sometimes I forget that I don’t have grammarly if I access my email from other computers and I don’t check my work as much as I inadvertently leave it to grammarly to figure it out for me.  .

Most writing instructors would agree that feedback is one of the most crucial parts of the process. In a study at Muhammadiyah Semarang University, Indonesia that showed there were significant differences between direct corrective feedback and indirect corrective feedback. Direct corrective feedback was shown to provide many benefits to the students writing performance. While grammarly was not used to provide direct feedback in this study, it falls within the bracket of direct feedback as it corrects one’s writing as they go while providing explanations and alternatives for the same. Now that we have established the role of direct feedback in writing, we can look at how Grammarly can be used in learning the english language.

In a study about ‘The impact of feedback provision by grammarly software and teachers on Learning passive structures by Iranians EFL learners’ researchers provided students with a grammar pre-test, post-test and and delayed post test in 6 sessions. They found that the teacher impacted the pre and post test more while grammarly affected the delayed post test more. There is data to prove that learning in long term memory takes place after allowing for dendritic spines to form new neural connections – when taken into account with this data, it shows that while teachers are better at impacting short term memory, Grammarly’s assistance is enhancing long term retention. This study also showed that Grammarly’s ability to provide feedback has a significant impact on retaining passive structures. In such a way, while Grammarly was originally introduced to provide assistance to a selective audience that relies on it to provide improvement, there is potential for widespread global academic impact.

In addition to this, a large part of writing is associated with one’s portrayal of themselves to the world and hence, their self image. This plays into the initial appeal for the advertisements that make the audience aware of their shortcomings as a writer especially the students who are always worried about syntax and plagiarism. This initial appeal is the foot in the door Grammarly needs before the software can eventually create a dependence by reducing one’s ability to proofread their own work. Hence, by diminishing one’s internal word check, grammarly creates a positive feedback loop to confirm the retention and potentially even upgrade to the higher version of the app with feedback on the free app stating: “2 free checks, 16 advanced mistakes” etc. This supplements the business and thus allows for profit from the initial free preview.

In such a way, Grammarly provides assistance in writing on multiple levels such as personal, academic, business and has potential for affecting how the english language is learned via provision of direct feedback.


Classmate #3’s Writing

Word Processing

Although manual writing using the paper, pencil, and pen has been popular for a long time, it is not efficient for mass production. Electronic writing, on the other hand, is efficient as it involves the use of improved writing technology. The error of mechanical writing was characterized by the introduction of a manual typewriter by Christopher Tatham and his friends in 1867. Due to the slow speed, an electronic version of the typewriter was introduced in the 1920s which not only enhanced speed but also gained acceptance in the market. Other tools like the Selectric and Flexowriters were created to help in the production of bulky paperwork. Later, a more effective form was developed that comprised the features of both the Selectric and a Magnetic tape. With the typewriter, work could be easily typed and edited without having to retype it. Thus the generation of the word processor as it is referred to today.

Basically, computers were invented to help in solving mathematical problems. Nevertheless, the development of the word processor was to solve the problems of the writers’ and not those of the mathematicians. Processing refers to the way of handling the office processes including composing, revising, printing, and even filing a written document. The process was first characterized by the development of a magnetic card that was slipped in a box attached to the typewriter in 1969. The card could record all the written information to allow editing after printing (Haas 64). In 1972, a similar word processor was developed by Lexistron and Linolex but with the ability to record a video. It was now possible to display the text on the screen and even edit it without having to produce a hard copy of the same.

The history of word processing can be categorized into three different phases. These are mechanical, electronic, and software ages. Mechanical tools are traced back to 1714 when Engineer Henry Mills developed a machine that was able to write clearly and accurately. Only that one could not distinguish its work from that of a printing press. In the late 1800s, the first typewriter by Christopher was developed. Due to its size, the machine was widely known as a literary piano by the Scientific American Magazine. These mechanical systems could not process the typed text beyond just changing the position of the already typed letterings. In the 1950s, machines that could actually process texts were developed. One could easily erase written characters in a rudimentary as the machine was articulated with special keys missing in the mechanical machine. The tapes were later replaced by the electronic card that was able to read and record the data being processed.

The final and most recent phase of word processing is the software. It was introduced in the market just before the arrival of the personal computers. The earliest of this kind was created in 1973 by Vydec. Vydec Word Processing, which was named after the developer was sold at the cost of $12,000 at that particular time. This was due to its unique ability to share content with a diskette and even print it. The characteristics of the software included an inbuilt diskette reader, table, and a printer. Others such as Apple, Xerox, and Microsoft were developed. More complex word processors were established leading to decrease prices due to the increase in the number of producers. In 1978, WordStar dominated the market as the computer owners started to accept it. However, in the mid-80s, it was replaced in the market by WordPerfect. With the continued popularity of the Windows Operating System, Microsoft Word became popular among the computer users.

There are standard characteristics that are considered present to most if not all word processors. These include the insert text feature that allows the user to input the text anywhere they need in the document. The deleted text is used in erasing the various characters in the form of words, sentences, or even pages. The cut and paste command allows the movement of a data from one place of the document and inserts it in another. Usually, the copy feature is used in duplicating a section or even the entire document. Thus, to allow the writer define the pages into different pages and margins, the word processor is fitted with page size and margin to automatically adjust the page and make it fit (Hoggatt et al. 16). For the search for a particular word or phrase, there is a search and replace feature that makes it easy to locate text in a document. Besides, it is possible to locate a word as many times as it appears in the entire document thus eliminating the cases of repetition. For those working on different but related documents, they are able to edit them while they appear in different screens. The windows make it possible while at the same time, the spell checking feature correct and highlight all the words that do not exist in a standard dictionary.

For the modern word processors, they as well include features such as that check grammar while the writer continues to type the text. The footnotes and cross-referencing enables one to number and reference other sections of the document. Graphics makes it possible to embed illustrations, videos, and graphs into a document. This can be done either directly on the word document or inserted from the programs. Through the collaboration element of the software, one can easily track changes made on a particular document; especially when different people have made the changes.  Finally, for numbering of the pages, the headers and footers are put in place.

Word processing is one of the most popular methods of writing. The software which is embedded in the computer is used in all sectors of human life. Socially, people can engage in direct communication with others, mainly through the use of the social media. Today, one can easily communicate with one another through the electronic devices where they key in their comment and send. Thus, the aspect of communication has become more efficient. Also, in the education and offices, it has become easier to prepare a printed document. Unlike in the past, one can easily duplicate as many copies as possible without necessarily having to undergo a tiring process. For the authors that write books and other literary works, it is possible to make changes in a document without having to redo the entire page or book. With the increase in technology, writing has become easier and more enjoyable, as well as safe (Rogers). This is because the word processor provides the user with the feature that enables one to save the work while still typing it. As a result, history continues to change as more people tend to adopt the new ways of preparing documents and later printing them.

Works Cited

Haas, Christina. Writing technology: Studies on the materiality of literacy. Routledge, 2013.

Hoggatt, Jack P., Jon Shank, and Karl Barksdale. Century 21TM Jr., Input Technologies and Computer Applications. Cengage Learning, 2009.

Rogers, Aaron. “Using technology to facilitate process writing and interaction among adult students.” Profile Issues in TeachersProfessional Development 9 (2008): 197-218.

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