Office depot

Some of us are old enough to recall a time when forward-thinking TV shows like the BBC’s classic Tomorrow’s World promised us the “paperless” office. This was during a period of massive technological development when mainframe computers were coming to the fore and the very first personal computer was being hinted at. It seems that the paperless office never happened. By the time I’d left University and started work in a publishers there was more paper than ever, almost every document was either faxed, duplicated or printed out using the new-fangled laserjet printers that nudged out the dot-matrix machines just as I arrived…

Even today, with everyone existing in a virtual second world and doing far more online than ever before offices are still piled high with email printouts and memos, and downloaded computer software manuals that simply must be printed for easy reading by the less technophilic members of staff. Maybe there will come a time when we have a chip embedded in a temple at birth and it links us up directly with all those invaluable Web 4.0 services we’ll be using by then…but you can bet your life there will still be someone demanding a printout. I hate to think where they’ll stick the ink cartridges.

2 thoughts on “Office depot”

  1. Hi Andrew. Interesting comments. Maybe in academia laptops don’t site beside reaction flasks, but in industry the acronym LIMS is very important…

  2. Some of my colleagues still don’t enjoy reading articles on the monitor, esp. in Acrobat Reader. They have to print every paper they are interested in out, and keep shelves of file cages of that.

    Although I find Google Apps + Mobile Phone, or Microsoft Office + Removable Mass Storage (USB DIsk) is quite practical to provide a paper-free grad life, I still use paper + pencil to perform brainstorm or any ad hoc consideration. And also experiment record – no body I know put a lap-top beside his flask of reaction mixture.

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