In 1985, Apple invented computer printing as we know it. Until the introduction of the LaserWriter, the first personal laser printer, computer output emulated either typewriters or mainframe line printers. The $7,000 LaserWriter didn’t sell well and was soon overtaken by cheaper models from Hewlett-Packard, but not before enabling what came to be known as desktop publishing.
iPad screen imageWith the introduction of the new iPad, Apple has again redefined the mechanics of publishing, this time in a way that could finally bring on the demise of paper. Since tablets arrived a couple years ago, they have seemed the natural replacement for the printed page, whether it represented a computer document, a book or a magazine. A tablet could be held like a book or magazine and its software often presented text as pages rather than streams of scrolling text. Their long battery life let you use them without thinking much about the need to recharge.