Tuesday, March 20, 2018

printMe1 & Sustainability

We've all seen the little tag line some people put on their emails. "Think about the environment before you print this email." -Or- "Save a tree. Don't print this email."

There is  a common misconception that printing is not good for the environment, but it's actually the opposite. 

Users of print are in fact improving the environment, not harming it. Use print with confidence that is not only not harmful to the environment, but is actually beneficial to the environment. 

When you support print, you are supporting sustainable forestry as well.  From the forest to the mill for paper and packaging, to the printshop, and finally to your mailbox. This entire process is based on the foundation of growing trees and plants for a valuable use, then growing more, not just consuming them.

(From: The power of sustainable forests | Kathy Abusow | TEDxWilmington")

Read more below to understand the steps printMe1.com takes to provide a sustainable product.

Our Paper Grows Trees.

The paper and packaging we use is purchased from a certified supplier of FSC™, SFI® or PEFC® papers, or if the paper is not from a North American forestry resource, the paper manufacturer has provided significant and verifiable information to confirm the sustainability of their process.  Double A is an example of a non-certified paper we are currently using for our Black and White printing. (Note- this changes from time to time.)

The paper in printMe1.com's products should be viewed as a responsibly managed crop that is harvested and replanted, rather than a resource that is expended. 

Using paper from sustainable sources means the forest land will continue for be used for the purpose of growing trees and plants, and not cleared to be used for something else less environmentally beneficial.

While growing in forests and tree farms, those trees and plants grown for use in paper-based industries provide a habitat for nature & wildlife, consume carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and produce oxygen for us to breathe. 

Example: According to the manufacturer here, A ream of Double A paper has removed 27 pounds of Co2 from the atmosphere during it's journey to your print.

By using paper and print, you are supporting the growth and renewal of habitats in North America like this: 

Our Toner is Made from Plant-Based Components that are Grown, Recycled Waste.

Talking about something typically made our of plastic like toner is, well, usually boring. But not ours... Our black and white printing process uses a plant-based polymerized toner, made from a biomass resource that is renewable, and also requires less energy during the printing process when your prints are made.

The image quality is superior to toners made from pulverized plastic, making your prints look great too.

Waste toner is collected in PET containers and returned to the manufacturer for reuse.

Our Packaging is Part of A Sustainable Industry, & 100% Recyclable.

The materials we use for packaging are chosen because they are from sustainable sources. Our main product is 99% paper based, so why not apply that to our packaging? We do!

Our cardboard and kraft paper used for packaging, wrapping and filler come from sustainable sources, so your use of our products has a long-term benefit for the environment.

 The tape we use is made of paper. All of the packaging we use is easy to recycle. Paper can be reused 5-7 times before wood fibers break down. 

Your prints are easy to recycle as well. Just dispose of them responsibly and get them back into print!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Meet the new member of the PM1 Family- printMyBluePrints.com

printMyBlueprints.com is a version of printMe1.com designed for building & construction professionals.

Geared to provide a simple PDF printing service for users of engineering formats of Arch C (18"x24"), Arch D (24"x36"), Arch E1 (30"x42"), & Arch E (36"x48"), printMyBlueprints.com makes it easy to get engineering PDF's printed &  shipped to your US Mailbox just like printMe1.com, but with a few additional enhancements for the building & construction industries.

These users occasionally are receiving multi-page PDF's they need to get prints from, but sometimes don't want every page in the PDF. So for them, we took the printMe1.com platform, and added a "burst" feature, where every page appears as thumbnail, which can be clicked to deselect or reselect it in the print job. Mousing over a thumb will expand it to better help see which page it is. 

Then the selected pages are send over to checkout. Users can also upload multiple PDF's at the same time & combine them in the same order as long as they are the same print size. Sets of the final selection can be ordered in any quantity, with stapling as a binding option. 

Checkout is the same as printMe1.com via Paypal. 

Printing is in two business days or less, and shipping is via USPS 2-3 Day Priority, so printMyBlueprints.com users can expect their order in a week or less anywhere in the USA. 

The same distribution & fulfillment hack we posted about for printMe1.com also works for printMyBlueprints.com, so architects, engineers and other document creators can us it to conveniently distribute sets to any client in the US just by uploading to printMyBlueprints.com, and changing the name and address in their PayPal "Ship To". More info here.


Simple print Distribution & Order Fulfillment for PDF Creators- using printMe1.com and PrintMyBlueprints.com

Hey PM1 Fans,

Have you written a PDF you would like to distribute in print to your US users?  Do you sell PDF's you created on your own web store, and would like an easy way to have them fulfilled to US addresses in print?

printMe1 is an easy way to distribute your PDF's in print to a small user base. Here's how:

As our regular users already know, our checkout uses PayPal, and we ship to your address in PayPal.
Changing the shipping address in PayPal is really easy during your payment process.

At the "Ship To", where you will see the PayPal account owner's name, just click "Change", then "Add Address", and you will see this:

Just put in the new recipient's name & address here, and presto!, your print ships to them. You'll still receive the tracking info to your primary PayPal email address.

So if you have written a book you are selling and have sales you need fulfill, it's really simple to just upload to printMe1. com, and then add in your customer's name and address in PayPal's shipping address for each order.

Then printMe1.com does the printing, binding, packaging (meticulously), and shipping just by uploading to our site. It's that easy!

This also works for distributing building plans to a client or contractor using our PrintMyBlueprints.com service.

This saves time compared with other options where you either need to create a full-blown store, or you have to take on all of the fulfillment & distribution on your own.

If you already sell through your own website, this hack is an easy way to fulfill occasional sales of your PDF's in print form without taking on any additional integration.


Friday, July 7, 2017

printMe1's Binding Types

All of the binding types offered by printMe1 on one handy page below, along with the max page count for each binding type.

Each binding type has a different limit of max pages that can fit, and our site will only display as options the binding types that fit your PDF's page count.  Our page counts assume double-sided pages and count each side of a page. There are 2 pages per sheet. Covers are assumed in addition to the page count limits.

Note that all bindings include a clear cover and black back cover. Options "3HP" and "No Binding" do not come with covers.

GBC Comb- Up to 800 Pages 

Our "Standard". The GBC Comb bind is the Classic. It's hefty. Sturdy. Docs can lay flat.  Our largest size holds 800 double-sided pages.

Side View (GBC Comb)

Plastic Coil- Up to 400 Pages

This type is a plastic coil spun onto pre-punched paper. Docs can lay flat. Our max size holds 400 double sided pages.

Side View (Plastic Coil)

Velo- Up to 900 Pages

This is a unique binding. Two plastic strips are welded at 3 spindle points that hold it all together. This binding hold the most pages of all the bindings we offer at 900 double-sided pages. This binding is firm and difficult to lay flat. Behaves more like a book.

Side View (Velo)

Wire-O- Up to 400 Pages

This is a metal comb that bends around the pre-punched sheets. The comb is like a metallic outline of the GBC Comb. It has a cool style to it, and the document will lay flat also. Our max comb holds 400 double-sided pages.

Side View (Wire-o)

3 Hole Punch (3HP)- No Page Limit

Our last one is old 3HP. Use this for stuff you already have a binder for.  Binder Not Included

Side View (3HP)

Saturday, December 31, 2016

"I need an Exacto knife, a ruler, and point me to your best copier"

AMC's Better Call Saul was set in an Albuquerque copyshop for scenes in episodes 8 ("Fifi") & 9 ("Nailed") of season 2.  Our 2016 Review used a screen cap from "Nailed" as the background to the graphic.  We were excited to see the copyshop setting used and how the show was using it capture a specific time period of technology. The time period for Better Call Saul is ambiguous and set in the past before Breaking Bad.  Saul is set in a time period before the internet, when information was still handed out on paper, and access to these services around the clock was so important for business that 24-hour service was standard in some bigger Metro-areas and in some smaller towns with a University nearby.  We will break down the copy shop scenes for authenticity, because we are pretty sure no one else is going to that. We won't spoil it it all for you. If you want to check out the whole scene, here's the closing scene from "Nailed".

Episode 8 ("Fifi") was where we heard the line "I need an Exacto knife, a ruler, and point me to your best copier", which led to Jimmy doing some old school cut & paste copy editing late night in Valliant Printing. The "Xerox Color" sign in the upper left puts the earliest date possible at 1992 when Xerox introduced their first successful color machine, the Xerox 5775.  Also, the scene doesn't reference any color postermaking, which became common after 2000.

We see a large work table in the customer area. Self-service customers would use that for organizing their documents. Self-serve copying was popular up until 2002. In the United States, this changed after Christmas 2000 when the sub-$1000 PC was released and PC's became common household items. The PC's at that time were usually offered in a bundle with a printer. This changed the need for self-serve copies as people figured out they could DIY simple jobs at home.

Jimmy wanted to change the unit number in an address in some court documents, so he was cutting out the old number and replacing it with a snip of paper with the new number. Very tedious editing by hand. Then copying the edited doc, and swapping the copied sheet into the court doc as a replacement. This method worked because the lines from the pasted in number would disappear on the copy, and the copy would be accepted as an original when slipped into in the original document.

Episode 9 ("Nailed") we see Jimmy returning after the switcheroo was made, Jimmy's brother and the firm's main partner Chuck is now suspicious, and Jimmy goes back to cover his tracks by bribing the store manager, Lance. We get to see a lot of the copyshop from several different camera angles. Open 24 Hours is something that was common in urban copy centers from in the '90's. That became less of a requirement after 2000 after office copiers got cheaper and connected to office networks.

And this awesome master shot. The shop looks and sounds like a mid-90's copy shop during a late night shift. Hardly anyone in it, but the sounds of document handlers circulating with every page printed is normal this era. Today most jobs are printed from a digital file, so you don't hear paper swooshing and popping as each page recirculated. Back then, each page circulated for each copy made. Long runs on fast machines would see the originals get bruised up.

Here Jimmy meets the night shift manager Lance. Lance is preoccupied with running the machine behind him and leaves the conversation to do something on the machine. The lower area on the front counter is wheelchair-accessible counter that came into use after the Americans With Disabilities Act signed in 1990. These became common in shops after 1994.

Jimmy's boss Chuck appears and argues with Lance. Chuck happens to be a person suffering from electronic sensitivity and has ventured into a place bathed in flourescent lights neon signs, and copier lamps from old analog machines. The shop shows a "Preprinted Forms" shelf in the background of the pic with Mike and Lance above that was for distributing tax forms and other official documents, usually, and this was common before internet or PC"s were in most homes and government offices that distributed the forms were online.  During that time, businesses would go to a local IRS office to obtain tax report forms like a 990. Some copy shops would offer forms for free as above.

The argument goes on until a self-service customer interrupts to ask for help. If we had a nickel....

The only thing that is off in the whole scene is the customer asking for 11"x14" paper here, and Lance saying it's in another tray. She was probably asking for Legal size, meaning 8 1'/2' x 14", and he should have corrected her. We also see some quirky stuff on the counter- an hourglass, cat statue. This was kind of hipster shop for it's day.

Overall, the authenticity is good for the scene and representative of a period we would estimate is between 1992-2000, and if we had be more specific, we say it's 1997. And as real hat-tip to the era, we think the opening line would have been more authentic if Jimmy asked for a glue stick instead of a ruler. These places were the glue-stick mecca of their time.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2016 in Review- Print's Comeback Continues

It's still going.  Print's comeback surged into 2016 and kept running. And running.

Finding stories about Open Educational Resources (OER) on college campuses of any size became common and identified the "Demise of the Textbook Mafia". (The word got out about the textbook racket.) Students and instructors are pushing for more OER options and finding ways to grow OER. Everywhere. OER lowers costs and improves ease of use for students & instructors.

A followup on the 2015 situation with Alain Bourget at Cal- Fullerton, where the professor opted-out of using the expensive textbook required by their department for cheaper, better options. OER is the textbook of the future. OER creator OpenStax talked about how they choose which subjects to focus on.

Also related to Open Source, Creative Commons weighed in on a case between Great Minds and Fedex.  The rights of the end-user to print commercially for their own use are at issue in this case, which has a direct impact on the students' cost, choice of format, and the instructors' overall ease of use for open source documents. The High Court of India ruled in favor of educational use exemptions (Fair Use) in their country, and included with their ruling the statement that "Copyright is not a divine right". The Great Minds v Fedex has yet to be decided. We will be watching how this plays out in the coming year.

We heard more about how Millenials love print, this time from Naomi Baron in a great interview.  YouTube gaming sensation PewDiePie wrote a book this year, and created a video about it. That trend extends to other age groups in a Pew Research study found that 40% of people read physical books exclusively while only 6% only use eBooks exclusively. We saw this interesting TED talk by that explains how our brains map in 3D by relating information to edges, barriers, and borders, which has some intriguing similarities to why there may be learning advantages to using print vs digital formats.

Also related to print and education, we saw more on how handwriting is a desirable difficulty with positive impacts on memory, and some instructors are now banning laptops in class. We have learned before that students who used longhand remembered more and had a deeper understanding of the material.

Oh yea, and we saw what happens when someone tries to crush a book with a hydraulic press. It has a good ending, just like we hope everyone has for 2016.

Print is good. See you in 2017!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

2015 In Review- Print's Comeback Year

This is what a print comeback looks like.

What we saw in 2015 was a natural rediscovery of what we always liked about print, what we forgot we liked, and what still we miss about it.  We miss holding books, and physically shopping in real time for them, and are tired of passwords, accounts, screens, batteries, and other technical things that interfere with digital reading. We want to be reading sometimes without any distraction.

This rediscovery occurred across many segments reminding us what makes print special, and why we like it.  Young people asserted their preference for print as a medium.

They don't take print for granted. They prize it. 

Science produced more reasons to why we should read from it.  Reading from print helps the brain form mental maps. Plus other intangibles like a lack of distractions, improved focus, slower reading, all that add up to improve comprehension. Paper beats digital, in many ways. The classroom is better off with print.

Overly complicated and overpriced educational materials, usually incorporating some kind of technical feature to restrict resale- led to a popular movement in 2015 for Open Textbooks and Open Educational Resources.

Publishers have complicated the simple print textbook and turned it into in a Star Trek Borg-like mutation of log-ins, access codes, and short life spans.

This year, we found that Open products have a great future in the classroom because they are as good or better than traditional materials, and easier to distribute to the students, and easier for them to print if they prefer to consume them that way.

The American College Textbook Act was passed as a result. The White House joined in. Faculty members like Alain Bourget rebelled against the publisher's textbook racket and stood his ground against the department head's decision and chose an Open Textbook for his course that was as good as the one required, and was free.

Other instructors reevaluated their own selections for course materials, and others took to creating their own OERS, some from grants.  The printed coursepack came back too.

Print is still the killer app for education. It gets the job of learning done better than anything.

Despite all of the hype to digitize learning, American College students said they would rather study with real books. And prefer to buy print versions when offered. The laptop in the classroom shows a decrease in student performance, while handwriting produces a positive impact, and preferred result. Print isn't just "old-school," it is school.

2015 saw new bookstores (& new hybrids) pop-up serving both new and used book markets-for the first time in a long time- while Ebook sales slowed or dropped (depending on who you ask) for the first time in that period. The ebook service Oyster closed it's shop. Printed books sales went up.

Print as a sustainable & renewable industry was focused on- it's not a depleting resource, but the opposite. Print depends on paper, an industry as green as they come. Use it, enjoy it.

Marketers noticing this brought back print into luxury marketing. Print evokes an emotional impact on the reader that enhances the subject matter. The catalog and the magazine returned with a freshness that was appealing. Plus the 'Zine returned. People want print.

We also saw the 25th anniversary of the device that simplified printing, and connected the printer to the computer. The Xerox Docutech. This device started a movement that simplified the process for printing not seen since Gutenberg, the benefits of which have now extended to nearly every printshop and every piece of printed material.

So that brings us to "The Martian." Assuming that the value of every item launched is weighed against it's weight, we found it fascinating to see a simple 3 ring binder get screen time as a solution to one of the highest priority problems on the Red Planet. Print is Portable. No batteries required.

What 2015 tells us is that print as a format isn't going away anytime soon, and in our opinion, shows how print can continue to grow as its features are rediscovered.

None of this is a coincidence. Print is Good.