Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Govprint.us Store Update

Just a quick note. Over on Govprint.us, the Senate 3590 bill now includes the 383 page Manager's Amendment.

If you are keeping track, Sen. 3590 is 2,074 pages all by itself. With the Manager's Amendment, the document is 2,457 combined pages.

We are also offering a "2-up" version of this document. This version reduces the weight (and price!) of these high page count documents. When we print it "2-up", we reformat the document so two pages of the bill appear side-by side on the same page. We punch them for use in a binder.

The 2-up pages are aligned "heel to toe" (aka "Tumble" format), so they can be read without turning the binder when you turn the page. (Binder not included.)

Here's a sample video of this type of format used on the House version of the health care bill, H.R. 3962:

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Introducing GovPrint.us

Today we are introducing a new site specializing in providing quality affordable copies of high page count government documents.

The site is GovPrint.us, and is a better version of Printme1.com's old /gov.html page.

This site offers a Document Library containing documents such as the Health Care Bills (HR 3962 & Sen 3590), the Cap and Trade Bill (HR 2454), and a few others.

We will be adding more as necessary. If you have something to add, send it over.

If you order from GovPrint.us, your purchase will show up as a purchase from us.

Cheers,

Matt

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Trying to Read HR 3200 Online

We were trying to read the proposed health care bill posted on the energy and commerce committee website (H.R. 3200). We were interested until we realized it was 1,017 pages long. Our eyes were shot by the time we got to page 100. That's when we realized two things.

First, it's really difficult to read lengthy documents online. You get tired. Scrolling through the pdf was difficult. And there was no simple way we could figure to make notes or mark a page.

Second, HR 3200 is the perfect example of what we call high page count printing. This is the kind of printing that is too difficult to print at home or on a small office printer. The Printme1 engine was designed to let people get quality prints of their own PDF's, double-sided and in a book-like format.

We printed one out for ourselves today. It is a beast, even double sided. it's more than a ream of paper. (More than two reams if you try it at home.)

But it was much easier to read "onpaper", rather than online.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Prints, Paper, and Pixels

At Printme1.com, we love to print. (We love to print simple books, manuals, and other high page count documents, that is.) But, we also strive to be responsible stewards of our environment.

Frequently, paper use gets a bad reputation as something negative for the environment while computer use gets a positive review. A closer look shows that this is not at all true.

Here are some interesting facts provided by International Paper in their case study titled "Down to Earth- A practical look at environmental issues and Trends" comparing paper & printing to their usual substitute, pixels.

* The amount of energy needed to produce 110,000 sheets of office paper will only power a computer continuously for 5 months.

*Nearly 60% of all paper in the US is recycled. Only 18% of electronic devices are recycled and electronic device waste constitutes the single largest toxic waste export of the US.

*Paper is inherently renewable. The paper and forest products industry replenishes more than it takes, and ensures the sustainability by planting treees at a rate exceeding 3x what is harvested. There is no renewable equivalent for computers and gadgets, which consist of petroleum-based plastics and mined minerals.

There are different reasons to use each. The purpose of this post is to show that going with pixels over paper is not automatically a "green" result.

Just choose the best method for your situation.

Cheers!


A copy of the case study can be obtained for free from rit.edu here.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The New New Print Model: Distribute, then Printme1

A recent interview in the April 2009 issue of Printing Impressions with Susan Kelly, the CEO of printing industry powerhouse K/P Corp and formerly with RR Donnelley, Pitney Bowes, and Gannett mentioned two key trends in printing today:

First, the industry is fragmented and made up of small companies that tend to be cannibalistic.

Second, print-then-distribute used to be the best method to achieve printing efficiency. Not so today. Flip it and you have the new model: "distribute-then-print".

Susan didn't know it at the time, but she just described Printme1.com.

A PDF creator can easily distribute their file directly to their users by any number of electronic methods (FTP, email, direct downloading from a website, etc.), and then leave the print format completely up to the end user.

Want to read it online, there you are. Want to print it out a little at a time yourself, go right ahead. Want to use it on a bound book format, just say printme1.com.

Or just call the new, new model: Distribute-then-Printme1

Cheers!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

CFO's, Meet PM1

Unbeknownst to most office cubicle dwellers, the CFO is the guy who knows how much it costs to run everything in the office from the inkjet to the copier, and from the water cooler to the electric bill.

He's probably the guy who also looks at the overall printing costs in the company. It would be a great exercise to find out how much it costs per page to print a document internally, then compare it to Printme1.com's prices.

We have already shown how much you can save using Printme1.com instead of using Kinko's (aka FedexOfficePrintOnline), but we think we are also surprisingly less costly than some internal "production print" systems.

If you have a CFO, ask him if it you are paying more than $0.04 per print. See what he says and let me know. You may very well save thousands by printing online via Printme1.com's PDF printing service.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

High Page Count Printing Defined

High Page Count Printing Defined:

1.) Documents that kill your printer. Cause you to scream, grip, and stress-out while trying to print yourself. That sound your machine is making can't be good. Neither is the smell. And you get to jog together a pile of heat curled papers, too. How big is that stapler anyway?

2.) Documents that cost an arm and a leg to print at a Kinko's or office supply store. Drive there to pay $100. No thanks. I'll read it online.

3.) Documents that would catch the eye of someone at your office if you tried to print it there. Do you really want your coworkers to watch you turn the office machine into your own printshop?
"Umm, yea, who printed that family history book that broke the copier? I'm going to have to ask you to come in on Saturday and print those TPS reports..."

But seriously, we'd coin the phrase "High page count printing" to mean some document that is too big to print yourself for whatever reason. It's probably a little different for everyone.

As far as Printme1.com is concerned, the page count really doesn't matter. We can print any file regardless of page count, bind and mail it for 3.5¢ per page ($11.99 min).

Just remember, if the PDF is over 800 pages, we'll punch 3 holes in it to use in a binder (not included, sorry, had to mention that), instead of binding it.

So keep those big files coming!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

What are you printing at Printme1.com?

When we created this site, we had in mind people who needed to print high page count documents like open source computer manuals.

These are pdf's with hundreds of pages, so they need to be printed double-sided and spiral bound. Usually, this meant a trip to Kinko's...until Printme1.com came along, that is.

Since we opened, we've seen more than a few pdf's from computer programmers like we thought. We've printed some legal documents for attorneys, government documents for politicians (really fat stuff llike the Stimulus bill, for example), and even some documents for RPG gamers.

What else do you think could Printme1.com be great for?

Free PDF Conversion Methods

So you have a document you want to print on Printme1.com, but it's not a PDF...What do you do? Well, there are many ways to turn that file into a PDF.

First, if you have a full version of Adobe Acrobat, then you are in luck. But I suppose that if you had that (or the $700 for the full version), you wouldn't be here right now.

Second, the same goes if you are using a mac. PDF conversion is built into the print function in OS X. Simply open the file in your app, click print, and instead of doing what you usually do, just click the button on the left and choose "Save as..PDF". You will have to note where you are saving it to, or rename & change the location yourself. That's it. Simple.

Now, what if you've got a PC and don't want to spend the money for Acrobat 9? You're in luck. There are many conversion programs that are free. Some you install on your PC (good if you plan to do this alot) Others are hosted online (better if need it fast and you don't want to install programs on your computer)

Here are a few of them:


Free Online Services:

1.) PrimoPDF (http://www.primopdf.com)

2.) PDF Converter (http://www.freepdfconvert.com)

3.) PDF Online (http://66.89.113.16/doc2pdf/)


Free Downloadable Programs:

1.) doPDF (http://www.dopdf.com)

2.) PrimoPDF (http://www.primopdf.com)

3.) CutePDF (http://www.cutepdf.com)



If you have already used any of these PDF conversion apps or services, let me know how they worked for you.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Printme1 Engine


Printme1.com is designed to be simple. Upload your PDF file, tell us how many you want, then checkout. So we needed a scripting language that would let us keep it simple.

We've used php in other projects, but this time we went back to good old Perl.

The main advantage of perl over php that we found is that perl can be tweaked to handle large file uploads without requiring root access to the host server.

So we were able to design Printme1 to operate in a shared hosting environment. This saves tons of money little start-up like us...and makes it easier to deliver the service at a lower price of the big time websites like Kinko's, Lulu, and the office stores.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Printme1!

Printme1.com is a simple PDF printing service that we developed in December 2008 as easy way to print handbooks, manuals, and reports in a nice book like format. Here's how it got started.

We were looking around at at other printing sites and noticed that most of the big players were a bit of a hassle to use. Those big players all required their users to register, log-in, and then force them click through dozens of print options. These sites all use some kind of file conversion system that can take any file and turn it into a PDF.

To convert files into PDF's on any website, you need a great deal of computing power. Servers, software, and people to manage all of that. Those are big costs to recoup. And once you get to that point, it's easy to start adding in features that complicate the typical experience. But people who have PDF's don't need this feature and are paying for it anyway.

So the idea was to design a simple site targeted at people who have multi-page PDF files and want them printed like a book or manual. Avoid all of the hassle and costs of the big guys. And then pass the savings on to the users.

The Printme1.com format is standard for all orders: regular sized, high quality 20# white paper, printed in black & white, back-to back, and bound with a standard GBC comb with a clear front cover & sturdy black back cover. Simple!

We used Paypal because you already store your own payment & shipping info there, which lets you use our site without the need to remember another username & password combo. Again, simple!

So that's what we are trying to do here with Printme1.com. Please give us a try and let us know how we are doing sometime on our Facebook page.

Also, if you like our service, please do us a favor and tell your friends. The best advertising we use is from mentions in forums, blogs, and other social media. We really appreciate that!


Cheers,

Matt