Jun (06-05) - Clients, thin only please

June, 2005 Editorial

In the continuing saga of IBM 4247's, this latest news: IBM has apparently caught up with their order backlog (since August '04) and has "re-announced" the product line. The product isn't so hot to begin with, but the users typically follow the safest path, which is the IBM product. Not that there are many other alternatives for desktop impact printers anyway. I still hold fast to my recommendation of the 4230 conversion kits. But that's what you'd expect me to say.

They have also "pre-announced" a replacement product for their existing 4400 series thermal printers. Their new line will offer built in RFID functionality, and other enhancements. I expect some announcements of newer monochrome and color laser printers as well.

This month I'd like to revisit the Thin Client market. For all those who don't yet understand the vast improvements this brings to your users, this is likely to be a pleasant surprise. Over the last several years, standards have emerged in the client/PC market which are increasingly making the Personal Computer overkill for most corporate applications. The concept of a PC-like appliance may be the easiest to comprehend. All the functional attributes of a conventional PC may end up becoming their weakest point(s). So many updates, changes, tweaks, patches, viruses, etc. Its a small wonder that more users haven't moved to the newer model of infrastructure.

Several companies have attempted to enter the market and some have failed. Others are also-rans, as price drives their sales. The real winners are those with a proprietary advantage. I favor two here, but there are others with attributes you may find more useful. I like ComputerLab International and I-O Corporation. Why? Because of the maturity of their product lines and their die-hard support of the dealer community. The benefits of these commitments are palpable. The products are continually improving, and they listen to the dealer community for advice and improvements. In the long run, a supportable, dependable installation depends on a reliable and consistent manufacturer. Both are excellent. One more thing bears mention: They both offer a novel and awesome product that will allow replacement of "dumb" terminals with an ethernet version without all the overhead of a thin-client or a PC. You turn it on and it boots to a terminal session. Simple, easy, perfect.

Additionally, there are the older "hybrid" products like the IBM 3488 and 3483. Terminal logic bases with non-proprietary monitors.

Both IBM and Lexmark have continued to refresh their laser printer offerings, providing ever more features and speeds for the same or less money. Not that it's any big surprise, but the money is in the toners. Beware of what you wish for, though. The machines aren't made quite as well and the toners are more expensive. I recommend the older ones, but who can stop the forward march of change? I wrote last month about reducing total cost, and there are those that understand and implement it. I can only make a strong case. The rest is up to you.

In additional to the many other changes, IBM has closed its refurbishing facility for large print engines in Endicott. That should mean more business trickling down to the third party market, but so far we haven't noticed any significant up tick.

IDG has some awesome enhancements coming based on their wildly successful 9074 product line. If you are in the market for a 3174 replacement, don't let marketing be your guide. Find out the facts about these products.

Here's the latest hots and nots:
Sweet spots:
IBM 4000-id3/id4 Venerable printer with excellent Roll Systems attachment options (ID3: PAGE COUNT = 25,777,683 W/FEATURES: 4840, 9403, 9410, 4404, 4540, 4481; ID4: COUNT 25,933,478 W/FEATURES: 4840,8524,9410,9941,9993,4367,4540,4540,9470)
IBM 2770-001 InfoPrint 70. We have one of only a couple in the market now.
IBM 6400-015, 008, 050, P50 Get them while they're still cheap.
IBM 1352n and
1352 (4528-n01, 4528-001) over 250 pieces sitting NEW IN BOX below dealer cost.
BM 4230-102's. Most others are fairly tight
InfoPrint 1228 (4928-001) - 28ppm in color!
InfoPrint 62 (4370) High-quality, continuous forms printer
Lexmark 2480 - fast and durable desktop narrow carriage impact printer
Lexmark Optra E 4026-070 cute 8ppm desktop laser
Lexmark Optra M410 - more just in
<>Lexmark Optra S1250, 1255, 1855s lots and lots sitting (most with ethernet).
Lexmark Optra S1625 16ppm laser at a great value, Huge quantity of units sitting now.
Lexmark Optra S2455 -- 24ppm laser

Lexmark Optra Se3455 -
34 pages per minute and cheap-to-keep (16)
Lexmark T612's -- over 70 units in stock now.

Lexmark T522's - over 300 pieces in stock now.
Lexmark T620 and T620n's - 23 in stock now.
Lexmark T630's -- over 100 units in stock now.

Lexmark Optra W810 - 35ppm and 11x17 in a very solid printer.
Lexmark external Ethernet print servers 4034-103 - over 100... less than each!!
Lexmark 4227plus- fast ASCII impact printer
More trays and drawers for above lasers than I care to admit....

Multifunction upgrades for IBM and Lexmark machines (we have a few)
Lexmark Optra T622
Lexmark Optra T520
Lexmark Optra T616
Lexmark Optra T614
Lexmark Optra T610
IBM 1100 (45xx series) series (1120, 1125, 1130, 1140). We have a few of each
IBM 1145 (45xx series)
IBM 1312
IBM 1412
IBM 4247-003 - one left
IBM 4247-V03
IBM 4232-302 -Less than 5
IBM 4224-1e3 twinax
David T. Mendelson
Argecy Computer Corporation
27280 Haggerty Road C21
Farmington Hills, MI 48331
248-324-1800 x122
248-324-1900 fax