Oct (10-02) - Dell does Lexmark

October 1, 2002 Editorial

Equipment specials: https://www.argecy.com/Specials.html
Converting to TCP/IP from SNA? Check out this overview for printers: www.argecy.com/Connectivity.html

Dell's recent announcement, long-rumored, is that they will OEM Lexmark printers. Although their interest is probably to grab a share of the huge supplies revenue that flows from the ink-jet market, there will be some pressure on the laser market as well. That will make four large resellers who OEM Lexmark: IBM, Dell, Decision-Data, and Unisys. That doesn't count the other value-addeds such as Rosetta MICR, etc., that will be impacted. How will it play out? I suspect that it will increase mind share for Lexmark and probably put more price pressure on the inkjet market, but not make a major impact on overall shifts away from HP.

A manufacturer of protocol converters, Agile, has scaled back their operation and will now deal only through the dealer chain. Support has been quite weak. Customers are frustrated. That's where the dealer shines, though, so don't be afraid to consider other sources and other products. An overview of the market's choices for 3270 and 5250 printer conversions see www.argecy.com/Connectivity.html. We like CableNet/Troy.

Those IBM 4370 (InfoPrint 62's) are giving maintenance companies fits. Consider the PSI line or IBM 3900/4000 series as alternatives. There are TCOP (Total Cost of Print) spreadsheets on those pages so you can see for yourself.

Have had mucho problems with UPS lately. Seems that they outsourced their claims to a third party and every time we have a claim it comes back: "Insufficient packing". Anyone who has used hot-foam-in-place packing know that there really isn't better packaging. A meeting with UPS rep confirmed that their response was "typical". Seems like the freight companies are the only ones making money on technology!

In a new development on an old issue: IBM has done so much "downsizing of their human resources" that no-one seems to be able to figure out how to set up IPDS on the mainframe. Unless there are other agendas, this is an embarassment. We'll keep you posted.

Speaking of IPDS, I-data has gone through some remarkable turns lately. First they buy US based MPI, then MPI tech buys I-data back. Wierd? I don't get it either. But either way, they say they are financially stable and ready to deliver. Given the dearth of choices for IPDS, I suppose its a very good thing that they are stable (again).

Tough to find:
4322 InfoPrint 21? they weren't in the market long and now they are like hen's teeth. Use 4320's instead
IBM twinax impact printers in the 4230 family ? especially IPDS versions.
DEC LA series impact printers (There are a few choices in software for lasers, but no good solutions for impact)

Not so easy:
IBM 6262's-A machines (everyone wants to go ASCII / IP).

Good supply:
IBM 3112 or 3912 ? inexpensive workhorse with IPDS support
IBM 4320-001's. I took out almost 80 pieces, some were new in box.
IBM 4161 Ethernets for 4312, 4317, 4320, 4324, 4332 - Just got in almost 200 pieces.....
IBM 4317-001 ? still whittling down the huge supply ? features are the only real problem.
Genicom 3470 ? New in box = less than the IBM gets for theirs.
Lexmark Optra 1855?s ? almost 100 pieces sitting (most with ethernet)
Lexmark Optra E?6ppm desktop lasers are a steal at @ with supplies
Lexmark external print servers. MarkNet 10BaseT.