Nov (11-02) - New niche from IBM, Lexmark

November 1, 2002 Editorial

Equipment specials:
Converting to TCP/IP from SNA? Check out this overview for printers:

Both IBM and its OEM partner, Lexmark, have announced a spate of new products including the IBM 1226 and its sister Lexmark W812 (26ppm, up to 11x17 printing)......IBM has a new version of its popular 6400 series called the "i" series. It adds two (marginally valuable) features: A print monitoring utility which can alert users of errors in the printer and give a virtual control panel remotely. These features are included with the ethernet attachment option. They have also added support for the old DEC ANSI attachment of legacy printers..... IBM has tweaked the Compuprint -made 4247 and added a more appropriate case to the engine. Seems kinda like putting bullet proof plating on a Yugo. The new 4247-V03 boasts a top speed of 1100cps, but its data-processing text mode is really only 480cps. More puffery. It's a surprise that they still require a clunky IPDS/Ethernet solution rather than the straightforward version we recommend in the 4230-102 (480cps).....I have a large user with thousands of impact printers installed. IBM's wants the deal to replace them so badly that they are recommending a poorly conceived amalgamation of products, cobbled together in order to produce IPDS over ethernet.

Tally has joined the fray as a supplier of highspeed impact shuttle printers using the moniker "LJ". It hopes to gain market share abandoned by HP with the discontinuance of HP's LineJet line of impact printers formerly manufactured by Printronix. These printers have ability to handle PCL2, and PJL commands. Consider also the Printronix versions.

We recently received a decent size package of those rare IBM internal ethernet cards, both 10BaseT and 100BaseTX versions. The has been a rally lately in older model desktop laser printers as users come to grips with the extremely high toner costs associated with the newest versions.......The Lexmark Optra S1855 and IBM 4317-001 printers are popular, as are the IBM 4332-001 and -004. We have recently acquired some of the last new 4332-004's.

As mentioned in my last editorial, "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!". More stonewalling. I've heard similar war stories from colleagues regarding Fed-ex ground too. Even my attempts to use have ended badly. What next?

I heard a story about Wyse and their version of Linux thin client using the IGEL firmware, passing it off as their own while they continually delay paying royalties to IGEL. It seems absolutely ridiculous that the ground-level entrepreneurs who actually write the code are always the last to get paid. All the while, IGEL is attempting to usurp their own US distribution channel and steal the name. SmartFLex has had to let the attorneys make money on their backs.

Lexmark has quietly introduced a line of encrypted wireless print servers into their mix. As mentioned here before, Levi Ray and SHoup (famous for their VPS host product line) has been promoting their encryption method for printing. This is the first announcement I have seen and I have not heard anyone using it yet, although I'm sure it will be popularly sold against "Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt" pervasive in the security sensitive world today. Its pretty cheap (less than ), so we will have to see how effective it is. Don't jump in just yet.

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.

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. less than 50 left from that big package
IBM 4324-001's. 24ppm and up to 11x17 with IPDS, etc....
IBM 4161 / 4162 Ethernets for 4312, 4317, 4320, 4324, 4332 - Just got in almost 200 pieces.....
IBM 4317-001 � still whittling down the huge supply
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. 4034-102 and 4034-103 (less than complete)