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Printing - anyone really paper-free?

A comment in the Whack a Mole thread prompted this one...

Is there anyone here that only prints out stuff when it is required? (Like invoices, required reports, letters, etc)

I am *always* printing out code, data tables, punch lists, database schema, etc, etc, etc. I'm currently shopping for a larger copyholder so I can have more paper propped in front of me, and I'm thinking about rearranging my office to have more wall space (to tack diagrams up). Nothing makes me happier than having a printer at arm's length, and I'm currently shopping for a faster inkjet.

This is with a dualhead setup (soon to be triplehead) and a significant library.

In short: I'm addicted to paper. :-)

So I'm interested in hearing about successful coders that manage to do without.


Thursday, June 5, 2003

Well, I basically never print out code; I do however use 3 or 4 pads of paper to scribble on, take notes, keep todo lists, etc.

So I'm mostly printer free, anyway. I wonder if that has to do with the exhausting 20 feet I'd have to walk to go pick things up?

Steven C.
Thursday, June 5, 2003

never print out anything including invoices :)  all clients live in different countries..

I *do* use a pad to scribble notes on, smallish 'todo' lists and programming notes.

When I first started I printed most things out, but eventually ended up with huge piiles of paper...printouts tend to get out of date pretty quick ;(

So I made a decision and stopped doing so for a year.

At first it was odd, but after the year when I finally went back to printing things out I kept missing the 'find' panel and the ability to scroll without switching bits of paper.

gave it up after an hour and haven't looked back since :)

Thursday, June 5, 2003

I'm with FullNameRequired.  I use a pen and paper to scribble on, but I hardly ever print stuff out, unless it's for someone else to read.  I also prefer online documentation to printed, even when both are available.  Searching, bookmarks, syntax highlighting, cut-and-paste, ... all make online much better for me.

Tim Evans
Thursday, June 5, 2003

I use everything: notepad and pencil, printouts of code and documentation, and on-line documentation.  Each works better in different situations.  For studying or reading over a significant  section of text or code the printer listing works better.  When searching for something in a large file the online works better.  I don't ever expect to become paperless, but if I want a printout from a large document I try to restrict the printing to the pages I really need.

Thursday, June 5, 2003

Mackinac - my brother!
For printing out only the pages you need, check this out:

It's a viewable print spooler - you can check the output before committing to paper, and delete specific pages from the print job.


Thursday, June 5, 2003

That does look useful.  I currently use a2ps for printing out source code listings 2 pages per sheet with a small 6pt font.

Thursday, June 5, 2003

I hate having piles of absolute crap around me, but I cannot work with just a computer screen in front of me. It's just nowhere near as convenient as the physical space located on my desk which I manipulate a heck of a lot easier than with a mouse and keyboard.

I will print out documents and code that I need to review or understand, but I try to dispense with documents at the earliest possible opportunity. I self-recycle paper whenever I can, of course...

Joel Goodwin
Friday, June 6, 2003

The only times I'm printing out code is when I'm going on vacation to some place. I've done that one or two times.

Mostly, I'm going with online documentation to look stuff up quickly. I often have a book within reach to look up specific stuff.

I'm keeping ToDo and bug lists in my computer. Design specs etc. are scribbled on paper.

Christoph Daniel Schulze
Friday, June 6, 2003

I'm close to paper free. I even hate having to print out directions from Mapquest for the car.  (Paper has a better UI for use while driving than a laptop.) At home, the fax goes directly to the computer. I even prefer to read online.

At work, I print off about 4-6 pages a week.

The coolest little gadget I have in my office is a mini white board set up on feet (about 6" tall) that fits between the keyboard and the monitor. Now I scribble my little notes down on that, erase them when I'm done. No more post-it notes around the monitor!

Lauren B.
Friday, June 6, 2003

What is this "pencil" and "pen" you speak of? Are they actors, or candies?

The only things I ever print are things like certain game guides/instructions/maps which one can't easily alt+tab to read, and online bank statements for my mother.

I can still manage to sign my name due to using credit cards and such often...but otherwise, I probably wouldn't still be able to.

Friday, June 6, 2003

We're almost completely paper free and paper reduction is one of the goals we set as a company.

We currently still print a copy of invoices for our files, and receive bills on paper, but we are working on changing both of those as per the Government of Canada's guidelines on keeping only electronic records.

Other than that, the only paper we "need" is the printing of proposals for clients or other marketing-type stuff.

We use Palm pilots and white boards for scribbling (although I really need a smaller white board that I can lie down flat), and I have two monitors for doing the comparison of things back and forth.

It was a big adjustment for me (a scribbler) to get away from paper, but once I decided that this was how it was going to be, I learned new ways of working.

Friday, June 6, 2003

I use a fair amount of paper.

I keep a Work Log on paper, in a spiral-bound notebook.

When updating a technical document that needs input from somebody else, I find the best solution is to print out the document and red-line it with the other person physically present.  That way, we get through *all* the changes that need to be made.  I dislike digital versions of this process.

When I'm at my computer, I often use Notepad as my "scratch pad," but I also have a legal pad for some situations.  Frex, if I have to write down a list of numbers and then spread those out in a document, I find it's more convenient to write them on a piece of paper and prop it nearby while working on the document.  The alternative is alt-tabbing every five seconds, which annoys me.

Brent P. Newhall
Friday, June 6, 2003

I am actually a serious paper-user. I like scribbling. When reviewing a document or code its all highliters, printouts & different coloured pens.

At least work has a good recycling policy, and document churn is pretty high at my desk.

There is nothing like documents that print badly to really tick me off (web pages, notes databases (shiver), 120+ column code).

I got a big hardback notebook that is actually quite full. I also have a D-ring binder for documents worth archiving.

Friday, June 6, 2003

Paper is for scribbling ideas when my head's not quite big enough and they are too graphical to work on the wiki.  And art.

Other than that, why bother?

Friday, June 6, 2003

I virtually never print; after I do, I need to shred it. I print when I need a copy of an email for a meeting in a meeting-room that has no terminal. For software, I'd rather use an online browser. OTOH I just skimmed a 400-page book in an hour... I don't know that I could have skimmed that much if it hadn't been in book format.

Christopher Wells
Friday, June 6, 2003

I print out code for review meetings, but other than that I avoid it.

I picked up a tablet PC a few months ago and it has completely replaced the notebooks I used to use for scribbling ideas.

One of its most interesting functions is a print driver that prints to the note book application. Say you're reading one of Joel's essays. You print it to Journal and then read it in Jornal. Whenever you see something interesting, you can hilight it, scribble in the margins, &tc.

The new Word 2003 has the same capabilities. It rocks for creative thinking.

Reginald Braithwaite-Lee
Friday, June 6, 2003

I almost never print anything, except the aforementioned Mapquest directions and, *very* occasionally, documents to review in a meeting.  I do use paper from time to time, when whiteboards aren't around (i.e., I have to sketch a hierarchical tree or relationship diagram), but because I hate losing any data whatsoever, using paper would be suicidal -- in short order I wouldn't be able to reach my computer any more because of all the stuff I couldn't bring myself to throw away!

I also somehow manage to get by with a single monitor at a mere 1024x768, though, which is apparently rather freakish by JoS standards.  ;>

Oh, and yes, my handwriting is awful as well.

Sam Livingston-Gray
Friday, June 6, 2003

I print almost nothing.  I do use computer books.  I can't tell which I prefer, online or off.  I think if I had 2 monitors I would prefer online.

Gregg Tavares
Saturday, June 7, 2003

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