Death Of A Little Printer

December 10th, 2012 | daybook

Or: do not allow a 70-year-old woman to wander about your house unattended, because she will see the pulsing light on your Little Printer and touch it with her aged, destructive claws, thereby doing something unfathomable to it that causes it to be both very difficult to reassemble and refuse to accept reprint commands.

My Little Printer lived in the kitchen.  Which, somehow, seemed the most apt place for it.  It’s a surprisingly heavy thing, with edges.  The combination of brushed metal and white-goods sheen makes it an odd fit in the living room, which is a place where devices (tv remote controls, for instance) are light and rounded things.  It sits better in kitchens, next to coffeemakers and toasters, across from the oven and the fridge.  It is, in fact, a thing you’d set to chunter away while you were making the coffee, and read what it spat out while you were taking your first few sips of the day.  The information that Little Printer prints out, in fact, could usefully be described as “sips.”  A short weather report, the top headlines from the newspaper, a few factoids.

As a proof of concept, a test article and a summation of Matt Webb’s “social letterbox,” it’s a fascinating device.  I’ve seen people start to hack it already, and am keeping an eye on what Dan Catt’s up to.  Dan’s working from the position that some things are just more useful on paper.

However, I must say: Little Printer was certainly presented as the electric Inter Net telegraphy device that your unplugged family members could use.  But I ask you again to observe the result when an ancient relative and her disintegrating talons were left alone with mine.


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