My parental units spent some time shilling knowledge for the American public education system when I was growing up, and thanks to the friendliness of the Apple Corporation towards that system we were for a brief time an Apple family. Starting a new job in a small town, my mother found herself in custody of some sort of
shiny flat light gray new desktop machine (Centris? Quadra? Performa? Macintosh II for that matter?), and brought it home prior to school starting to learn how to use it. My brother and I promptly found a copy of SimCity to install on it and began indoctrinating ourselves to the single button mouse.
The kicker is that because of this familiarity with the Apple universe, later on we found ourselves the proud new owners of a used Powerbook set-up, complete with a small portable printer (with a battery even, as I recall!), all neatly packaged in a tiny little bag with about 15 separate zippers. All together the get up probably weighed around 85 lbs, but you could push your procrastination to the extreme and print off a paper minutes before turning it in, while sitting right in the classroom! But even with all the new portability these days with tablets and smartphones, when was the last time you saw someone break out a laptop printer?
Turns out some of these printers use special thermally activated paper instead of regular ink, that turns black when heated to display the letters. Our particular StyleWriter printer was in fact an inkjet, so my knowledge of thermal printers is limited to receipts from the pay at the pump gas station. Judging by the disappearing nature of that particular medium I am not so sure that entrusting your critical documents to that format is the way to go. That being said, there does seem to be some certain advantage to not being tied to a desk to accomplish your printing needs, so what has happened to the portable printers?