10 Facts About Apple LaserWriter


In combination with WYSIWYG publishing software like PageMaker, that operated on top of the graphical user interface of Macintosh computers, the Apple LaserWriter was a key component at the beginning of the desktop publishing revolution.

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Steve Jobs of Apple LaserWriter Computer had seen the LPB-CX while negotiating for supplies of 3.

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However, the LaserWriter featured AppleTalk support that allowed the printer to be shared among as many as sixteen Macs, meaning that its per-user price could fall to under $450, far less expensive than HP's less-advanced model.

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At the time, Apple planned to release a suite of AppleTalk products as part of the Macintosh Office, with the LaserWriter being only the first component.

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For implementation purposes, the Apple LaserWriter employed a small number of medium-scale-integration Monolithic Memories PALs, and no custom LSI, whereas the LaserJet employed a large number of small-scale-integration Texas Instruments 74-Series gates, and one custom LSI.

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The Apple LaserWriter was, thereby, in the same form factor, able to provide much greater function, and, indeed, much greater performance, all within the very same LBP-CX form factor, although the external packaging was, for marketing purposes, somewhat different.

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Since the cost of a Apple LaserWriter was several times that of a dot-matrix impact printer, some means to share the printer with several Macs was desired.

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The Apple LaserWriter offered a generally faithful proofing tool for preparing documents for quantity publication, and could print smaller quantities directly.

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Apple LaserWriter's RIP was of its own design, and was implemented using few ICs, including PALs for most combinatorial logic; with the subsystem timing DRAM refreshing, and rasterization functions being implemented in very few medium-scale-integration PALs.

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In 1988, to address the need for both an affordable printer and a professional printer, the Apple LaserWriter II was designed to allow for complete replacement of the computer circuit board that operates the printer.

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