Throwback Thursday: Printing, 80s Style…
If you lived through the eighties, you won’t forget the printing experiences we all had. If you needed to make a banner, poster, or sign for a birthday party you had to be very patient. You may have used stencils on a poster board, or painted letters on a large piece of fabric. If you wanted more than one copy, you could design something by hand, and have it photocopied (if it was small) or go to a print shop to have them craft something professional.
Back then when Software Imaging was known as “Software 2000” – a young British company with specialized software, created to improve printing quality and speed, making huge impact in the industry.
“Time is money” was Tony Harris’s concept, Software 2000’s Technical Director at the time (see image below). He strongly believed that the company would succeed based on the innovative solution for improving the efficiency of printers, shaving every possible second of the time which takes to print.
The Talent Shortage
The biggest challenge back then was the staff shortage, yes, the staff shortage of IT workers was not an easy task in the 90’s. It was extremely hard to find experienced people who could write the code for this software.
Tony knew that writing a printing driver is a black art and when he was working in the US back in the 80s the only people who could write a code were…Hippies. Unfortunately, they had a very little idea of delivery time and quality, which was clearly a gap in the market which Tony detected.
He managed to find the best programmers, who wrote and re-wrote it many, many times. The development of the printer driver took five years! Until they finally wrote the first-class software which could reduce the time for printing dramatically and improved the quality of it.
At that time Hewlett Packard and Canon were major players in the printing world, spending millions of dollars to build their own printing drivers, but with this development Software 2000 could proudly compete with them for the first time.
In 1995 Software 2000 became a finalist in the Prince of Wales Award for Innovation and a couple of years later won the Queens Award for Enterprise four times in a row.
So, it’s all true… we’ve been delivering innovative technology solutions for more than thirty years and we’re not done yet!