I got this from a friend of mine. You can see there are still lots of
good reasons to keep a real plotter around. So save that plotter!
A little while back a friend of mine (little bit of a collector, he
has a Basis 108 and a DEC Pro 350, and some VAXen that he used to use)
was starting to get into slide photography and going through his
father's collection of slides (mostly having to do with the NYC subway
system and like things in other cities). He decided he wanted to
print on photo slide mounts; handwriting them doesn't work for him
because he has crappy handwriting.
So we spent some time at Fry's looking at inkjet printers, and decided
the paper paths were too contorted -- no way to get a slide mount
through there, let alone the sort of cardboard carrier we thought we'd
We thought about it a while and decided that a plotter would be the
way to go. Of course, who makes plotters in this day of cheap color
inkjet printers (with expensive ink cartridges)? So I went to the
next Computer Recycling Center sale and picked up a somewhat grungy
7550A for $10 and passed it along to him. He bought some pens on
eBay, worked out some HP-GL, hacked up a pen and an extra-fine
Sharpie, and put together some bits of cardboard to make a carrier for
a few slide mounts, and he was all set.
So I guess they still have their uses. His only complaint is that the
7550 takes up too much table space. I guess I'm keeping my eyes open for
an 7470 or 7475 with RS-232 interface.