• Welcome to Lousy Print.

    This is where you can order printouts of your favorite pictures, to be printed with dot matrix printers. These are printers that were common years ago, in the 1970s, 1980s and a bit during the 1990s.

    Because these have been kinda standard for at least 30 years, a little culture formed around them. Dot matrix printers belong to the "impact" printers family. They work like a typewriter: a metal rod strikes the ink-soaked ribbon against an area on the paper sheet and produces a shape. Typewriters produced the symbol that was pressed. Dot matrix printers can produce graphics, or predefined fonts that they have preloaded in their memory. We can use them to print any pictures you want to have printed, or we can use them to make ASCII art with your picture.

    We print whatever you send us, in whatever way you want us to print it, then send the paper sheet with the printout to your snail mail address.

    For more info, you might want to check the FAQ.

    Have fun!

  • Lousyprint FAQ

    Questions will be added as you ask them, of course.

    1. What is a dot matrix printer?

    It is a printer that has a few needles. They strike a ribbon that is soaked in some special ink and the ribbon is thus pressed against the paper to be printed on. Thus, a colored dot appears on the paper. Usually, the dot is black and the printer can only output grayscale printouts. But color dot matrix printers exist, and we've got them. Such a printer can have 7, 9 or 24 pins. 7-pin ones are completely gone. But 9-pin printing heads were at some point combined into 18-pin heads (by using two in the same assembly) and even 36-pin printing heads (by using four). The more pins a dot-matrix printer has, the higher the print resolution it can output.

    2. Why would I buy a dot matrix printout?

    Because it looks somewhat artistic, like an old, grainy, black and white movie. And we can also provide color printouts, rarely encountered during the dot matrix days. The lower the resolution, the more visible the graininess is.

    3. What is ASCII art?

    That is a picture made out of regular characters. One can "draw" pictures with the use of computer characters. This was done in the past using impact printers or even fax machines (called fax art). The standard characters that an average computer can display are called ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange), hence the name ASCII art. An example of a picture converted to ASCII art: http://photoshopcall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/ascii-art-photoshop-tutorial-530x257.jpg They have a tutorial about how to prepare pictures to be transformed into such art in Photoshop: http://photoshopcall.com/software/tutorial-on-how-to-make-ascii-art-photo-effect/ But the easiest way we discovered is to use the online ASCII art generator found here However, given a little more patience, the tool called Ascgen dotNET makes much better ASCII art pictures.

    4. How to generate ASCII art from my picture?

    Short answer: http://ascgendotnet.jmsoftware.co.uk

    5. What is color HTML?

    That is also a picture made out of regular characters, just like ASCII art. One can "draw" pictures with the use of computer characters, but this time, a block of characters will be created and each character will have a different color, trying to match the original colors from the source picture. A good example of the differences between regular ASCII art and color HTML art can be seen in this picture: http://www.orangeinks.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/colored-ascii-art.png

    6. How to generate a color HTML page from my picture?

    Short answer: http://ascgendotnet.jmsoftware.co.uk

    7. What's an overprint?

    Sometimes the ASCII art generated from a picture wasn't convincing enough, or could look better. In some cases, people chose to do an overprint, which means to print the same output twice, on the same sheet of paper. The user would simply print once, then feed the same sheet of paper into the printer and print again. Of course, since this was thought up so that ASCII art looked better, we're only offering it for ASCII art as well. We think that printing the same grayscale picture twice, in graphics mode, is unnecessary. Color printing on a dot matrix printer, on the other hand, is almost printing the same thing four times: the printer's ribbon contains four segments of different colors (CMYK - Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) and the printer will print the same spot with each of them, as needed.

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