The seminal science-fiction series Star Trek generated many catchphrases, like "The Prime Directive" and "Live long and prosper". One of its most parodied lines, however, is Doctor "Bones" McCoy's words to Captain Kirk on encountering an alien species: "It's life, Jim, but not as we know it."

That's exactly the way one could describe the printer industry today. Every time an HP, Epson or Konica Minolta releases a new machine for this sector, one can sense the puzzled frowns of people taken by surprise that it still exists.

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