dot matrix

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A Russian word depicted on a dot-matrix display
A sample of text printed by a dot matrix printer


dot matrix (plural dot matrices or dot matrixes)

  1. (computing, also attributively) A two-dimensional array or pattern of dots used (for example, by a display device or a printer) to represent alphanumeric characters and pictures.
    • 1980 December (updated 1984 September), “Picture-description Subroutines”, in Richard A. Salisbury, editor, Integrated Graphics System (MTS [Michigan Terminal System]; 17), Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan Computing Center, OCLC 243182960, page 24:
      On most terminals, hardware-generated characters are displayed as dot matrixes inside rectangular envelopes []. The exact manner in which this is done depends on the kind of terminal.
    • 1983 November 21, “Maintenance Instructions”, in Operator’s, Organizational, and Direct Support Maintenance Manual: Satellite Communications Set: AN/USC-28(V) (NSN 5895-01-089-7518) [Change No. 2] (Army Technical Manual; 11-5895-808-13-2; Navy NAVELEX; 0967-LP-640-9020; Air Force; 31R2-2USC28-1-2), Washington, D.C.: Departments of the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force, published 1991, OCLC 24892857, section 4-39 (Interface Unit Troubleshooting), page 4-154, column 2:
      Press the SHIFT and the asterisk (*) keys. An 8 by 16 dot matrix is displayed in the upper left corner of the display.
    • 1984 March, Myron Hecht; Herbert Hecht; Laurence Press, “Overview of Microcomputers”, in Microcomputers: Introduction to Features and Uses (Computer Science and Technology; NBS Special Publication; 500-110), 8th edition, Washington, D.C.: National Bureau of Standards, United States Department of Commerce, OCLC 503015850, section 2.2.6 (Printers), page 18:
      Dot matrix printers make up a letter in the same manner as a CRT display. The fully formed-character printers (which are also referred to as letter quality printers) are generally slower and more expensive, but they produce higher quality output than dot matrix printers.
    • 2000, John Kenneth Muir, “Season Overview, Series A (1978)”, in A History and Critical Analysis of Blake’s 7: The 1978–1981 British Television Space Adventure, Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, →ISBN; republished Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, 2006, →ISBN, part II (The Series), page 30:
      As Dudley Simpson's unusual electronic march begins, the first image on view is of a highly detailed dome, a massive Federation city. From the dome's center, a computerized dot matrix representation of a human eye blossoms outward, rapidly revealing dissident Blake's tortured face.
    • 2014, Prudence Shen, Do Not Touch: A Original[1], New York, N.Y.: Tor Books, →ISBN:
      At close range, the painting [Georges Seurat's Le Cirque] is like a dot matrix of color: individual reds and blues and yellows perched side by side, giving the illusion of blending from a distance.
    • 2015, Bobbi Button, “Writing Connections: The Not-so-secret Mission of Parental Involvement”, in Nanci Werner-Burke, editor, Beyond the Classroom: Collaborating with Colleagues and Parents to Build Core Literacy (Eye on Education Book), New York, N.Y.; Abingdon, Oxon.: Routledge, →ISBN, page 43:
      I feverishly wrote for Mrs. Comfort first using a notebook, then an old Mac that printed on dot matrix paper (the kind with a series of small holes used for grasping the edges as it printed onto a roll of mint green and white paper).
    • 2016, “Dot matrix”, in Tomorrow’s Technology and You: Introductory: e-Study Guide (Just the Facts101: Textbook Key Facts), [s.l.]: Cram101 Textbook Reviews, →ISBN:
      A dot matrix is a 2-dimensional patterned array, used to represent characters, symbols and images. Every type of modern technology uses dot matrices for display of information, including cell phones, televisions, and printers. They are also used in textiles with sewing, knitting, and weaving.
  2. (computing) Clipping of dot matrix printer.
    • 2011, Robert Pinsky, “An Alphabet of My Dead [from Jersey Rain, (2000)]”, in Selected Poems, New York, N.Y.: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, →ISBN, page 52:
      Jed S., the MIT student who took my poetry class at Wellesley and presented his poems on long scrolls of computer paper, the all-capitals dot matrix lines nearly unreadable.
    • 2014 September, Jonathan Kellerman; Jesse Kellerman, chapter 20, in The Golem of Hollywood, New York, N.Y.: G. P. Putnam's Sons, →ISBN; republished New York, N.Y.: Jove Books, 2015, →ISBN, page 197:
      The earliest reports were typewritten or stippled by a dot-matrix; then smudged, the result of being whipped too quickly from the mouth of an inkjet.


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