Hewlett-Packard announced today that it was splitting its business in two, creating a printer and PC company alongside one dedicated to enterprise services. This may seem like the inevitable putting out to pasture of an aging technology that has been displaced in the mobile age. But it actually wasn't so long ago that HP's printer business was growing steadily. As The Guardian's technology editor Charles Arthur points out, between 2005 and 2008 sales in the printer division expanded at a healthy clip. Like many things, they fell of a cliff when the financial crisis hit, but unlike some other industries, the appetite for old-fashioned paper and ink never recovered, and has been slowly dwindling ever since, precipitating today's big breakup.