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How do you do....it? Thread, Print Credits, how mean are you. in Technical; Originally Posted by _Adam_ I noted someone was planning on having staff select which KLA the printing would go to, ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by _Adam_ View Post
    I noted someone was planning on having staff select which KLA the printing would go to, I did the same. But the backlash was HUGE, the 1 extra step for selecting a KLA was hated and even the Finance department who originally wanted it soon asked for it to be removed.
    I'm guessing KLA=department? When we rolled it out we didn't actually encounter any staff resistance (surprising I know!). In fact the staff members that don't have it because they're only in one department are asking for it to be enabled for them as well as they like the fact it shows them the total cost of a job before printing!

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    Quote Originally Posted by _Adam_ View Post
    I will keep reading peoples posts to see if there is a better way (suitable to my school)
    I'm just looking at print accounting systems at the moment - they actually look rather simpler to implement than I initially thought. As far as I can see, all you have to do is redirect the output from each printer installed on a Windows print server with the Redmon port redirector, run it through whatever script or application you want, then write the data to the print port with the actual printer on it. The script or application in the middle gets passed environment variables telling it what user printed, all it has to do is figure out how many pages were printed and change its accounting information accordingly (or stop the user from printing, if you wish).

    A basic print accounting system need only really be a single-table list of users and the amount of printing credit they have left, so any application that deals with that data is going to be relatively few hours of work to write. This looks especially good compared to a cost of $10,000 a year for a commercial system.

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    This looks especially good compared to a cost of $10,000 a year for a commercial system.
    What systems are you looking at which cost that much?

    Pcounter for example is <1000 and gives you quite a lot of advanced functionality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    I'm just looking at print accounting systems at the moment - they actually look rather simpler to implement than I initially thought. As far as I can see, all you have to do is redirect the output from each printer installed on a Windows print server with the Redmon port redirector, run it through whatever script or application you want, then write the data to the print port with the actual printer on it. The script or application in the middle gets passed environment variables telling it what user printed, all it has to do is figure out how many pages were printed and change its accounting information accordingly (or stop the user from printing, if you wish).

    A basic print accounting system need only really be a single-table list of users and the amount of printing credit they have left, so any application that deals with that data is going to be relatively few hours of work to write. This looks especially good compared to a cost of $10,000 a year for a commercial system.

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    The difficult bit is actually determining page content (ie. how many pages, whether each page is colour or mono etc...), so a user is only charged for colour prints when they print them.

    The AUD10k the previous user mentioned was for a kiosk system, not the tracking system. 6k a year is quite expensive, but so are kiosks in general - especially properly made ones.

    The print management system itself shouldn't be that expensive - PaperCut MF for 650 users + 2 copier devices comes in at well under 1000.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    The difficult bit is actually determining page content
    pkpgcounter, the page-counting component of PyKota, seems to work okay on Windows, so I'm just installing it on our print server and sorting out a bit of Python scripting to do print accounting.

    The AUD10k the previous user mentioned was for a kiosk system, not the tracking system.
    I reckon a touch-screen PC on a stand running a web browser is a perfectly good kiosk, and easily doable for under 1,000.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    I reckon a touch-screen PC on a stand running a web browser is a perfectly good kiosk, and easily doable for under 1,000.
    What about the bit which accepts cash, cheques etc...? Receipt printer? etc... Whatever method of authentication being used (MSR, Proxy reader, etc...)

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    What about the bit which accepts cash, cheques etc...? Receipt printer? etc... Whatever method of authentication being used (MSR, Proxy reader, etc...)
    I was thinking to simply have a login page that authenticated against Active Directory, so pupils could log in with their usual username and password to add to their print quota. We're a private school and already have facilities in place for billing the pupil's parents monthly, so I'd just add any other charges to their monthly bill - you're right, adding cash handling, etc, is going to take a bit more doing (wonder if there's a USB-enabled cash box available?).

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    The alternative is to just have another area do the transactions. For example, they pop into reception, hand over their cash, and the receptionist adds that money to their account, or provides them with a kind of voucher (barcode?) that they can take to the kiosk and have the credits added via scanner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fafster View Post
    The alternative is to just have another area do the transactions. For example, they pop into reception, hand over their cash, and the receptionist adds that money to their account, or provides them with a kind of voucher (barcode?) that they can take to the kiosk and have the credits added via scanner.
    Kinda defeats the object of automating the process in the first place. Means you end up with someone having to deal with possibly queues of people, should it be used a lot eventually.

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    I work for Software Shelf who make Print Manager Plus. I am not one of the developers though. Having said that, I know that a lot of effort goes into keeping the print managers (not just ours) updated because there can be issue with different printers and their drivers.

    When I started, I thought this can't be too hard, but it is a complex setup designed to make things simple for the admin (or as simple as possible). Print managers also provide reporting and many ways to track and restrict printing. Anyway. I am trying not to sound like an ad here so I guess if you come up with a good soltion you should share it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mb2k01 View Post
    The issues were with some of our newer Konica Minolta drivers. I believe it was down to PCOUNTER only working with PCL 5 drivers and newer Konica Minolta drivers not being PCL5 and being some other flavour. Essentially the accounting didn't work at all with them.

    On the price, I am fairly sure you're not talking significantly different money - maybe a hundred more, if that. I think there is a 60day trial available if you want to give it a go first.
    That's going back quite a while now - full support for all KM devices and most devices (Including PCL5/6 and PS3). GDI and SNMP support/feedback has also improved!

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    We charge our students 5c for mono and 15c for colour and we run Bears Solutions CMS/IP

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    FYI Pcounter now support all the KM drivers!
    The main thing with "what to allow" is to do three stages. (1) collect data, identify abusive student or teacher printing (2) Set expected limits, advising it will be reviewed in ~2 months (3) 2 months later make the harsher if possible, people tend to relax so this helps reduce further.

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