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Network and Classroom Management Thread, Help with printing design in Technical; Perhaps you guys can shed a light on this matter. Currently we have about 80 printers all controlled by a ...
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    Lightbulb Help with printing design

    Perhaps you guys can shed a light on this matter.
    Currently we have about 80 printers all controlled by a couple HP4200 print servers (linux appliance). Our users are not satisfied by our current setup.
    The students get a printer assigned by logon script. Its based on the hostname, if it matches it will get printer X.

    Problem 1
    There is only 1 printer in a classroom. students have acces to them and mingle with it..so problems do arise quickly.
    Problem 2
    They only have 1 printer assigned...otherwise they will print alot of pages to a printer in another classroom
    Problem 3
    We have to many printers for our school (we have 900 pc's and 3500 users)

    So i am looking for a solution that creates printer stability, redundancy and some auditing tools. Further i want to get rid of the HP4200's.

    We run a windows 2003 R2 domain

    Any great idea's?

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    Could you put printers outside the classrooms? If so, then you could set up printer pools so that (say) 3 rooms share 2 printers - the server will print to the first available machine.

    downside is that unless you turn on notification you end up looking at both printers to see where your job is but it does give you some resiliency (1 printer out of paper or toner just means that the other is used)

    If that's not generally possible, could you have a corridor printer assigned as second printer - default is printer in room with second printer the one outside.

    Look at group policy preferences (needs Vista or 2008 machine to administer but works on a server 2003/XP network) to assign printers to an OU (assuming your put PCs in OUs to match rooms)

    If the printing takes place from the server then it will log each job printed; logparser (free MS tool) can be used to scrape the event logs and stick the data in SQL for easy querying or there are various printer charging solutions available (you charge zero for each job but it just collects data about who's printed what)

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    Some time back I came across this tool:
    LPR Print Client - INTELLIscribe

    .. it's something I played with but in the end the pricing at the time and the needs of the school just didn't make it worth bothering with but I could see it being useful in a secondary school context.


    Most of the solutions I could think of beyond the original ones noted would come with problems of their own...

    Have corridor printers:
    Pro's: Shared amongst a number of rooms
    Cons: Children out of sight of teacher, behaviour, trust, etc.. issues. Also space constraints, damage, safety, etc..

    Have a printer station for a block with a couple of pooled printers.. By this I mean have an area with a couple of printers dedicated to a specific block of rooms but in an area where they can be monitored. Preferably with some form of printer control system such as a queue that requires a child to put a printer credit card or code in to get their printout (discussed at length all over this forum).

    Pro's: Would provide a firm failover base. Possibly provide option for other facilities such as colour, A3 or similar printers.
    Con's: Further out of sight (perhaps collect at end of lesson) and infrastructure cost implications for setup.



    Beyond that all that springs to mind are some cheap mono-laser printers.


    Primarily though I'd see if you can install the papercut logging program and see if you can identify bottlenecks that way.. There may be specific rooms that would benefit more than others allowing you to focus say a second pooled printer in a room.

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