Quotas are the obvious way to solve this problem.
Just discovered your website and have to say its great to have forums like this.
Our problem is that when a pupil prints something but nothing comes out the printer then they tend to push the button repeatedly (30 times the other day), the printer may have simply just run out of paper, when they load the paper back in it prints off say over a lunch or break period when no one is in the room.
What I am looking for ideally is a way to solve this, is there any print manger software out there to either alert someone, or even better, only allow the pupils to have 1 print job in the queue at any one time. We did have a printer credit scheme, but decided to scrap it as 6th formers were complaining (if we were out of the office sorting somehting out and they were trying to buy more print credits for coursework that was due in the next lesson, etc etc) and there was also various problems with it.
I would love to hear your views and how you manage printing at your schools.
Quotas are the obvious way to solve this problem.
There are loads of print credit management programs out there - a quick search of the forum should turn up a few. PCounter, Papercut and StopIt seem to be the systems of choice.
We did have problems with that in the past though, student printing out reams without realising because of no paper in the tray, then needing to print out for coursework and not having any money and the teacher tells us to let them print, then we have to add credit to their account, which is unfair to the other pupils and they would just get their teacher to ask us after they had used their printer credits
we don't charge for extra credits
You need to get something written down and signed by all involved. Then you can just point to the printing policy document and say "Tough".
As Geoff said - get some print management software and enforce quotas. You HAVE to do this with the full support of your SMT otherwise, they'll tell you to up people's allowances and then there's no point having them.
Be strict. They don't get raised. Resitrict what they can print as well as how much they can print.
for example, our pupils (age 5-11) cannot print from the internet or an unsaved document. If they want to print that picture for their project, they have to copy and paste it into word , save it and then print it. This means they only print one page instead of 6. Our staff have similar restrictions but a higher print allowance.
We used to have a token cost to limit printing of 5p for mono and 10p for colour. However the allowances have had more impact now that colour costs 34.5p and mono 10p - allowances were increased proportionately to give them the same number of pages. It seems to have made people think before they print.
Just to add... Because SMT will undoubtedly forget that they said "it won't work" at some point, you should probably provide a full breakdown of what you "could" do, what it would involve and a few case studies as provided on here.
Then, hand it in and wait for the "No".
That way, when they turn round after the budget meeting 3 months later and say "Why the hell haven't you addressed this" you can simply point to the document you've already done and say, I have, you haven't.... although perhaps find a better way to say that
PCounter definitely has an option to delete duplicate jobs, which would get around the situation you describe. I'm not sure which of the other print management tools has the same feature.
We have 2 approaches on this.
Papercut prevents duplicate prints within a time period specified by us. This can any number or seconds, also it can be different on each printer.
Another trick we had before Papercut was to change the print icon on the toolbars in Office. Remove the print command from the toolbar and replace it with the Print... command. This forces the user to specify the print settings each time they press the print icon.
We customise the toolbars in all Office apps how the ICT staff want them to appear using the normal method of right click on toolbar - customize - commands tab - drag off and on commands wanted.
Once we have a setup we like, we use the Office Profile Wizard (proflwiz.exe) to take a snap shot of the setup.
Then proflwiz.exe is scripted to run on login on the PC's
Pretty sure that this works on office 200 xp and 2003.
Office Profile Wizard details here
elsiegee40 (25th January 2008)
Where the heck has this information been all this past 5 years!!
EDIT: For those looking. Here's the info on the Office2k version:
Last edited by contink; 25th January 2008 at 08:08 PM.
After looking at the print manager reports to see what was being printed, I came up with Document Title restrictions.
For staff and pupils groups: The restriction list has words that will ensure that print jobs are rejected. So the list has:
http (stops the internet)
document (stops unsaved word documents)
unnamed (stops unsaved TextEase)
untitled (stops lots of things!)
Full Page (stops windows print wizard - full page picture printing)
In addition, the mono laser has the other Print Wizard photo job names in its restriction list to stop accidental routing to that printer.
The office staff do not have the name restrictions on their group, however they still can't print photos to the mono laser because that restriction is on the printer.
It hasn't been popular, but it hasn't half reduced the printing since we introduced it!
EDIT: Thank you Steve, I shall be trying this on Monday
Last edited by elsiegee40; 25th January 2008 at 08:36 PM.
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