Printing is an expensive business and the cost of that printing is more or less borne by the School. Some progress was made in discouraging unnecessary printing by following the lead of virtually every other School in the University and introducing print charges for taught students but nevertheless, many of our printers are habitually surrounded by great drifts of uncollected printouts. Surely there must be a technical solution to this expense and waste? Indeed there is and it comes in the form of the Cloud Printing service offered by IS.
What exactly is Cloud printing? you ask. When you print something, instead of sending it to the queue for a specific printer, you specify a cloud based queue. When you wish to collect your printout, you make your way to a Cloud enabled printer (which can be anywhere in the University, perhaps in the Library or another School) and tap your University ID card on the reader mounted on the printer. The printer will then present you with a list of all the jobs you have sitting in the Cloud print queue and you can select which ones you wish to print out. Any jobs not printed out within 24 hours are automatically deleted from the queue.
The demise of the colour printer in the main teaching lab last year gave us the ideal opportunity to dip our toes in the waters of Cloud printing. A Cloud based device was installed in the Drill Hall in Forrest Hill and has worked very well. The next step planned is to introduce further Cloud enabled devices when we move back into Appleton Tower over the Summer. If that goes well, the intention is to introduce Cloud Based printing throughout Informatics by the end of the year. Watch this space for further news!