Re: [Gnome-print] Re: [Gimp-print-devel] An introduction to gnome-print (fwd)

> Miguel de Icaza wrote:
> > ...
> > You have still not proved that accounting is going to be an issue;
> Ask any corporation if they keep track of printer use.  Ask any
> college.  Ask any government agency.  Ask any printing company.
> Accounting isn't usually a big deal for cheap prints from B&W lasers,
> but as soon as you have a large group of people printing to an
> expensive printer (say a typical inkjet printer), the bean counters
> will want to know who is using up the supplies so they can charge
> them for it.


I don't see how gnome-print gets in the way of accounting. Gnome-print
hands you a BLOB (big lump of binary data). You initiate a connection
to the printer, read the page count, send the BLOB, then read the page
count again. Virtually any printer which would be used in a setting in
which accounting must be done has some sort of pagecount either
through PS or SNMP. In the worst case almost all printers have some
sort of JCL in addition to the PDL. You cand divide a job up into
three pieces, the first and last detect count the pages. 

Plus, you cannot depend on DSC to give you any semblence of an
accurate accounting of page utilization. People have been hacking
PS/DCS to give false readings ever since I was in in college (circa
1989 -- I know, I did it).

Why don't we simply specify the "submit_job" spooler interface call
must have a pagecount parameter if accounting is turned on.

> > You need printer support for accurrate quotas and accurrate
> > accounting.  Any other approach is just a failed attempt at feeling
> > cozy.
> So we should just give up trying and say it can't be done?!?
> Reasonably accurate accounting can be done with PS files; PCL and
> ESC/P are harder but can also can be monitored to keep track of the
> number of prints.  This doesn't prevent malicious users from sending
> custom code that will "fool" the accounting system, but the
> accounting system is going to at least log 1 page as printed in a
> file, and if the sysadm sees 1 page is took an hour to print and
> all of a sudden s/he has to replace the printer supplies, they'll
> get the offender pretty quickly.

Quite a few universities are using my program npadmin,, to track actual page utilisation. As
long as the printer is either an HP or supports RFC 1759 then it
should work.

>     1. Ink/toner/etc.; printer marking supplies are often expensive
>        (why do you think your new inkjet printer costs 1/4 of what
>        older printers did?)

The figures we found at Cisco for business printers was that the
initial purchase price of a printer was about 1% of the total
operating cost of the device over its three year lifetime. This
includes toner, paper, electricity, support, service kits...
This number went down the bigger the printer you bought. I would bet
that the total operating cost of the new high quality ink jet printers
is remarkably high.


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