Micro labs and laser printing: scenarios and solutions
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With the advent of laser printers like the HP LaserJet and the Apple LaserWriter, very high quality output using laser technology is readily accessible to microcomputer users. People trying this method of printing quickly decide that it is the method of choice for most applications. However, the popularity of laser printers in public sites can, if unregulated, quickly lead to overuse of what is a relatively high-cost method of printing. This results in excess strain on both the equipment and the operating budget.Panel members from various universities and colleges will relate their experience with laser printing in academic microcomputing facilities. Discussion questions will include:Do they offer free laser printing? If so, do they restrict use to final copies and how do they enforce this restriction? Are laser printers attached to stand-alone print stations or are they accessible from a network? Are there other letter quality printers in the same lab? How much do they spend on maintenance and operations of the laser printer?If they charge for the use of microcomputing facilities, do they assess a lab-usage fee, or change for printing only? Do they change for all letter-quality printers or only for laser printing? Do they charge by means of a vend-a-card box attached to the printer, or do they accept cash per page? Howmuchthey charge?What problems have they had, either despite charging, because of it, or because they don't charge?The discussion of and answers to these questions will be invaluable to those developing new microcomputing facilities and should be of interest to those running existing labs as well.