Limiting printer usage

  May$ 12:13 24 Nov 2004


In our school classroom we have a computer connected to a HP3600. This is then shared with several other computers in the classroom. The computers connect to the printer via a script in the startup folder.

Unfortunatly we get thorough printer cartidges like nothing else. I was wondering if there was anyway to limit the number of pages printed for each user. I dont know much about scripting but am interested in learning.

I have had a brief look at the script center on the microsoft website but can't get my head around it(Scripts that is)

Thanks in advance.

  pj123 16:04 24 Nov 2004

I am not answering your post directly as I also, don't know anything about scripting.

It occurs to me that if the users are printing lots of pages then they need them? Or do they?

How many users are there? What are they actually printing? Is it essential that they have hard copies?

There are lots of variables here. Compatible Ink Cartridges for this printer can be bought for almost half the price of originals from click here

Can you not make a charge per user to help alleviate the ink charge?

  May$ 16:32 24 Nov 2004


We have one computer room with one HP printer which is sufficiant for our needs. Unfortunatly the kids(primary age) feel the need to print the same document over and over again,sometimes accidently sometimes not.

They might occasionally print the odd picture here and there but nothing major. They especailly like big colour draining pages. Unfortunatly i'm not always there to stop them and thats the main problem.

  pj123 00:15 26 Nov 2004

What is your role in this classroom environment?

  May$ 10:55 26 Nov 2004

Im a part time Student Tech

  Djohn 11:41 26 Nov 2004

You could go into the printer properties and make the default setting for all print jobs as "Draft". This will reduce the running cost by up to 50% immediately. Then for any special work that needs to be done, the setting can be altered quite easily from the individual computer from the toolbar.

All normal "Draft" printing will be done by the children clicking on the print Icon from any application but for special work they will need to go to the tool bar and select "Print" then properties and change the print quality from there for the one print job only.

You could also set the same printer up twice on the PC's and place 2 Icons on the toolbar. 1 would be for the draft setting, the other for normal or quality printing. It would then be a straightforward job to inform the children to use the draft at all times except for occasions when they have permission to use the quality setting.

  BlueMeanie 13:05 27 Nov 2004

Me thinks that the HP3600 is perhaps the problem... HP are good, but the inks cartridges (which contain a print head) are dear.

The latest Canon printers are cheap, and the ink cartridges are just tanks of ink, that can be bought cheaply from ebuyer etc.

A black & white laser printer will be cheaper to run, but the children will not care for the results. This could be set up as the default printer.

Refill the colour ink cartridges cheap but VERY messy.

Refill the laser toner cartridges £15 and not too difficult.

Encourage the children when producing work to have a blank (non colour) background. This works well at the school(s) where I work. This also requires the co-operation of the teaching staff.

Finally remember a car without petrol is ...... ie you will need to have colour printers and accept that there will be running costs.

Blue Meanie - School Bursar & P/Time (non-paid!) IT Technician

  pj123 13:18 27 Nov 2004

You may like to think about disabling the print mode for all the PCs, (a bit drastic I know) but then if anyone wants a printout they would have to ask for permission. Alternatively, get rid of the HP printer and get a cheap Epson printer and the ink replacements are only about £2 each.

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