block b&w jobs to color printer
February 12, 2007 9:51 AM   Subscribe

I've got a windows networked color printer on a 2003 domain and I'd like to be able to block print jobs sent it to that are not in color.

Is such a thing possible? Ideally, it would be used strictly for color, but I'm not sure how to go about this without telling people over and over to use the b&w printer. Any ideas?
posted by the ghost of Ken Lay to Technology (5 answers total)
Under NetWare we use PCounter and one of the things it lets us do is change different rates for B&W versus color jobs (ie: $0.10 and $0.40). I'm not sure that it will do exactly what you want, but I know it's at least possible for a print server to tell what type of job it's getting.
posted by sbutler at 1:47 PM on February 12, 2007

posted by sbutler at 1:48 PM on February 12, 2007

Couple of ideas. neither really does exaclty what you want, but Ifigured it might get the wheels rolling in the right direction, maybe.

1) If the driver set allows for it, create more than one queue, one for colour and one for B&W. This might help in that people could choose to print to the colour printer ONLY in in black. This really sounds useless, as I type it....We are currently leasing some Dell 5110CN printers and Dell claims that they are VERY cheap when printing only in B&W, which is why I have set this up myself.

2) The only other thing I can think of it to use security groups to restrict access to the printer, in hopes that by making it less available, it will be abused less.

I have a feeling that what you are looking for is more driver driven than OS though. Anyway...I hope that helps somewhat, sorry I can't suggest anything more concrete.
posted by Richat at 6:57 PM on February 12, 2007

Not strictly answering the question, but some things to check first:
Are the printer names something reminder-ly-like-ish helpful? Most people honestly wouldn't mind doing what you want, just can't be arsed to figure it out on the fly. If the printers are named "color-breakroom" and "blackwhite-storeroom" it's easier for them than if they're named "HP0008_42" and "DSxyphnt45". Also, is the black and white printer an unreliable piece of junk, farther away, or in any way harder to use than the color? People are going to do what's easier.

Also, I have this observation that may not be valid where you work: If the b/w printer has a bad reputation (jams, prints lousy quality, etc), it's done for. Nobody is going to use it willingly until you replace it, even if it's with the exact same model. People are superstitious that way.
posted by ctmf at 11:23 PM on February 12, 2007

Actually, the problem probably is that people are just hitting the little print icon, which uses the default printer, instead of file/print... which lets you select one. Can you force everyone's default printer to b/w, then make them have to intentionally select the color? Might help, even though that wouldn't be my first approach (kind of authoritarian). I'd go for the education strategy first.
posted by ctmf at 11:32 PM on February 12, 2007

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