How to password protect and page count a printer
August 27, 2007 4:15 PM   Subscribe

Network a printer and password protect and page count the prints.

Networking filter: I have seen this thread. i am not new to networking but it is not my network, it is the universities. What i would like to do is purchase a printer and either hook it to the network or I have a spare computer. I could hook it to the computer or network. I want it to be accessible from our dorm. It needs to be password protected and be able to count pages sent per person. That way when the ink runs out I will figure out who printed how much and bill them.
fyi this is the printer I am thinking of getting
any ideas on what software to use?
posted by DJWeezy to Technology (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
PaperCut. Costs money. Worth it.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:51 PM on August 27, 2007

Response by poster: ill check on that but i would prefer an opensource/free option if possible
posted by DJWeezy at 5:25 PM on August 27, 2007

There are tons of open source packages that do what you want. Just set up your spare computer as a Linux print server with LPRng, and then you can use either prqd, printbill or printquota to implement the functionality you want. If you want to use CUPS, there's also Pykota.
posted by tracert at 6:28 PM on August 27, 2007

And as soon as you finish pulling your hair out configuring pykota on a linux server, you'll wish you'd dropped the $75 (or whatever) on PaperCut. I say this from bloody experience. As I value my time, PaperCut was a godsend that made my printer administration work on a small lab network much, much easier and faster. Cross-platform, too. Runs on anything.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:44 PM on August 27, 2007

Whatever printer admin package you choose, it's going to run on a computer, not on the printer itself; so there is no need for you to be spending extra on a network-capable printer. If you plug a network-capable printer directly onto your network, the first thing anybody who doesn't like your page pricing policy is going to do is connect to it directly instead of going through your print server, bypassing all your accounting.

Personally I'm quite fond of the HP LaserJet 1320; it's a solid little workhorse, and the non-network version is a couple hundred dollars cheaper than the 1320N.
posted by flabdablet at 5:22 AM on August 28, 2007

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