IT changes print system for spring semester

The printing system on campus changed in spring 2019 to protect students’ privacy and prevent them from wasting money by printing others’ documents, a college official said.

Information Technology Support Specialist Andres Abreu said the college switched its printing server in winter 2018 in order to connect print jobs—individual documents being printed—to students’ accounts. This new server also gives the college the option to allow printing on any device on campus by fall 2019, Abreu said in an interview with the Beacon.

Abreu would not specify the name of the new server.

To print on campus, people must send their print jobs to specific machines from computers around campus. Students then have to swipe their identification cards at the release station—the touch screen located next to the printer—to select and pay for print jobs.

Abreu said students had trouble finding and selecting their jobs with the old server.

“I actually printed someone else’s thing last semester because I thought it was mine,” Menghan Zhu, a sophomore writing, literature and publishing student, said.

Now, print jobs are tied to specific accounts so when students swipe their cards at the release station, they can only view print jobs under their account, Abreu said.

He said the IT department switched to the new server and started to test the new system in spring 2018.

The new server also allows students to send their print jobs to any printer, as long as it’s in the same building, Abreu said. If a student sends a document to a printer from a computer in the Iwasaki Library on the third floor of the Walker building, they can access it from any release station located in the building.

Molly Coombs, assistant director of user services, said IT wants to have a system that connects every printer on campus.

“You could be on your laptop in your dorm room, and you submit the job onto the cloud, and print it wherever the printing machine is closest to you,” Coombs said.

Abreu said some students complained about not being able to locate their documents on the release station.

He said this happened because some information transferred incorrectly to the new system’s database.  

“We’ve only seen a handful of these situations, and most occur with very new students in their first semester here or students who changed their IDs within one or two months,” Coombs, the assistant director of user services, said.

Abreu said IT only needs two or three minutes to fix these cases, and the issue should be fixed by the end of February.

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