Supplementary Laser Printing Service for Students

by Joe Lee

According to statistics, our students printed more than 12 million pages (black & white) in year 2005-06 inside the Computing Services Centre (CSC). This is a new record! In fact, the demand for laser printing has been increasing steadily in recent years due to increased e-Learning activities. Without the space to install extra laser printers, students will have to wait longer for obtaining printouts. Furthermore, for study and research purposes, some students do have genuine needs in printing large volume of materials that the printing facilities cannot satisfy at the moment. Hence, we see the need to set up a charged laser printing service to supplement the existing free printing facilities so that students can print urgent jobs and large volume of materials quickly at reasonable costs, when it is deemed necessary.

Although black & white laser printing is the norm, we observed that there is also a significant demand for colour laser printouts. To simplify management and support, it is preferable to integrate black & white printing and colour printing on a single machine if the running costs for black & white printing on black & white laser printer and colour printer are comparable. As manpower is tight, our target is to source a sophisticated print management system that integrates with our computing environment as far as possible, and requires least attention and minimal support effort. An OCTOPUS charging system will be employed to accept payment, reducing the administration work on handling cash transactions. This new charged laser printing service will be launched in Semester A.