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Best Printer for the Job

Send a document to the best-equipped printer
 
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This could be in the form of a pseudo- printer, such as the "Print to PDF" commonly found on computers, which re- routes the printing job to whichever printer would print your document the fastest or with the highest quality.

First it would have all of the printers on your network report their conditions (e.g, "no blue ink", "low on paper", "10 jobs in queue"). If you just want the document printed quickly, it would determine which printer had the shortest queue or prints the fastest. If you need a high quality printing, it would go to a color printer with the most ink, etc.

After it sends the job to whichever printer, it could send a note to a secretary to deliver it, or one could just go and get it themselves.

rgovostes, Jun 16 2004

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       I can see smart order routing for banks of printers, but I think you can already get that. As to whether it should go to a high or low quality printer, color or B&W, I think that might take too much reasoning for a routing program, especially given how cheap color printing has become.
DrCurry, Jun 16 2004
  

       Well, whether to print in black and white or color, etc. would be options by the user (with some auto-detection, such as if it's an image in Photoshop). Things like number of pages and ink usage would be easy enough to decide on, though.
rgovostes, Jun 16 2004
  

       yeah most the decisions you highlight would have to be made by the user, such as speed or quality. Ther e are numerous packages that show print queues and ink level of printers.
etherman, Jun 17 2004
  

       "...given how cheap color printing has become"?
Really... I just read in a newspaper (Daily Mirror) how coloured ink is more expensive than rocket fuel (I think it worked out approximately £2 per ml).
MikeOliver, Jun 17 2004
  

       you're right mike. thats why i've started using rocket fuel in my printer.
etherman, Jun 17 2004
  

       So what are they flying the space shuttle on???
MikeOliver, Jun 17 2004
  

       coloured ink. it makes pretty patterns.
etherman, Jun 17 2004
  

       'Ink Jet'.
benjamin, Jun 17 2004
  

       The software would also need user personality information; eg, for some people 'the crust-bucket next to me' is always a better printer than one which requires getting up to fetch the printout.
benjamin, Jun 17 2004
  
      
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