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Empty Paper Tray Shutdown

Stops annoying people from wandering off and leaving the printer paper tray empty.
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Can you guess what's been really annoying me this morning?

I have a number of proposals on how to solve the problem of inconsiderate users of networked printers...

Solution No.1 (The moderate approach). When the printer detects that the paper tray is empty, it should immediately shutdown, leaving the final sheet only about a third of the way out of the printer. The shutdown should trigger a set of teeth to clamp down on the paper so that any attempt at removal will result in a very tatty piece of paper indeed. When the power is turned on, the printer will instantly shutdown again unless the paper tray is full.

Solution No.2 (Oh, the shame!). Printers should be housed in glass booths. Once the paper tray is empty, any attempt to remove any paper from the top of the printer results in the door slamming shut, sirens and alarm bells then ring continuously. After ten seconds (enough time for a small crowd to gather) a protective cover slides over the printer and the booth fills with multi-cloured <pedant: mis-spelling noted but not corrected> gunge.

Solution No.3 (Death's too good for 'em). Once the paper tray is empty, any attempt to remove paper from the top of the printer results in a concealed ice-pick swinging up out of the housing and pinning the offending hand to the printer cover.
DrBob, Mar 19 2001

Networked printer/copier and software http://www.imageinf...di350/di350_u4.html
Includes a 'paper out' warning feature. [DrBob, Mar 19 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

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       You could put a bomb in there that would go off if they try to pull the last sheet out without refilling the paper tray.   

       It would be an exciting workplace, that's for sure.
pnewp, Mar 19 2001

       Let me get this straight. The complaint is people who use the last of the printer paper without refilling it? How are they supposed to know it's the last of it? Is everyone expected to check before they take their print?
centauri, Mar 19 2001

       centauri, I don't know what printers you use but the ones in our office (HP Laserjet types) have a display that flashes a message signalling that the paper tray is empty. It is patently obvious to anyone, except for the visually impaired, when you have just used up the last sheet of paper. Only idleness and a lack of consideration for others can explain the behaviour of those who don't refill the paper tray. Hence my righteous fury.
Peter, get my own printer? It's a nice dream, but the chances are totally zero.
DrBob, Mar 20 2001

       Or more likely they start to use your machine as a proxy for downloading all their MP3s (and so on)
mark_t, Mar 20 2001

       How about a printer queue that does not accept any jobs until the tray is filled? That way someone is forced to go fill it before they can print anything. This would also prevent the problem of being the one to refill the paper and then having to wait for the 10 jobs that people sent but didn't print get printed for lack of paper.
blahginger, Mar 22 2001

       blahginger: Excellent. That would be good for two reasons. One, it makes sure that there should (nearly) always be paper in the tray. Two, if there isn't paper in the tray then you're mentally prepared for it in advance thus alleviating the tendency towards violence (or is this a downside?).
DrBob, Mar 22 2001

       ...actually, my Pitney Bowes fax machine kinda does what you're describing: when the paper tray is empty, it emits a sustained beep for about 10 seconds and whenever someone touches the buttons to send a fax, or, when an incoming fax is being stored in memory, it emits that same annoying beep which directs users to reading the LCD display. The beep is so annoying that it isn't too long before someone refills the papertray.
iuvare, Mar 22 2001

       degroof: see link above. Looks like it's pretty much baked to me!
DrBob, Mar 24 2001

       Would be hard to count single sheets of paper, but if it had a 'gas gauge' type thing, it could estimate. The HP LJ 2100 has a gauge on it, which is a really nice idea. Doesn't tell you directly when you're going to run out of paper, tho...
StarChaser, Mar 24 2001

       Yes. Estimating the stack size was pretty much what I was thinking about when I discovered the Minolta link. If you had a spring loaded bar that sat on top of the paper, you could estimate the number of sheets from the position of the bar or, you could use an extra laser in the setup to measure the stack size more precisely.
DrBob, Mar 25 2001


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